LGBTQ Health Report

Purpose:  This survey was conducted to assess the prevalence of tobacco use, other chronic disease risk behaviors, and determinants of health in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) communities of Vermont — the catchment area of the Pride Center of Vermont.


Methodology: Brief, anonymous, Internet-based surveys were completed by LGBTQ people in Vermont. From October 2014 to September 2016, LGBTQ participants were purposively sampled using both direct and indirect recruitment strategies. Direct recruitment strategies included sending personal emails and Facebook messages to LGBTQ people. Indirect recruitment strategies included geographically targeted and LGBTQ-targeted Facebook advertisements. Participants were informed that the data they provided were being collected anonymously and that they could stop the survey or refuse to answer any questions at any time. At the conclusion of the survey, participants were given the option to be redirected to an unlinked database where they could input their contact information to be entered into a lottery drawing for gift card incentives.

  • Sociodemographic Information:
    226 LGBTQ individuals completed this survey. 

    Five percent of the Vermont adult population identifies as either lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or another sexual identity (LGBT). Six in ten (61%) LGBT adults identify as female, while 39% identify as male. This is higher than the heterosexual population where about half of the population is each gender. The LGBT adult population in Vermont is younger than the heterosexual population. More than half of LGBT are ages 18‐44 (66%), which is statistically higher than the 39% seen among those who are not LGBT. Vermont adults who are LGBT are as likely to be a racial or ethnic minority, compared with heterosexual adults (8% vs. 6%).

    • Anonymous 
    • Internet based
    • Direct-recriutment
    • Indirect-recruitment

    3%= 13-18
    16%= 19-24
    31%= 25-34
    21%= 35-44
    29%= 45 or Older

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    Sexual Orientation:
    50.5%= lesbian/gay
    30.3%= queer/pansexual
    19.2= bisexual

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    Gender Identity:
    32.5%=Cisgender Men
    43.4%= Cisgender Women 

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    * Racial demographics have not been provided, but will be updated when the information becomes available.

  • LGBTQ Acceptance:

    Acceptance is a big struggle for many LGBTQ identified individuals. When discussing the level of acceptance participants felt, we looked into the Minority Stress Theory. The Minority Stress Theory is shown as a trickle down effect; first beginning with some source of pervasive stressor. Examples of pervasive stressors can include; abuse, torture, prejudicesness, homophobia, bullying, etc. This can cause extreme chronic pyschological stress, which than leads to an increase in health risk behavior along with several other negative outcomes.  

    Acceptance is important among:

    ~Family        ~Friends       ~Workplace        ~Neighborhood         ~Medical Providers         ~School          ~ETC...

    Health Care Access & Quality

    Screen Shot 2017-12-14 at 12.53.58 PMHealth Coverage:
    91%= Survey Participants that have health coverage
    93%= Adult Vermonters that have health coverage
    77%= Adult LGBTQ individuals in the U.S have health coverage
    85%= Adult individuals in the U.S have health coverage

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    Percent of respondents who fear negative reactions from their healthcare providers:
    50%= Transgender/Genderqueer
    10%= Cisgender men
    10%= Cisgender women

    29% of respondents have had a medical provider react poorly to their LGBTQ status.
    79% of respondents stated they were out as LGBTQ to at least one health care provider.

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    Community Health Issues:
    ~ Mental Health              ~ Suicide           ~ HIV

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    Quality of Health:
    3/5 of respondents report wanting to eat healthily
    65% of respondents report showing interest in active living styles 

    Obese vs. Overweight

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  • Percent who seek medical help/treatment:

    In the past 12 months, 39.4% of participants received psychological counseling or treatment.

    In their lifetime, nearly two-thirds (63.7%) of the sample had taken medicine or received treatment for mental health problems. 

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    Vermont LGBT adults are more than twice as likely as heterosexual adults to report poor mental health, a statistically significant difference. More than half of LGBT adults have been diagnosed with a depressive disorder, statistically higher than the 21% among non‐LGBT adults. Poor physical health is also significantly more likely among LGBT adults than heterosexual adults (18% vs. 11%).


    In Vermont,

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    Of people who are HIV+ in Vermont, 53% are men who have sex with men (MSM).

    In terms of testing, the prevalance was extremely low:

    41.3%= cisgender men
    21.3%= transgender/genderqueer men

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    The CDC recommends that high-risk groups get tested AT LEAST once per year.

    LGBT adults, particularly men, are at an increased risk of HIV infection. More than half of the Vermont adult LGBT population has ever been tested for HIV and 22% were tested in the last year. Reported ever and recent HIV testing rates are significantly higher among the adult LGBT population than among those who are heterosexual.

    Among both sexes, LGBT adults are significantly more likely than their counter parts to have received HIV testing, both ever and in the last year. While LGBT men are more likely than LGBT women to have received HIV testing, differences are not statistically significant.

    Nearly two in ten (18%) LGBT adults reported participating in a high HIV transmission5 risk behavior in the last year. This is significantly higher than the 5% seen among heterosexual adults. Male and female LGBT adults report statistically similar rates of participation in these behaviors (22% vs. 15%), and LGBT adults of both sexes report higher rates of participation than their corresponding non‐LGBT counterparts (7% males, 3% females).
  • Tobacco Use

    32% of respondents use any kind of tobacco or nicotine product
    55% Transgender People
    42% Cisgender Women
    37% Cisgender Men
    33% of LGBTQA adults in the US use tobacco products

    Compared to 20% of adults in the US
    - 26% of LGBTQ Vermonters smoke
    - Compared to 18% of LGBTQ non-vermonters

    Opinions on Tobacco Use:
    ¾ of respondents were unappreciative that tobacco ads specifically advertised LGBTQ communities
    Only 33% of respondents thought LGBTQ people smoke more than the general population
    50% of respondents believe that pride events should be smoke free


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    95% want to quit

    1 in 5 respondents don’t know how to reach out for help
    32% would seek aid from a health care provider
    10% would use a quitline
    16% would use a class or program

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    More info to come about substance use in Vermont.


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Because tobacco use greatly affects the health of LGBTQ people, the lack of knowledge about LGBTQ smoking disparities and tobacco cessation programs are of particular concern. The following steps would help address this problem:

 Create LGBTQ-tailored smoking cessation groups;
 Train quitline providers to be LGBTQ friendly and affirming;
 Create LGBTQ-tailored quitline promotion campaigns to raise awareness
for this cessation resource; and
 Create LGBTQ-tailored tobacco awareness campaigns to raise the knowledge level about LGBTQ smoking disparities and help people make healthier decisions.

Because many LGBTQ participants experienced LGBTQ-unfriendliness by a medical provider and perceived a high-need for LGBTQ-related cancer programs, enhancing the LGBTQ-friendliness of medical environments would have many benefits. The following steps would help address this need:

 Train medical providers to be LGBTQ culturally competent and to
provide LGBTQ competent health care; and
 Design and disseminate LGBTQ-tailored materials that help make medical environments more LGBTQ-friendly. To monitor the health of LGBTQ participants in the Vermont, LGBTQ health surveillance data should be routinely collected.

More Information: