A new study finds Missouri’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community has poorer health outcomes and less access to healthcare than the general population.
The Missouri Foundation for Health study finds LGBT individuals are more likely to engage in unhealthy activities like smoking and binge drinking, and are less likely to carry health insurance and receive preventive care. Health policy director Ryan Barker says discrimination is a big factor.
“You could be fired just for being gay in the state of Missouri. And that stress on a daily basis, of being discriminated against, there’s nothing you can do about. You just have to deal with that, which does have an impact on your health,” said Barker.
Non-discrimination and anti-school bullying policies would help bridge those health disparities, Barker says. The study also suggests recognizing same-sex relationships.