In October 2016, sexual and gender minorities (SGM) were formally designated as a health disparity population by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This was following the 2015, establishment of the NIH Sexual and Gender Minority Research Office (SGMRO), which coordinates sexual and gender minority (SGM) related research and activities within the NIH.
In 2016, MAC Director, Katherine P. Theall, Ph.D and Postdoctoral Scholar, Jennifer Glick Ph.D. received NIH funding as part of their involvement in the Louisiana State University Comprehensive Alcohol and HIV Research Center (CARC, P60AA009803) to expand existing MAC research to address SGM. Additional team members on this project include Alex Lopez, Miranda Pollock, Kendra Davis, and Stephanie De Wolfe. The term SGM encompasses lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender populations, as well as those whose sexual orientation, gender identity, and expressions, or reproductive development varies from traditional, societal, cultural, or physiological norms.
The current mixed methods study includes targeted ethnography and measurement development to capture SGM specific quantitative measurements of stress and SGM identity in the larger CARC longitudinal study. Thus far, MAC researchers have conducted over 40 semi-structured in-depth interviews with gender minority individuals across the country, concerning their experiences with gender expression, stress, and health seeking behavior. Data is currently being analyzed for key themes related to these topics. Respondents represent diversity in terms of geography, sexual orientation, race, age, and gender identity. Preliminary findings indicate a wide range of discrimination and associations between these experiences and the health seeking behavior strategies employed by gender minorities. Stay tuned for more information about the study progress and findings.
For more information about SGM health at the NIH see: