From Marginalization to Resilience: Journey of LGBT Health in Lebanon

LebMASH board members Dr. Sarah Abboud, Dr. Suha Ballout, Dr. Omar Harfouch, Dr. Hossam Mahmoud, and Johns Hopkins School of Public Health intern Katie Wright presented a workshop at the 35th GLMA Annual Conference on LGBT Health. The workshop was titled “LebMASH’s Journey from Marginalization to Resilience.” The workshop showcased LebMASH’s path to resilience by advocating and contributing to LGBT health through education, research, and policy. Our journey was shared in a thematic cluster of four presentations:

In the first presentation, we discussed LebMASH’s history of resilience by highlighting accomplishments and challenges encountered over the past five years in the areas of research, education, and advocacy.

In the second presentation, we described LebMASH’s major accomplishment in organizing the 2017 National LGBT Health Week in Lebanon that emphasized the negative impact of marginalization and discrimination on the health of local LGBT communities.

In the third presentation, we shared findings from our study to better understand the current state of transgender health in Lebanon from a stakeholders’ perspectives. We summarize results from interviews about service accessibility we conducted with healthcare providers, non-governmental organizations working in transgender health, and local pharmacies.

In our fourth presentation, we provided a program evaluation of an interdisciplinary training workshop on LGBT health conducted during the 2017-LGBT Health Week. The workshop included nursing, medical, pscychology and social work students.

In sum, health concerns for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals are underrepresented in social, educational, healthcare, and political domains. Lebanon as a country, is considered relatively liberal; however, LGBT individuals continue to be marginalized and face multitudes of challenges.