Michael Crawford

Black Gay and Lesbians Have Fewer Mental Disorders than Whites

Filed By Michael Crawford | October 03, 2007 3:05 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: black gay men, Gay health, LGBT, race

There is some interesting data from a new study showing that Black gay men and lesbians have fewer mental disorders than white gay men and lesbians. How about that?

The study was conducted by the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Researchers initially thought that because of stress related to both racial and anti-gay prejudice that Black gays would have more mental disorders than our white counterparts. But that turned out not to be the case:

“These findings suggest that black lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals have effective ways to cope with prejudice related to racism and homophobia” noted Ilan H. Meyer, PhD, associate professor of clinical Sociomedical Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health and principal investigator of the study.

The study of 388 white, black and Latino New York City residents aged 18 – 59 who identified themselves as lesbian, gay, or bisexual is the first population-based study of its kind to examine the prevalence of mental disorders among black and Latino, versus white, lesbians, gay men, and bisexual individuals.

But, challenges remain as the study also found that more Black and Latino LGB people than whites reported attempting suicide. The suicide attempts occurred at younger ages and most likely coincided with issues around coming out which is a difficult period for most of us.

The higher rate of attempted suicide among LGBT youth of color speaks to the need for increased research and funding for effective programs to provide social and mental health support for the impacted youth.

More information on the study which will be published in the November 2007 American Journal of Public Health can be found here.


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It's funny how they put Latinos into the context of race, when in reality they are an ethnic category.

It's not so funny how silly "new studies" like these warp people's minds into believing that this sort of thing is truth. Only the last 2 sentences of the article are obvious and are in need of further exploration.

Well, that explains a lot.

I always blamed in on the pot.

jack jett

I dunno, Richard. If the study is complete, then it gives us a small bit of information to make up the complete picture of our community. There's not a lot of warping that needs to be done to convince folks that the LGBT community has members with mental illness. All communities have the problem.

"If the study is complete"
... And that to me is a big portion of the problem - That people will readily believe anything that is labeled "a study". Round up a few hundred people and 'BAM' you've got more fodder for people to blindly believe as fact. That's all I'm really saying here. Hey, let's do yet another study with a few hundred people, segregate them by color and whether or not they know "string theory" and then if more "red people" are seen as being more knowledgeable then "orange people" about the topic, then that means "red people AS A WHOLE" are smarter than "orange people".
Post these results and you'll see just how many people buy into it... I find it to be bad enough that people are LUMPED into such limited categorize, never mind THEN "comparing" people on the basis on such superficial things under the guise of "research" - Ultimately negatively labeling one "community/group/whatever" as "worse/better/ more or less" than the other.
It's just too much! Where does it end? Where do you draw the line???
Richard