LGBT Health - Youth

youth groupAdolescence, from about 12 to 24 years of age, is a time of growth and change that prepares young people to take on additional responsibilities associated with adulthood. This period is marked by social and cognitive growth, as well as puberty and other physical changes. While adolescence can bring about exciting self-discovery, it can also be accompanied by difficult exploration of identity. For LGBT youth, experiencing stigma can often compound the challenges already associated with adolescence.

Because adolescents tend to be physically healthy, much of adolescent health care is focused on social and behavioral health issues and on helping adolescents adapt to changes in their bodies. While LGBT youth have many of the same medical and developmental concerns as their non-LGBT peers, they also experience some unique concerns. In Wisconsin, LGBT youth have higher rates of suicide attempts, smoking, and initiation of sex at an early age compared to their non-LGBT peers. For example, youth who engage in same-sex sexual contact are more than 3 times as likely to attempt suicide and twice as likely to smoke daily compared to youth engaging in only opposite-sex contact.

Life can get so much better...

If you or someone you know is facing an emotional or suicide crisis, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

The following selection of resources is intended to increase awareness of health issues and disparities affecting LGBT youth. Use the left-side navigation bar to learn more about any of the health concerns addressed below.

Hyperlinks marked with the State iconicon indicate Wisconsin resources.

GENERAL RESOURCES

Harmony Cafe
Description: Nonprofit coffee house promoting community diversity, including LGBT youth socialization and social support.
Resource availability: Northeast Wisconsin

LGBT Health and Development Program
Description: LGBT health and related topics for youth, sponsored by Northwestern University.
Resource availability: Internet

LGBT youth health information
Description:
CDC's webpage on general LGBT youth health information.
Resource availability: Internet 

LGBT Youth of SE WisconsinState icon
Description:
Programs, including tobacco cessation, scholarships, and resources, for LGBT youth.
Resource availability: Southeast Wisconsin

Q-BlokState icon
Description:
Provides direct housing assistance and case management services as well as community connections to homeless LGBT youth. 
Resource availability: Milwaukee

Q2 -- Chippewa Valley LGBTQ Youth Group State icon
Description:
Chippewa Valley based LGBTQ youth group for anyone aged 12-18 who identifies as LGBTQ or as an ally. Q2 provides a safe environment to talk about all things LGBTQ and an opportunity to meet other LGBTQ youth from the area.
Resource availability: Eau Claire

Valued FamiliesState icon
Description:
Social networking and education opportunities for LGBT parents.
Resource availability: Fox River area of Wisconsin

Youth Resources 
Description: Uses peer educators to educate LGBT youth about a range of health issues, from HIV to substance abuse.
Resource availability: Internet

See all General Resources 

ALCOHOL AND DRUGS

Alcohol addiction
Description:
Symptoms of alcohol addiction and statistics about alcohol use among LGBT people, published by the Pride Institute.
Resource availability: Minneapolis, Minnesota; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Internet

Drug abuse
Description:
Symptoms of drug abuse and statistics about drug use among LGBT people, published by the Pride Institute.
Resource availability: Minneapolis, Minnesota; Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Pride Institute
Description:
LGBT drug and alcohol addiction treatment center.
Resource availability: Minneapolis, Minnesota; Fort Lauderdale, Florida

CANCER

Cancer facts for gay and bisexual men
Description:
Information on risk, prevention, and detection of lung, skin, prostate, colon, anal, and testicular cancers among gay and bisexual men; published by the American Cancer Society.
Resource availability: Internet

Cancer facts for lesbian and bisexual women
Description:
Information on risk, prevention, and detection of lung, skin, colon, breast, and gynecological cancers among lesbian and bisexual women; published by the American Cancer Society.
Resource availability: Internet

National LGBT Cancer Network
Description:
Information on population-specific cancer risks, optional electronic screening reminder.
Resource availability: Internet

HIV/AIDS

AIDS NetworkState icon
Description:
Legal, life care, prevention, and support group information for people living with AIDS.
Resource availability: South Central Wisconsin

AIDS Resource Center of WisconsinState icon
Description:
Medical center, social services, and prevention programs.
Resource availability: Wisconsin

Wisconsin HIV/STD/Hepatitis C Information and Referral CenterState icon
Description:
Fact sheets, testing referrals, and external links.
Resource availability: Internet

MENTAL HEALTH

Anxiety disorders in LGBT populations
Description:
Information on anxiety disorders in LGBT populations, published by the Pride Institute.
Resource availability: Minneapolis, Minnesota, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and internet

Depression in LGBT populations
Description:
Information on depression in LGBT populations, published by the Pride Institute.
Resource availability: Minneapolis, Minnesota; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Internet

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Description: A 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.
Resource availability: Internet and toll-free hotline: 1-800-273-TALK [8255]

The Trevor Project
Description: The Trevor Project is a leading national organization focused on crisis and suicide prevention efforts among LGBTQ youth.
Resource availability: Internet and toll-free hotline: 1-866-488-7386

SEXUAL HEALTH

General STD information
Description:
The CDC's webpage about STDs, including a testing site locator, statistics, and treatment guidelines.
Resource availability: Internet

STI and HIV Testing in Youth
Description:
Information provided by a peer educator about the emotional, logistical, and legal aspects of HIV and STD testing in youth, published by Youth Resources.
Resource availability: Internet 

Wisconsin HIV/STD/Hepatitis C Information and Referral CenterState icon
Description:
Information and service finder for STD diagnosis and treatment.
Resource availability: Wisconsin

TOBACCO

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Tips from Former Smokers
Description:
Real stories of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) people who are suffering from smoking-related diseases and disabilities.
Resource availability: Internet

National LGBT Tobacco Control Network
Description:
Quit strategies and resources, outreach information, statistics, and scientific literature.
Resource availability: Internet

VIOLENCE/SAFETY

AARDVARC (An Abuse, Rape and Domestic Violence Aid and Resource Collection) 
Description: Information on domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault, including state laws and how to recognize and react to abuse and locate resources.
Resource Availability: Internet

Gay Straight Alliance for Safe SchoolsState icon
Description:
Leadership development for youth and skill development for GSA advisors and other secondary school educators.
Resource availability: South Central Wisconsin, Internet

Northwest Network
Description: LGBT information and support regarding abuse and violence (based in Seattle, Washington).
Resource availability: Internet 

StopBullying.gov
Description: Information from various government agencies on how kids, teens, young adults, parents, educators and others in the community can prevent or stop bullying.
Resource availability: Internet

Last Revised: May 28, 2015