The other diversity: The cost of being GLBT in America's health care

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Acculturation into mainstream America is a difficult task for any individual who identifies with subcultures. A subculture can be viewed as a cultural subgroup that is differentiated by social status, ethnic background, religion, socioeconomic status, or sexual orientation that collectively unify the group outside the primary culture (Berube, 2001). American standards of beauty, wealth, happiness, or general lifestyle can create a dichotomous reality for individuals that identify with contrasting diversities. Many gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered individuals (GLBTs) identify with lifestyles or belief systems that contrast with mainstream America, such as straying from traditional familial roles. It is therefore vital to develop an understanding of the impact of identifying as GLBT within the mainstream American culture. More alarming is the dearth of research addressing health and mental health concerns of the GLBT population. In particular, mental health issues are exacerbated by socialization and marginalization from the mainstream community. As a result, GLBTs are less likely to seek health care regarding physical and mental victimization and other aspects that require medical or mental health attention. Therefore, future directives must address methods of handling GLBT issues and minimizing social marginalization while empowering GLBTs to take control of their health and mental issues in a supportive and connected medical environment. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (chapter)

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Diversity in mind and in action, Vol 3: Social justice matters.

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This chapter was published in Diversity in mind and in action, Vol 3: Social justice matters., Pages 37-53.

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