Posts Tagged “LGBTQIA+”
5 Podcast Episodes to Listen to During Pride Month
Eating disorders thrive in secrecy and shame. For those with LGBTQ+ identities who have an eating disorder, the sense of isolation is often compounded by the unique stressors and added layers of stigma and prejudice facing this historically marginalized community. A large population of LGBTQ+ individuals with eating disorders often fail to seek treatment or face having their struggles dismissed, in part, because of a lack of cultural competency and representation in eating disorder media.
Eating Disorders Create Unique Challenges in the LGBTQ+ Community
Pride Month reminds us to promote awareness and education around the spectrum of unique challenges that the LGBTQ+ community faces, including a greater risk of developing an eating disorder. Existing research shows that beginning as early as age 12, gay, lesbian, and bisexual teens may be at higher risk of binge eating and purging than their heterosexual peers. For example, gay males are thought to only represent 5% of the total male population, but among males who have eating disorders, 42% identify as gay. And, according to one study, females who identify as lesbian, bisexual, or mostly heterosexual were about twice as likely to report binge eating at least once a month in the past month.
Accanto Health’s Statement of Support for the Transgender Community
We at Accanto Health are deeply concerned by the bills being introduced in state houses across the country that single out LGBTQ+ individuals – many specifically targeting transgender youth – for exclusion or differential treatment. The ACLU is currently tracking 420 anti-LGBTQ+ bills in the U.S. These laws are aimed to limit access to medical care for transgender people, parental rights, social and family services, student sports, or access to public facilities such as restrooms, and unnecessarily single out already marginalized groups for additional disadvantage.
As an inclusive healthcare organization, we strongly believe in every individual’s right to access high-quality care. Emerging data show transgender individuals are at particularly increased risk for eating disordered behaviors. We believe that exclusionary legislation, barriers to care, and societal ostracization is harmful and unjust and will only cause these trends to increase. We are saddened by lawmakers’ refusal to listen to best practices set by the American Psychological Association and American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as many others. We at Accanto stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community and strive to create a space that is safe for all, where all are treated with dignity and respect.
Eating Disorders in the LGBTQIA+ Community
There is a stereotype that those with eating disorders are primarily young, thin, cisgender white women. Here at Veritas Collaborative, we know this stereotype is untrue and potentially harmful. Eating disorders affect people of any race, gender, sexuality, age, socioeconomic status, or size. In fact, studies show that the LGBTQIA+ community experiences eating disorders just as much, if not more than their non-LGBTQIA+ peers. LGBTQIA+ is an umbrella term that includes several sexual and gender identities. We will be speaking about this group generally, but we know that it encompasses a diverse mix of identities and experiences.
In this blog, we will discuss eating disorders in the LGBTQIA+ community, including unique challenges, barriers to treatment, and ways healthcare providers and treatment centers can create an inclusive environment.
Eating Disorders in the Transgender Community
According to an analysis based on federal and state data, 0.6 percent of individuals (roughly 1.4 million people in the United States) identify as transgender. Identifying as transgender means that someone’s gender identity or gender role differs from those typically associated with the sex they were assigned at birth. The number of people coming out as transgender has gone up in the past 10 years and it is believed to be because these individuals are finding it increasingly safer to do so.
The LGBTQ+ community is at higher risk of developing an eating disorder, which can be associated with the likelihood of past trauma and difficulties of coming out. Research shows that transgender children are at greater risk for developing eating disorders than their cisgender peers (individuals whose gender identity and gender expression match the sex they were assigned at birth). In this article, we will discuss body image issues in the transgender community, why transgender individuals are more likely to develop an eating disorder, how transgender people may experience limited treatment options, and how we can help.
Eating Disorders Create Unique Challenges in the LGBTQIA+ Community
Pride Month reminds us to promote awareness and education around the spectrum of unique challenges that the LGBTQIA+ community faces, including a greater risk of developing an eating disorder.
Episode 36: Eating Disorder Recovery as a Non-Binary Person with Debbie Seacrest
Debbie Seacrest, PhD, is a non-binary math professor who is passionate about advocating for mental health and showing that eating disorders affect a variety of people.
In this episode of Peace Meal, Debbie speaks to their eating disorder experience as a non-binary person. They share how negative body image in early childhood morphed into anorexia in adolescence, and how body image continued to be relevant to their gender journey and eating disorder recovery. Crediting karate, self-advocacy, and social connection as important tools in recovering from their anorexia, they reflect on the progress they’ve made and offer strategies for others suffering. They also share how the eating disorder community can be more gender-affirming and competent in the language we use and services we provide—a generous and important contribution given the disproportionate rates of eating disorders among trans and/or non-binary people.
How To Be An Ally
While many people believe eating disorders predominately affect teenaged, straight, cisgender females, disordered eating is a disease that can affect anyone, at any age and from all walks of life. This includes any race, socioeconomic status, as well as any gender identity or sexual orientation. In fact, research has consistently shown that eating disorders disproportionately impact the LGBTQIA+ community. Gay males are thought to represent only 5% of the total male population, but among males who have eating disorders, 42% identify as gay.
Eating Disorders and the LGBTQ+ Community: A Disproportionate Impact
When the majority of people think about those diagnosed with eating disorders, the stereotype that comes to mind is usually a straight, white, female adolescent. Based on our own experience at Veritas Collaborative, the reality is that eating disorders can cross any cultural, racial, sexual orientation, or financial lines, affecting people of virtually any walk of life.