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Forum: How Discrimination Damages Health In LGBTQ Communities

More than half of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Americans report they have experienced violence, threats or harassment because of their sexuality or gender identity, according to a recent poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. And nearly 1 in 5 LGBTQ adults has avoided seeking medical care for fear of discrimination.

Discrimination not only keeps some people away from needed health care, studies show it can create lifelong stress, leading to chronic health problems like heart disease and depression.

These and other issues related to LGBTQ discrimination will be highlighted in an expert panel discussion Wednesday, March 21, to be live-streamed here at 12 p.m. ET, as part of The Forum at the Harvard Chan School.

Our panel will look at the impact of these experiences on physical and mental well-being — and at what can be done to help.

Joe Neel, deputy senior supervising editor on NPR's Science Desk, will moderate the discussion with:

  • Logan Casey, Research Associate, Harvard Opinion Research Program,
  • Ashland Johnson, Director of Public Education and Research, Human Rights Campaign,
  • Kenneth Mayer, Co-Chair and Medical Research Director, The Fenway Institute, and
  • Sari Reisner, Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

This webcast is part of an ongoing series, "You, Me and Them: Experiencing Discrimination in America." The series is based in part on a poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit

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