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Cultural Competency and the Lesbian Community

  • Date Submitted: 05/08/2010 10:39 AM
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Cultural Competency and the Lesbian Community
Introduction
      The Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) community is one of the most polarized groups in modern society. Homophobia, misconceptions, and fear have caused many members of the GLBT community to stay “in the closet” a phrase meaning to keep one’s preference for the same sex a secret. Over the past ten years there has been an increase in GLBT images on television which have made it easier for more people to come out of the closet (Gay & Lesbian Alliance against Defamation, 2009). While the numbers of individuals openly identifying as gay or lesbian have steadily increased throughout the years, the exact number of people identifying as Gay or Lesbian is not known. Studies by the United States Census estimate that between 2 and 10 percent of the population identify as Gay or Lesbian (Smith & Gates, 2001). With such a sizeable portion of the population, health issues affecting the GLBT community play a significant role in the health of the entire population that can not be ignored.
      The GLBT community is not a homogenous one. There are specific health issues that plague Gay males as opposed to Lesbian females. There should be more concentrated efforts to identify and address health issues specific to each of these subcommunities. The aim of this paper is to identify various disparities in health that are related to the GLBT community, specifically the Lesbian community, and to present an effective intervention.
      Literature Review
      Health disparities were identified in Healthy People 2010 as a major cause of concern within the United States that needed to be addressed (DHHS, 2000). Although there is no universal definition of a “health disparity”, the term was defined by the National Institutes of Health as the, “differences in the incidence, prevalence, mortality, and burden of diseases and other adverse health conditions that exist among several population groups in the United...

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