ASHEVILLE, N.C. — The Campaign for Southern Equality (CSE) has announced that is has launched a Southern LGBTQ Health Survey in order to better understand the health care needs of LGBTQ Southerners. The survey data will be made publicly available and will serve as a resource for the LGBTQ community, researchers and public health advocates.
In the weeks since its release over 2,000 LGBTQ individuals have completed the survey. More than 20 Southern LGBTQ organizations are partnering on this project to ensure that it reaches into the LGBTQ community all across the South.
“Data is a great way to tell a story, but there is very little health data available to tell the stories of LGBTQ people living in the South. Our goal with this survey is to connect with as many LGBTQ Southerners as possible to better understand their health care experiences,” said CSE Survey Coordinator Chase Harless.
More than 2.6 million LGBTQ adults live in the South according to data from the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.
And existing research points toward LGBTQ health disparities in the South, especially with regard to H.I.V. “The crisis is most acute in Southern states, which hold 37 percent of the country’s population and as of 2014 accounted for 54 percent of all new H.I.V. diagnoses,” according to reporting from The New York Times.
“Ultimately, we’re working to increase access to LGBTQ-friendly health care in the South. The survey findings will inform creating training materials and models of LGBTQ-friendly care for Southern health care providers. Our goal is that every LGBTQ person in the South could access the care they need in their hometown,” said CSE Executive Director Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara.
The survey is part of the Southern LGBTQ Health Initiative, a collaboration between the CSE and Western NC Community Health Services to increase access to LGBTQ-friendly health care in the South.
“In many places across the rural South, culturally competent primary care services are just not available for many in the LGBTQ community. This needs to change, and this is one step in that direction,” said Scott Parker, director of development and collaboration at Western NC Community Health Services.
The survey is available in English and Spanish and takes less than 15 minutes to complete. Any LGBTQ person who lives in the South and is 18 years or older is eligible to take the survey.
Supporting Partners for this project include: Equality North Carolina, Gender Benders, South Carolina Equality, Latinos in the Deep South, Transcend Memphis, The Montrose Center, Queer Appalachia, The PAIGE Memphis, POZ-Empowerment, ImpactOUT, Transcend Charlotte, Asheville Gay Men’s Chorus, Twin Oaks Gathering, Beer City Sisters, AIDS Services Coalition, Dr. Amy Murphy-Nugen, Transform Houston, Nelwat Ishkamewe, Mississippi Rising Coalition, Birmingham AIDS Outreach, Mississippi Positive Network, Central Alabama Pride and Comunity Estrella.