Experts: Mental Health Challenges Facing LGBTQ Community as Record Number of U.S. Adults Identify as LGBTQ

ALBANY, N.Y. (Feb. 25, 2021) – As the University at Albany continues its observation of “Gender & Sexuality Month,” several experts are available to discuss LGBTQ+ issues as they relate to mental health, discrimination and history.

According to a new Gallup survey released Wednesday, a record number of U.S. adults – 5.6 percent – identify as LGBTQ+. This is more than a 1 percent increase from the last poll in 2017.

“Gender & Sexuality Month” at UAlbany is designed to support students facing concerns in a variety of areas, including relationships, gender and sexuality, HIV/AIDS, relationships, identity and reproductive health.

Experts include:

Dolores Cimini, licensed psychologist and director, Center for Behavioral Health Promotion & Applied Research 

Quote: “Throughout history and even today, people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender face significant oppression and discrimination from society. Young people of traditional college age are affected by depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns as a result of living with these stressors every day. Through the education that we provide at the Center for Behavioral Health Promotion and Applied Research and the Middle Earth Peer Assistance Program, we hope to change the dialogue and move the dial on our knowledge and understanding.” 

Carl Bon Tempo, associate professor, Department of History 

Quote: “The change in the place of the LGBTQ community in American society over the last forty years has been remarkable. Understanding that change requires understanding larger historical changes in politics, public opinion, culture, and definitions of the nation’s identity. But, it is also important to understand that the victories of the LGBTQ community have been incomplete in some important ways and accomplished against often fierce resistance. If we’ve seen a revolution in this arena, it is an incomplete and unfinished one.”

Meredith Maroney, licensed psychologist and health promotion specialist, Counseling & Psychological Services 

Quote: "LGBTQ people experience health and mental health disparities as a result of the chronic stressors associated with living in a heterosexist and cissexist society. Within the LGBTQ community, transgender and nonbinary (TNB) people face daily experiences of marginalization, such as misgendering and lack of access to TNB-affirming resources, which may disproportionately impact their mental health. Having resources, events, public accommodations, forms, and policies that are intentionally TNB-inclusive is an important first step in making campus a more affirming place for TNB students."