Amy McDonald is on a mission to inspire queer women. Starting on January 20, the Happy Healthy Lesbian will be running her free, fabulous, five day telesummit from her favourite wellness experts. Why? To guide us lovely ladies on how to be the happiest and healthiest selves we can be. Every day, participants will get info on eating well, managing money, body loving, dealing with stress and anxiety, doing relationships, and traveling the world. Plus there might be some free stuff thrown in there too.
This is more than just addressing medical issues. The HSE acknowledge that in order to promote good health, we need a combination of education, social change, and empowerment to truly influence individual behaviour patterns. So why is a health and wellness campaign created by queer ladies better than any other health and wellness campaign?
Firstly, lesbians have higher rates of tobacco use, alcohol and substance abuse, overweight and obesity, and mental health issues than their heterosexual counterparts, which can all impact on the development of other more serious conditions, including certain cancers. Amy McDonald thinks that the norms of queer culture aren’t helping.
According to Amy:
I think some of the stereotypes that exist let us stay comfortable in a space that’s perhaps not our best. So thinking about my generation, if you’re a butch lesbian and Gen X it’s almost acceptable to be obese.
But is that really good for your health outcomes? Does that make you feel good about yourself? If it does, awesome, but if it doesn’t then maybe it’s something to think about.
Secondly, medical and wellness professionals don’t necessarily know how to deal with us. Health programs aimed at sexual minorities have not been developed in this country to the same extent as other minority groups, and healthcare providers tend not to be well educated on the LGBTQ community. Let’s be honest, its difficult to take someone’s advice seriously when they make uneducated and stereotypical assumptions about your life. Its so easy to brush all information off with a “What do they know?”
The rare health campaign that is geared towards the LGBTQ community tends to focus on sexual and mental health, and is often focused more on men than women. Lesbian and bisexual women are much more likely to miss out on essential information about their health simply because they are left out of the conversation.
The queer community are less likely to seek out healthcare services in the first place, so health and wellness promotion must come from within the community. In order to educate, one must empower. People don’t interact with generalised information, they want help specific to their own lives. This is where the advantage of “by queer women for queer women” comes in.
There are some specific issues that, no matter how broad-minded your mainstream health or wellness coach, or relationship coach may be, there’s still something missing if they can’t completely empathise with where you’re coming from
Click here to sign up for the Happy Healthy Lesbian Telesummit.