Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Health

Among the APA's goals is to expand psychology's role in advancing health and in decreasing health disparities. The introductory summary of the Institute of Medicine's 2011 report, "The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People: Building a Foundation for a Better Understanding," states:

"Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals experience unique health disparities. Although the acronym LGBT is used as an umbrella term, and the health needs of this community are often grouped together, each of these letters represents a distinct population with its own health concerns. Furthermore, among lesbians, gay men, bisexual men and women, and transgender people, there are subpopulations based on race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, geographic location, age and other factors."

Compounding this is that there are at present no large scale population data sets that include information about sexual orientation and gender identity, and LGBT people have been the subject of relatively little health research. In addition to these issues, LGBT people face barriers to equitable health care that profoundly affects their overall well-being.

The information and resources provided on this page represent an ongoing effort by the APA's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns Office to bring together recent and ongoing work both in government agencies and the non-profit health care community to address these issues.

Public Policy and LGBT Health

When Policy Gets Under the Skin (In a Good Way): The Case of LGBT Health
Research finds that whether a jurisdiction has non-discrimination policies in place protecting LGBT people impacts health outcomes. 

Organizations, Publications and Specialized Websites

  • The National LGBT Health Education Center provides educational programs, resources, and consultation to health care organizations with the goal of optimizing quality, cost-effective health care for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. The center is a part of The Fenway Institute, the research, training, and health policy division of Fenway Health, a Federally Qualified Health Center, and one of the world's largest LGBT-focused health centers. The center is dedicated to the lifelong learning of those who work in health care and health education. 

  • Gay & Lesbian Medical Association

  • Healthcare Guild
    The Healthcare Guild is a grassroots organization of medical and mental healthcare professionals dedicated to improving healthcare services for gender and sexual minorities. The website serves as a consumer healthcare resource and referral network for consultation, advocacy and education. 

  • Mautner Project
    The National Lesbian Health Organization 

Specialized Website
  • LGBTData.com
    This website serves as a no-cost, open-access clearinghouse for the collection of sexual orientation and gender identity data and measures.

Recent Publications


  • End LGBT Invisibility in Health Care Now! Do Ask, Do Tell
    The Obama administration has taken significant steps to end LGBT invisibility in health care.
    Huffington Post
    Feb. 25, 2013

  • New LGBT Health Journal Launching in 2013
    The journal will assess the healthcare needs of each population that comprises the LGBT community, and identify gaps in knowledge as well as priority areas where policy development and research are needed to achieve healthcare parity for sexual and gender minorities.
    Press Release

  • Addressing the Health Needs of LGBT Missourians 
    Foundation report sheds light on LGBT health disparities in the state
    The Missouri Foundation for Health
    August 2012


  • LGBT Health Research and the NIH: Testimony to IOM
    Testimony of Clinton W. Anderson, PhD, on behalf of APA before the Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Health Issues and Research Gaps and Opportunities, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Science, Feb. 1, 2010.
  • Lesbian Health Research
    Testimony of Charlotte Patterson, PhD, on behalf of APA on Lesbian Health Research before the Committee on Lesbian Health Research Priorities, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Science, Oct. 6, 1997. 


Ethnic Minorities

Government Agencies 

Health and Human Services (HHS)
Institute of Medicine (IOM)
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Veterans Affairs (VA)