An estimated 10% of youth identify as LGBTQ. They represent all races, religions, and social classes. As a sexual minority group, they have a unique set of circumstances which negatively impact their health and well being in comparison to their heterosexual counterparts. The increased rates of homelessness, suicide, substance abuse, assault, and HIV must be acknowledged and eliminated for this group of youth to be happy, healthy and successful individuals.
Episode 21 with Dr. Candice and special guest, Dr. David Levine tackles this controversial and emotional topic with the goal of education, support, and health in mind. Dr. Levine explains that LGBTQ youth are normal people but different. We discuss how children form gender identity as early a 3 years of age and point out that it should not be confused with sexual orientation which forms around puberty. Then Dr. Levine encourages health care providers to check their own biases at the door in order to meet this group where they are and address their health care needs. Finally, we offer parents/caregivers some tips on how to handle when their child has “come out.”
The health and well being of sexual minority youth affects all of us. These young people need our love, support, and acceptance. After this show, hopefully you are ready to give it.
Thanks Dr. David Levine!
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The Trevor Project