Photo by Marta Branco
Table of Contents:
“How do I put on a condom?”
“Is birth control the only form of contraception?
“Can I get STIs if I have multiple sex partners?”
Imagine a world with limited resources and sites to look for those answers, let alone find a reliable and trustable one. How frustrating or miserable would that be? We have observed that more and more such resources are available for the general population. Unfortunately, this cannot be said the same for people of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Lack of LGBTQIA+ inclusive sexual health information
Being able to access dependable sexual health information is essential for everyone, but that does not seem to be the case for the LGBTQIA+ community. It has been observed over time that members of the LGBTQIA+ community are often excluded from both general and sexual health and wellness information.
This trend can also be observed in the current sex education curriculum offered at schools, which is almost exclusively heteronormative and does not address the needs of the LGBTQIA+ community.
With this exclusion, people from the LGBTQIA+ community find themselves lacking the knowledge they need and are likely to turn to online resources that may be medically inaccurate and misleading (Rabbitte, 2021). The consequences of unreliable and incorrect information, or lack thereof, place LGBTQIA+ members at a higher risk of facing negative health and sexual health outcomes (HRC Foundation, 2021).
Barriers to seeking help led to poorer health status
As mentioned by Llamas (2017) and Rabbitte (2021), both adults and adolescents of the LGBTQIA+ community are more at risk of facing higher unique physical and mental health issues. Health issues such as suicidal thoughts, drug and alcohol abuse (Hafeez et al., 2017), cancers, obesity, unprotected sex, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), bullying, and violent behaviours (Albuquerque et al., 2016). All of these may be further complicated and can lead to poorer health status due to the barriers that LGBTQIA+ members face in the current healthcare system and services. Such barriers include poor access to healthcare, the lack of inclusive healthcare information, discrimination and prejudice against them (Albuquerque et al., 2016), as well as the insensitivity to the unique needs of this community (Hafeez et al., 2017).
These barriers, in return, have formed a vicious cycle. A cycle that prevents LGBTQIA+ members from getting the knowledge or resources they need, leading to issues in sexual health yet still being unable to seek help due to the lack of healthcare integration and access to accurate information, which eventually led to even poorer sexual health status.
12 Recommended Sexual Health and Wellness sites that can help you out
Below, are 12 sites that we have sourced out, which primarily focus on supporting and helping members of the LGBTQIA+ community with inclusive sexual health information.
Mental Health Resources
The Trevor Project A reliable online site that focuses on mental health issues, suicide prevention, and crisis intervention for LGBTQ people. The Trevor Project also addresses other LGBTQ-related topics like sexual orientation, gender identity, and more.
National Queer & Trans Therapists of Color Network (NQTTCN) Committed to transforming mental health for queer and trans people of colour (QTPoC), NQTTCN help by providing community resources with a list of crisis hotlines, online support, directories, and organisations that will be useful for individuals who are unsure of where to seek help from.
Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) Founded by a group of teachers, GLSEN aims to help LGBTQ students to be able to learn and grow in a school environment that is free from bullying and harassment. With that mission in mind, GLSEN came up with a list of programs for schools that can help provide a safe and affirming environment for students. Additionally, there are even resources for both students and educators, as well as GLSEN's own research articles.
Human Rights Campaign America’s largest civil rights organisation that aims to achieve LGBTQ equality. With a site that is not only filled with a wealth of information and resources for LGBTQ+ members, but for their allies as well. Some more known topics include coming out, sexual health, and resources for LGBTQ+ Youth.
Sexual Education for LGBTQIA+ Adolescents Resources
AMAZE Recognised and known for their AMAZE-ing, fun, and animated videos which helps to make sex education more memorable. Taking the exciting route, AMAZE has chosen to transform medically accurate sexual health-related topics into engaging and age-appropriate videos to answer whatever questions youths want to know. AMAZE makes sure that their content and topics like sex, body, and relationship are always inclusive to not leave anyone out. This sex education site is also great for adults like parents, teachers, and healthcare providers to communicate effectively about sex and sexuality with the adolescents in their life.
BISH A comprehensive sex education site for teenagers over the age of 14 regardless of gender, sexuality, background, beliefs, and values. BISH addresses and provides guides to various sexual health-related topics that can range from basic sex information to topics that are not talked through. Topics such as ‘Is Masturbation better than sex?’, ‘What to do when sex is awkward?’, and ‘BISH Quiz- First-time sex’.
Brook UK's leading sexual health and wellbeing charity for young people under 25. Brook aims to support both adolescents and young adults by helping them to understand their sexual health and well-being. They are known to cover several fundamental topics that are in relation to one’s sexual health, well-being, as well as sex. The concise and detailed information provided serves as a good guide for beginners. Additionally, Brook also does provide a list of services to seek help, and real personal stories shared by others.
Fumble A digital sex education site that aims to provide support for young adults up to the age of 25 who are of all genders, sexualities, and backgrounds. Led by a group of young people who talks and create exciting relatable content on intimacy, relationships, identity, health, and wellbeing. However, what makes Fumble stand out is that they have taken a unique approach by integrating their podcast into some of their content under the ‘Fumble Talks’ section. Content covered by Fumble ranges from tips to sexual health services, to personal relatable issues.
LGBTQIA+ Sexual Health Resources
Terrence Higgins Trust An organisation that supports people who have been impacted by HIV and poor sexual health. Terrence Higgins Trust believes in an inclusive environment and makes sure that the content generated is reliable. Hence, what will be more suitable than having their own trans and non-binary staff to write topics that are for trans and non-binary people? Information drawn is from community focus groups and professional trans people working in the field of sexual health and HIV.
Healthline Though Healthline may not be LGBTQ nor sexual health focused, the information they provide is LGBTQ inclusive. Content curated in Healthline is not only comprehensive but extensive as well. Each well-written article is medically fact-checked by clinicians and medical professionals in that field. Under their sexual health section, it can be seen that they cover basic fundamental topics like 'What is an Erection?', to interesting topics like 'Is being Too Wet a Turn-Off?'. Proving to be a great site for anyone of any age, gender, sexuality, or background!
Planned Parenthood Similar to Healthline, Planned Parenthood content is not LGBTQ nor sexual health focused, but is LGBTQ inclusive. Even as a digital platform, they are able to take on the roles of a healthcare provider, an educator, and an advocate that delivers dependable health and sexual health information. Content generated serves as a good groundwork for individuals who just started on their sexual health journey. Though topics talked about may not be as in-depth as Healthline, Planned Parenthood does cover relatable and everyday sexual health or well-being issues that help people to understand themselves better.
LGBT Foundation LGBT Foundation is here to support the needs of the LGBTQIA+ community, as they believe that there should be a fair and equal society where LGBTQIA+ members can thrive as well. Topics raised by LGBT Foundation hope that they can enable LGBTQIA+ members to improve their health, sexual health, and wellbeing. The table of content talked about ranges from Domestic Abuse to Sexual Health, to Pride in Ageing, and many more. To make it more accessible, they have even provided downloadable files such as this sex guide series.
We hope this article has been useful or at least helpful for you. As mentioned, these are just a few of the sites that we have sourced out to assist and support the LGBTQIA+ community! This list may not be the most updated, but if you do have any other suggestions or recommendations, please comment down below so we can update this page accordingly.
Additionally, these sites may not cater to everyone's needs. Hence, for those who can't find what you need here, we recommend you to search for other localised sites that might suit your needs better!
Alencar Albuquerque, G., de Lima Garcia, C., da Silva Quirino, G., Alves, M. J., Belém, J. M., dos Santos Figueiredo, F. W., da Silva Paiva, L., do Nascimento, V. B., da Silva Maciel, É., Valenti, V. E., de Abreu, L. C., & Adami, F. (2016). Access to health services by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons: systematic literature review. BMC international health and human rights, 16, 2. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12914-015-0072-9
Hafeez, H., Zeshan, M., Tahir, M. A., Jahan, N., & Naveed, S. (2017). Health Care Disparities Among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth: A Literature Review. Cureus, 9(4), e1184. https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.1184
HRC Foundation. (2021). A Call to Action: LGBTQ Youth Need Inclusive Sex Education. Human Rights Campaign. Retrieved June 24, 2022, from https://www.hrc.org/resources/a-call-to-action-lgbtq-youth-need-inclusive-sex-education
Llamas, M. (2017). LGBTQ+ Guide | Health Risks, Prevention, Treatment & Help. Drugwatch. Retrieved June 24, 2022, from https://www.drugwatch.com/health/lgbtq/
Rabbitte, M. (2020). Sex Education in School, are Gender and Sexual Minority Youth Included?: A Decade in Review. American journal of sexuality education, 15(4), 530–542. https://doi.org/10.1080/15546128.2020.1832009