Study analyzes the relationship between pets and their young LGBTQ owners

There are pros and cons to owning a pet as a marginalized individual.

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  • Since 2018, an ongoing study at the VCU School of Social Work has been analyzing the way pets impact the lives of young LGBTQ individuals.
  • From animal-assisted therapy practices to having therapy dogs in schools to reduce anxiety, there are many mental health benefits to animal-human interactions.
  • While the majority of current research is being focused on people who are not discriminated against or marginalized by society, this specific study could bring more clarity to how pets positively and negatively impact the lives of young LGBTQ people.
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Mexico City just outlawed gay conversion therapy. These cities have not

Mexico City, already progressive, takes more steps to protect its LGBT+ citizens.

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  • Mexico City has just issued a ban protecting its citizens from "conversion therapy."
  • "Conversion therapy" is a loose term covering a wide variety of "treatments" which claim to alter a person's sexuality.
  • With the law, Mexico City joins a small club of countries, provinces, and municipalities with such a law.
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LGBTQ+ community sees spike in first-time depression in wake of coronavirus​

Gender and sexual minority populations are experiencing rising anxiety and depression rates during the pandemic.

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  • Anxiety and depression rates are spiking in the LGBTQ+ community, and especially in individuals who hadn't struggled with those issues in the past.
  • Overall, depression increased by an average PHQ-9 score of 1.21 and anxiety increased by an average GAD-7 score of 3.11.
  • The researchers recommended that health care providers check in with LGBTQ+ patients about stress and screen for mood and anxiety disorders—even among those with no prior history of anxiety or depression.
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8 lesser-known orientations along the sexuality spectrum

Sexuality is fluid and it's important that people get to define it for themselves.

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  • Sexuality is fluid and ever-changing, and our understanding of it has come a long way since the invention of the Kinsey Scale in the 1940's.
  • Defining your own sexuality is important as it is a uniquely personal experience.
  • While creating labels for yourself can help you better understand your orientation and build connections along your sexual journey, it's important not to place labels on others. Be open to hearing how they see themselves and respectful enough to refer to them on those terms.
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How is diversity being weaponized?

Striving for diversity is honorable — but the focus should settle on something much deeper than phenotypic traits.

  • In efforts to achieve diversity, whether within workplace teams or elsewhere, leaders often focus on variation of identities regarding race, gender, sexual orientation, and physicality.
  • Evolutionary biologist Heather Heying urges that these efforts be taken a step further to focus on diversity of viewpoints and socioeconomic status — two forms of identity that are less apparent without thoughtful conversation.
  • Achieving diversity in these ways adds varying life experiences and opinions that enrich office or team culture and provide more innovative solutions.
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