LebMASH Honored for LGBT Health Advocacy

On the 16th of September, LebMASH was the recipient of the 2017 LGBT Health Achievement Award at the 35th GLMA Annual conference on LGBT Health held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This prestigious award has honored, since 1999, different schools, organizations and individuals who contribute to the advancement and inclusion of LGBT health issues in health care.

LebMASH has been working on three fronts to advance the healthcare of LGBT individuals in Lebanon: Research, Education, Policy.

On the research front, LebMASH motivates and mentors students with interest in LGBT health research through the annual Break The Silence (BTS) student grant. BTS was awarded 6 students since 2012. With the publication of LebGUIDE, it is now easier to find LGBT-affirming and competent providers in Lebanon. Through collaboration with John Hopkins University, LebMASH conducted a field study on Transgender Health that will published as a supplementary document to the WPATH Standards of Care (SOC 7) that LebMASH has translated to Arabic earlier this year.

On the education front, LebMASH has been working to decrease the educational gap among healthcare providers. We organize an annual LGBT Health Conference, run annual student workshops, give lectures, educational sessions and media appearances, and translate medical resources to Arabic.

On the policy front, LebMASH launched the LGBT Health Week in Lebanon in 2017 to raise awareness and create a national conversation about LGBT health issues. LebMASH partners with other healthcare, governmental and non-governmental organizations to advance its mission. LebMASH played a major role in the depathologization of homosexuality in Lebanon in 2013 and exposing the futility and harm and “conversion therapy” or the practice of Sexual Orientation Change Efforts SOCE.

LebMASH’s experience is an exemplar of a journey of marginalization and resilience that led to successful and challenging outcomes with many lessons learned.