Unraveling Health Disparities Among Sexual and Gender Minorities: A Commentary on the Persistent Impact of Stigma.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) populations experience disparities in health outcomes, both physical and mental, compared to their heterosexual and cisgender peers. This commentary confronts the view held by some researchers that the disparate rates of mental health problems reported among LGBT populations are the consequences of pursuing a particular life trajectory, rather than resulting from the corrosive and persistent impact of stigma. Suggesting that mental health disparities among LGBT populations arise internally, de novo, when individuals express non-heterosexual and non-conforming gender identities ignores the vast body of evidence documenting the destructive impact of socially mediated stigma and systemic discrimination on health outcomes for a number of minorities, including sexual and gender minorities. Furthermore, such thinking is antithetical to widely accepted standards of health and wellbeing because it implies that LGBT persons should adopt and live out identities that contradict or deny their innermost feelings of self.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Valdiserri, RO; Holtgrave, DR; Poteat, TC; Beyrer, C

Published Date

  • 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 66 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 571 - 589

PubMed ID

  • 29297774

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1540-3602

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/00918369.2017.1422944


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States