CATCH ME IF YOU CAN…and win prizes!

Our very own Dr. Scout may be coming to a town near you! Dr. Scout will be out and about over the next few months; leading cultural competency trainings in many states, speaking on an all Trans pride panel, in Philly at the Trans Health Conference , co-writing an LGBT Health Research Textbook, at the Netroots Nation Conference and many other places.

So, over the next few months, if you happen to see Dr. Scout, take a picture with him and post it to your (and your organization’s) Twitter and Facebook page! And, when you post your picture, we will send you a free gift!

Here are the rules:

  1. Take the perfect selfie with Dr. Scout
  2. Post the picture to Facebook and/or Twitter
    1. If you are posting to Facebook make sure to tag us (@The Network for LGBT Health Equity) in your post.
    2. If you are posting on Twitter make sure to tag us in your Tweet (@lgbthlthequity)
    3. Also please use the #’s:
  1. Once you have posted we will send you a direct message (Twitter) or message (Facebook) to get your mailing information and send you some sweet swag!


Now that you have your rules, here’s the list of events to catch Dr.Scout:

June 10: DC to NIH speaking on a pride panel

June 12-13: Philly for TransCon

June 14-15: Pittsburgh Author Meeting on LGBT Health Research Textbook

June 16-20: Denver – National Jewish Hospital for quit line staff

July 10-14: San Diego Phoenix Group cross-disparities meeting

July 15-20: Detroit for Netroots Nation Conference 2014

July TBD: St. Louis


Congrats To Two of Our Winners Charles and Kira

Catch Charlie

   catch Kara

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 (Here are some examples of the swag we will send you!)

lady t-vneck

 t-shirt men









The Network’s very own Trudie Jackson is honored as Echo Magazine’s woman of the year!

New Network Logo Symbol 3-2011
Network Steering Committee Member Trudie Jackson:
Echo Magazine’s Woman of the Year! 
Congratulations Trudie!!!

v236449rWe were so happy to hear that our very own Steering Committee member, Trudie Jackson, has been chosen as Echo Magazine’s 2013 Woman of the Year for her work as an advocate for the trans community and for her many contributions to the wider LGBT community!

Trudie lives in Phoenix AZ, and works on a program dealing with health issues of urban Native Americans at Native Health, an agency that provides wellness services. Upon being hired i 2004, she helped to found an LGBT employee group, and from that point on has been unstoppable in her pursuit of making sure that Native American and Trans folks are represented in all health and equality conversations.

Among her many accomplishments, Trudie worked for two years as an outreach coordinator for LGBT Youth at the Southwest center for HIV/AIDS, was the recipient of the Phoenix Pride Scholarship Fund award three years in a row, worked as assistant director for a time of This Is HOW (an agency that provides services and housing to trans individuals), and was on the board for 1 Voice Community. And of course, she is one of The Network’s Steering Committee members! 

For the past three years Trudie has helped to organize the Southwest Rainbow Gathering, which she chaired in 2012 and Scout attended and spoke at!

2014 promises to be an awesome year for Trudie- she will be graduating from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in public service and public policy, with a minor in American Indian studies and a certificate in LGBT studies,a nd she is thinking that politics may be on the horizon…

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Congratulations Trudie! You are Amazing! 

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Read the full article in Echo Magazine HERE!

Upcoming Conference! Unity through Diversity: A national LGBT people of color health summit

New Network Logo Symbol 3-2011


Upcoming conference calls for proposals 
Unity Through Diversity: A National People of Color Health Summit
February 20-23rd, 2014 | Albany, NY 


The Unity Through Diversity: A National LGBT People of Color Health Conference, being held in Albany NY, february 20-23rd is seeking workshop proposals!

This year’s focus is on “The Power of Unity”;

This year, the LGBT movement has taken enormous strides in the struggle for marriage equality. For LGBT POC, however, our struggle is far from over. In this same year we have also lost family and community members to violence against transgender people, HIV/AIDS, suicide, bullying, ableism, and homelessness. Additionally, the disproportionate incarceration rates among people of color – particularly among African Americans – and the racial profiling so prevalent in our society continues to put the safety of young African Americans at risk. Our struggle is not over.

There are only a few days left to submit your proposal, so hurry up and get those in by Nov. 15th! For information on proposals, click HERE.

Additionally, there are scholarship (and sponsorship) opportunities- so spread the word!



A Year In Review: Spotlight on North Dakota Department of Health Tobacco Prevention and Control Program



Gustavo Torrez
Program Manager
The Network for LGBT Health Equity

When I started working with the Network almost 4 years ago the first state I had the pleasure to visit was North Dakota. During my visit I conducted two LGBT Cultural Competency training one for their grantees, and another at their Annual Statewide Alcohol and Substance Abuse Summit. At that time they were thinking about strategies to include LGBT communities in their tobacco control work and have not looked back since. I had the privilege of going back and spoke at the 3rd annual statewide GLBTQA conference held at the University of North Dakota this past

Left to Right: Neil Charvat, Gustavo Torrez, Rep. Kayie Overson, Rep Josh Boschee, and Krista Headland

Left to Right: Neil Charvat, Gustavo Torrez, Rep. Kayie Overson, Rep Josh Boschee, and Krista Headland

April, and was overjoyed at the progress they have made over the past couple years in terms of community support for LGBT tobacco control efforts. At times we can see progress through emails and updates here and there, but to actually see the level of community support for LGBT Tobacco Control efforts was absolutely amazing. From local LGBT groups to State Representatives its was truly refreshing especially for a state like North Dakota.  Over the past couple of years work in North Dakota has not stopped, in fact the work has grown to include more and more folks in the community committed to LGBT Tobacco Control efforts in the state. Neil Charvat, Community Health Specialist with the Chronic Disease Program at the North Dakota Department of Health has truly made some huge strides in the state. Neil has been charged with the talk of LGBT inclusion efforts and has forged many partnerships which have truly shaped the direction of their efforts. Most recently, a great article was published North Dakota puts $2,500 in anti-smoking funds toward Fargo pride festival, highlighting some of these efforts.

I wanted to take a moment and showcase in depth some of the great work that has taken place over the past year, and thank Neil for his commitment to inclusion efforts in North Dakota. I am so proud of the work that he has not only accomplished, but how the Department has truly institutionalized LGBT tobacco Control efforts in North Dakota. Please read his article below as he article below –  Engaging Disparate Populations: North Dakota LGBT Communities.

Neil Charvat
North Dakota Department of Health
Tobacco Prevention and Control Program
Fiscal Year July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2013

Engaging Disparate Populations: North Dakota LGBT Communities

The Tobacco Prevention and Control Program (TPCP) in the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) work to engage populations disparately effected by tobacco use on a statewide level. One of the populations identified by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as having high tobacco use rates and being targeted by the tobacco industry is the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community.

Efforts to engage North Dakota’s LGBT communities in tobacco control efforts have been made since 2008, varying degrees of success. The main obstacle has been identifying LGBT groups in North Dakota. The NDDoH TPCP was fortunate to become involved in Fargo-Moorhead Pridefest for the first time in 2011. FM Pridefest is the largest LGBT event held in North Dakota. This initial effort was to provide NDQuits information and materials to event attendees. In 2012 the ND DoH was again invited to be a part of FM Pridefest. In July, NDQuits marketing tools were utilized at the FM Pridefest 5K Run-Walk, and that event was tobacco-free. NDQuits material and information were promoted at the FM Pride in the Park in August. ND DoH staff attended the event. The staff was able to promote cessation efforts as well as provide information about tobacco issues that directly affected the LGBT community in North Dakota.

NDDoH TPCP staff had the opportunity to meet with Julia Geigle at the University of North Dakota. Julia is a graduate student at UND working on LGBT health issues. The meeting was to discuss the issue of tobacco use in the LGBT community, and the health impacts that resulted from that use. Information on engaging the LGBT community and promoting NDQuits cessation services were provided to Julia. As a result of this meeting, Julia invited the TPCP staff to participate in a UND LGBT conference in April, 2013. NDDoH was able to involve Gustavo Torrez from the Fenway Institute in the UND Conference. Gustavo travelled to the conference to present on LGBT tobacco and health issues. Gustavo was also able to engage North Dakota legislators in attendance by providing information on LGBT health issues. The conference was well attended by the UND LGBT campus community. As a result of the success of this event, there are plans to incorporate more events like this into the newly created ND Campus Tobacco Prevention Project. This project will involve most college campuses in North Dakota.

The NDDoH TPCP will continue to engage the LGBT in future tobacco prevention work for the next fiscal year.

Join Me For a Live Webcast: The Passion and Power of Young People in the Ongoing Fight Against Tobacco

Kenneth E. Warner | Lecture Series

The Passion and Power of Young People in the Ongoing Fight Against Tobacco


Wednesday July 24, 2013 from 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM EDT

Add to Calendar



In-person attendance is limited to those attending the CTFK Youth Advocacy Symposium and Legacy Youth Leadership Institute Training. No registration is necessary to view the live webcast.


On Wednesday, July 24th, Legacy and the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids (CTFK) will host a special youth-led panel discussion, as part of the Kenneth E. Warner Series Lecture, which will highlight the power and passion of youth engagement in tobacco control.

Young leaders will discuss the challenges and successes of the movement and, with the upcoming release of the 50th Anniversary of the Surgeon General’s report, its significance in the future of tobacco control for years to come.

The live webcast will be archived for your convenience.

Moderator: Ritney Castine, Associate Director of Youth Advocacy, CTFK (Former Legacy Youth Board Liaison)


  • Chad Bullock, Founding Director of Forget Tobacco
  • Kaitlyn Reilly, Communications Consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Anna Santayana, Grassroots Marketing Coordinator for Legacy (Former crew marketer for the truth®tour)
  • Lee Storrow, Managing Director of the NC Alliance for Health and Member of the City Council for North Carolina Chapel Hill (Former Legacy Youth Board Liaison)

& Yours Truly…. 

  • Gustavo Torrez, Program Manager for the Network for LGBT Health Equity


For more information, please contact Laura Cruzada at or 202-341-0324.

University of Puerto Rico undergraduate students discuss LGBTT health issues / Estudiantes de la Universidad de Puerto Rico discuten asuntos de salud en las comunidades LGBTT

In San Juan, Puerto Rico

By Juan Carlos Vega, blogging for the Citizens’ Alliance Pro LGBTTA Health of Puerto Rico and the CDC-funded LGBT and Latino National Tobacco Control Networks

Estudiantes de bachillerato del curso de BIOL 4990Introducción a la Investigación planificaron, presentaron e invitaron a sus compañeros y amistades a participar de su proyecto final de curso titulado Foro Juvenil de Salud Lesbiana, Gay, Bisexual, Transgénero y Transexual (LGBTT). Con una asistencia de sobre 125 personas, en su mayoría estudiantes, el Auditorio de la Escuela de Ciencia Naturales de la Universidad de Puerto Rico (UPR) en Río Piedras se convirtió en un espacio seguro y saludable para discutir las realidades, necesidades y vicisitudes que viven las comunidades LGBTT para recibir servicios de salud. Luego de escuchar a cinco estudiantes del curso presentar estadísticas sobre la salud de las ­­comunidades LGBTT, discutir la importancia de las prácticas basadas en evidencia científica, mostrar la falta de servicios de salud que reciben las comunidades trans y hablar de los determinantes sociales y ambientales que afectan el acceso a servicios, el auditorio se convirtió en un foro donde jóvenes universitarios, gay y straight, preguntaban e indagaban sobre las realidades, alternativas y prioridades para resolver esta inequidad en salud.  Miembros de la Alianza Ciudadana en Pro de la Salud Lesbiana, Gay, Bisexual, Transgénero, Transsexual y Aliados (ACPS-LGBTTA), representando las diversidades en el acrónimo LGBTTA, se sentaron en panel para contestar interrogantes de la audiencia sobre la importancia del apoyo legal para promover justicia, la necesidad de servicios y grupos de apoyo específicos para comunidades LGBTT, la inclusión de las perspectivas de identidad de genero y orientación sexual en políticas públicas, al igual que el significado de intersexualidad. Fascinantes las preguntas. Y hasta Ricky Martin cogió su mención!

Desde la perspectiva del panel pude captar la atención de los estudiantes durante la discusión de asuntos de salud LGBTT. / From the panels’ perspective I was able to capture students attentions as one of the Alliance members in the panel discussed LGBTT health issues.

Desde la perspectiva del panel pude captar la atención de los estudiantes durante la discusión de asuntos de salud LGBTT. / From the panels’ perspective I was able to capture students attention as one of the Alliance members in the panel discussed LGBTT health issues.

Agradecemos a la Dra. Elba Díaz del Recinto de Ciencias Medicas-UPR por su visión de equidad en salud para todos los puertorriqueños y puertorriqueñas, a los estudiantes presentes, y a los cinco presentadores del día, María Marte Santos, Jossec Ramos Medina, Nora Brauchitsch, Juan Dávila, Rivera y Fransheska Martínez, a quienes felicitamos e invitamos a la próxima Cumbre Puertorriqueña Pro Salud LGBTTA a presentar este mismo tema en Abril del 2014.

Estudiantes presentaron razones por las que el uso de tabaco en las comunidades LGBTT es mas alto que en las comunidades heterosexuales. / Students presented reasons why LGBTT folks smoke more than their heterosexual counterparts.

Estudiantes presentaron razones por las que el uso de tabaco en las comunidades LGBTT es mas alto que en las comunidades heterosexuales. / Students presented reasons why LGBTT folks smoke more than their heterosexual counterparts.

Durante la actividad se distribuyeron materiales educativos relacionados a salud LGBTT publicados por las Redes Nacionales para el Control y Prevención de Tabaco, la ACPS-LGBTTA y Lambda Legal.  Esta actividad se llevó a cabo como parte de la IV Jornada Educativa Contra la Homofobia de la organización Puerto Rico para Todos y fue auspiciada por:

NLTCN spanish logo high res (2)                           lgbt-health Equity



sarah pic1
Sarah Peitzmeier, MSPH
Clinical data specialist 
Fenway Institute




Lesbians and bisexual women are as likely as heterosexual women to develop cervical cancer, but are up to 10 times less likely to be regularly screened for it, putting them at greater risk of the potentially deadly disease, according to a policy brief released by The Fenway Institute. This disparity is due to a misconception that sexual minority women are not at risk for cervical cancer as well as their broader marginalization in the health care system.

Yearly, over 12,000 American women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and over 4,000 die from the disease. The majority of cervical cancers in the US occur among women who have never been screened or who were not screened within the past five or more years. This is bad news for lesbians and bisexual women, who are less likely to undergo routine screening for cervical cancer. The vast majority of cervical cancers are caused by a human papilloma virus (HPV) infection, and many sexual minority women – and their healthcare providers – are under the misperception that HPV cannot be passed between women during sex. In fact, because HPV passes through skin-to-skin genital, as well as potentially through oral-vaginal and digital-vaginal contact, even women who exclusively have sex with women are at risk for contracting the virus, and by extension, cervical cancer. Multiple studies have shown that lesbians and bisexual women are just as likely as heterosexual women to have HPV and cervical abnormalities that could potentially lead to cancer if unchecked.

Current guidelines recommend that screening start for all women at age 21, regardless of HPV vaccination or age of sexual debut, and continue every three years until age 29; the screening interval may be lengthened to every five years for women ages 30-65 if HPV co-testing is done in addition to the Pap test.  Women with a history of a prior abnormal Pap test or who are immune compromised (e.g. by HIV) should be screened yearly.

The brief concludes with a set of policy recommendations, including:

  • –Promote routine cervical cancer screening for lesbians and bisexual women through patient in-reach and community outreach with sexual minority-specific messaging, wording, and peer education;
  • –Increase training for clinicians in the reproductive health needs of sexual minority populations, including the need for regular cervical cancer screening among women who have sex with women;
  • –Promote HPV vaccination as a primary prevention strategy among lesbians and bisexual women;
  • –Include transgender men (individuals born with female reproductive organs but who identify as male, many of whom still retain a cervix if a total hysterectomy is not performed) in cervical cancer screening programs;
  • –Collect sexual orientation and gender identity data in cancer registries, patient medical records, and health surveys to better understand the burden of cervical cancer and cancer screening practices among this population.

“Lesbian and bisexual women experience a number of health disparities,” said Stephen Boswell, MD, President and CEO of Fenway Health. “The Affordable Care Act’s expansion of health care access and efforts by the federal government to increase clinical competency in LGBT health care offer opportunities to reduce the disparity we see in cervical cancer screening.”

A PDF of the cervical cancer screening policy brief is available online at  

Communities unite in North Dakota for the 3rd annual GLBTQA Statewide Conference – Discover The Movement


Gustavo Torrez
Program Manager
The Network for LGBT Health Equity
Good morning form chilly North Dakota



Its been over two years since I was last in North Dakota, and when I was asked to speak at the 3rd annual GLBTQA conference I was overjoyed at the progress they have made over the past couple years.  The Folks with the North Dakota Department of Health, Tobacco Control Program (DOH) are steadfastly working on LGBT inclusion efforts. While facing multiple challenges they are dedicated to ensuring comprehensive inclusion whenever possible. One of the key messages we tell states is to partner with local LGBT groups. We cannot stress this enough, if you show up to community events, conferences etc. you forge partnerships that will be invaluable in serving the community. It was the dedication of staff at the DOH, which lead conference organizers to allocate a specific slot in their agenda focused on Health and Tobacco, thus making it very difficult to say know to my friends at the DOH. This is the importance of collaborations, and making your presence known.0_0_0_0_539_404_csupload_54503476

My presentation: LGBT Health & Social Justice will take a look at our movement with a social justice framework, taking a walk through the LGBT movement, with a focus on tobacco use in the LGBT community.  I will also be sitting on a closing panel to recap the day, visioning for the future.

The conference aims to discover where the LGBTQA movement is; nationally, statewide, and personally.  With an emphasis on what the movement mean for individuals, identifying interest and direction for folks in attendance, and what folks in North Dakota can accomplish as a unified collective! With workshops designed to dig into these issues, they have various panels with community members, and Natalie (Klueg) Clark as their opening keynote.

The conference stands as a longstanding reminder of the tradition of support, education, and advocacy in GLBTQA activism in North Dakota. I look forward to a great day and most of all continued progress in North Dakota.

No hay salud sin salud sexual = There is no health without sexual health

In San Juan, Puerto Rico

By Juan Carlos Vega
Blogging for the Citizens’ Alliance Pro LGBTTA Health of Puerto Rico
and the CDC-funded LGBT and Latino National Disparities Networks


During this morning plenary session at the VI International Congress of Health Promoting Universities and the IV Public Health Conference of Puerto Rico (, newly elected and LGBTT friendly San Juan Mayor, Mrs. Carmen Yulín Cruz, stated that we can not achieve health without sexual health and education.Image

Dr. Carlos Rodríguez from the Medical Science Campus at the UPR opened his concurrent session stating that sexual health is much more than STD’s and HIV/AIDS.  Comprehensive health has to fully integrate sexual education, especially Puerto Rico’s public schools health education programs.  They have been non-existent for the last ten years.  So now, we have a generation of young parents with low sexual education levels.  Media mostly focuses on high HIV/AIDS and STD’s statistics, yet important aspects like these are not taken into consideration in the public health context.

Sexoplorando, a study on sexual health in Puerto Rico, included a trans sample and representation from 71 of 78 municipalities in Puerto Rico.  Email for more details on this study.

Tobacco Control In LGBT Communities: A journey through this valuable report

As I am sure you are aware on Tuesday Legacy released a new report: Tobacco Control In LGBT Communities. This report is another to hit the national stage to address the growing concern of tobacco use and the affect it has on LGBT people. The layout of this report is quite nice, first addressing Legacy’s role in the movement, but more importantly highlighting the prevalence rates, and the fact data collection efforts needs to continue so we can monitor tobacco use in our communities.fthfthutyu

While there are a lot of numbers folks who appreciate the data, sometimes the data does not truly share the full story. The report has a great section, Behind the Numbers: Tobacco and LGBT Communities. Which paints the story of why tobacco use is and continues to be an issues among our communities. It looks at Social Stigma and Smoking, the Bar and Club Culture, addressing health care disparities and the lack of access to health care our communities face. In addition they showcase tobacco industry targeting, and how smoking is normalized in our community in such a way that it has truly infiltrated our lives and LGBT culture overall. Additionally it goes in to the efforts the tobacco industry took in co-opting our community, and how tobacco companies were characterized as pioneers who stood in solidarity with our communities which is such a fascinating read.

We all know that there is a long standing history of LGBT people and tobacco. The report addresses some key points on what needs to be done moving forward with a set of actions public health and tobacco control organizations can take to counter tobacco in our communities:

  • Engage directly with the LGBT community to offer cessation and prevention services that are culturally competent.
  • Include questions on sexual orientation and gender identity in population-based studies and surveys of health status.
  • Develop better and more standardized questions about sexual orientation and gender identity so a better picture of LGBT populations can be drawn.
  • Conduct longitudinal cohort studies, which follow participants over long periods of time.
  • Include, at all levels, LGBT people in mainstream tobacco control efforts.
  • Develop tobacco control media campaigns targeting LGBT communities.
  • Help LGBT communities and organizations find alternatives to tobacco industry funding.
  • Include LGBT youth in all levels of tobacco control efforts.
  • Ensure that the leadership of LGBT tobacco control efforts represents all LGBT communities, including traditionally disenfranchised segments such as transgender people, lesbian and bisexual women, people of color, LGBT youth, and LGBT people of lower socioeconomic status.

In the second part of this report it showcases four case studies of past legacy grantees. Leave no Funds Behind, which was a project the Network created working on Bridging the Gap Between LGBT Organizations and Tobacco Control Funding. As well as, Delicious Lesbian Kisses: A Social Marketing Campaign with Staying Power, Crush: The LGBT Lifestyle Project, and 30 Seconds: Helping Health Care Providers Reach LGBT Tobacco Users were all highlighted.

I highly recommend you take a look at this report, and share both the report and the factsheet created by legacy:

Tobacco Control In LGBT Communities Report

Tobacco Fact Sheet: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (Lgbt) communities and smoking