We would like to invite you to bring New York LGBT Health Month to your community – whether it is in New York or not!!  (Why should New Yorkers have all the good health practices?) As you may already know, the National Coalition for LGBT Health has named March 28th-April 3rd, 2010 the 8th annual National LGBT Health Awareness Week

Rainbow Access Initiative is a member of the Healthcare Committee of the NYS LGBT Health & Human Services Network (coordinated through the Empire State Pride Agenda), and we know that our community’s health is too fabulous (and important) to fit into just one week!  So we’ve decided to declare March 2010 as the first annual New York LGBT Health Month.

Our theme this year is “31 Ways for 31 Days”…so throughout the month of March, leading up to National LGBT Health Awareness Week, we are encouraging LGBT New Yorkers and the organizations that serve them to educate, advocate and organize around LGBT health and wellness in all its various forms—physical, sexual, spiritual, emotional and social. We’d love it if all LGBT people everywhere would join us in considering March to be LGBT Health Month by implementing good health practices into their daily routines.

We at CWAC believe it is very difficult to have healthy spiritual practices if we do not take care of our physical being as well as we can, and also that it is tough to be physically healthy if we are spiritually hurting. So, following this article, you will find a series of daily posts reminding us that good health care runs the gamut from taking some very simple steps to some exceedingly important, complex ones. I hope you read them all in good physical, spiritual and emotional health.

For more information on LGBTQ health issues visit Rainbow Access Initiative and choose from the menu options on the left side.

For more information on spititual health for LGBTQ visit CWAC’s website or click on the “email us” button and contact me.

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 A 2005 survey of gay/bisexual men found that 39% had never disclosed their orientation to their healthcare provider and studies have shown similar patterns among lesbian/bisexual women.  If you have never come out to your provider, do it.  If you don’t feel comfortable doing so or think you’re provider will react negatively, seek out a provider with whom you can have a more honest and healthier relationship.

For more information on LGBTQ health issues visit Rainbow Access Initiative and choose from the menu options on the left side. Of particular interest might be the section on obtaining the services of culturally-competent health providers – it explains why special attention is needed for  LGBTQ healthcare in the first place.

For more information on spititual health for LGBTQ visit CWAC’s website or click on the “email us” button and contact me. CWAC’s anti-heterosexist, anti-racist stand for spiritual justice might just provide the safe place you’re looking for.

THOUGHTS FROM THE PARTICULAR ….

 We live and work in the reality of everyday struggle and celebration. Life on our street is in touch with people wondering how we will pay our bills, especially the utilities. We wonder if we can get employment before we fall too far behind in debt. Jobs are hard to find; even harder is keeping the car repaired. The on street parking is an altogether different challenge with every-other-day restrictions dedicated to the 9:00 o’clock hour. A lot of the time we spend our physical energy on transportation. Our homes belong to landlords many of whom are slow or even unresponsive to our requests, quite like the police when we call about an altercation. And the density of families and neighbors living close together brings relationship issues through the walls with easy flow to the street.

It might be easiest just to ignore the neighbors for pseudo privacy, a way to focus attention on my own issues. I may dress up and leave my street – get miles away – leaving the problems of the day behind for a moment, possibly to go worship. But more easily I can shut my door, turn up my noise and drown out the disappointments, fears of failure; my hopes exhausted just like my body by too much exercise in reaching for opportunities just beyond my grasp. (more…)

Regular doctors visits or the use of health screening clinics enable all of us to keep an eye on some significant markers of general health.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S, and checking your cholesterol and blood pressure is an important part of your healthcare. Many cancers, e.g. colorectal, prostate and others, can be screened for by health care professionals. Get your levels of these and other important indicators checked regularly by an LGBT-friendly healthcare provider. 

Learn to understand what these levels are and how to manage them through diet, exercise and, if necessary, medication(s).

For more information on LGBTQ health issues visit Rainbow Access Initiative and choose from the menu options on the left side. Of particular interest might be the section on obtaining the services of culturally-competent health providers – it explains why special attention is needed for  LGBTQ healthcare in the first place.

For more information on spititual health for LGBTQ visit CWAC’s website or click on the “email us” button and contact me. CWAC’s anti-heterosexist, anti-racist stand for spiritual justice might just provide the safe place you’re looking for.

Rainbow Access Initiative, Inc., last year initiated an award for professionals/companies who have advanced the availability or quality of health care or human service delivery in the Capital Region of New York. The award will be repeated this year and is set to become an annual event.

Falling within Pride week, the award dinner draws together people from many vocations and walks of life to raise awareness of the difficulties that some people who are LGBT  face in accessing basic care, as well as recognize those in our community who help dismantle the barriers that exist. Those in attendance at the awards dinner and those who access RAI resources represent a cross-section of the Capital District LGBT community and their allies, which is virtually identical to those reached by CWAC.

The awards are funded in part by selling sponsorships in the event. The sponsorships are offered at various levels, up to $5,000. The $250 sponsorship level is what we recognize as most helpful in making a connection – a connection between CWAC as a body of people working as Being the church and RAI as a group of dedicated people looking for a way to flourish.

Honorary committee sponsor ($100)

  • Business or Individual will be listed as Honorary Committee member on invitation, program and event signage
  • 1 event ticket

Bronze sponsor ($250)  As above plus:

  • Identified as Bronze Sponsor on all event advertising, invitations, posters and program
  • Company listed on all signage at the event
  • Online listing in Capital Region Health Resources Directory
  • 2 event tickets

In Our Own Voices, Inc., the Harm Reduction Coalition, Gay Men’s Health Crisis, and the Mocha Project, along with the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute will host

“Unity Through Diversity: New York State Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People of Color Health Summit”

at the Desmond Hotel and Conference Center

in Albany, New York on October 15-18, 2009.

Over 150 scholars, administrators, activists and students are expected to gather for this important event to reflect on the current status of health and wellness, substance abuse, spirituality and political advocacy within the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People of Color (LGBT POC) community. The Summit will feature presentations, workshops, and panel discussions on the importance of meaningful involvement of LGBT POC and vulnerable subpopulations in our communities in policy development and implementation, physical and mental health issues, and on innovative and/or effective interventions and research that address and educate people about the health and well-being of LGBT POC in New York State.

Rev Jenna Zirbel, under the auspices of the Church Within A Church Movement, has submitted two abstracts for consideration. The first, “Everyday Sacred in Unity in Diversity”, is a continuation of last year’s workshop. The goal is to find ways in which LGBT, especially POC, can recognize fulfilling and inspiring spirituality in their faiths of origin and reconstruct spiritual practices in their daily lives lived in the presence of the divine. The second, “The Trevor Project – preventing suicide 24/7”, is to facilitate discussion about young LGBTQ suicide rates and tools available to combat it.

More information can be found at http://www.unitythroughdiversity.com/