Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - 37

health-related paperwork can be more inclusive of the LGBTQ+ population until formal
instruction is a part of medical training.
Additionally, outside of systematic barriers,
there are also community barriers for those
who identify as LGBTQ+. Family and faith
community rejection is common among those
who identify as LGBTQ+, creating more significant hardship during a cancer diagnosis.
Without family support, LGBTQ+ patients
may have increased difficulty getting basic
needs met, such as food security, a clean
space, transportation to chemotherapy and
radiation, and help to navigate everything
that comes with the cancer experience. Support networks may look different for LGBTQ+
cancer patients while undergoing treatment
and survivorship due to familial alienation.
'Found' or 'chosen family' are often used in
the community to describe people in their
lives who have taken on domestic roles after
experiencing separation from the family they
were raised within.
Community is a crucial element in navigating a cancer diagnosis, but there are very
few resources for inclusive cancer-specific
support for the LGBTQ+ population. While
cancer support organizations might not exclude people based on sexual orientation or
gender identity, they may not always be safe
for this population. Those within the LGBTQ+
community may feel like they cannot be their
authentic selves in these spaces. Through
LGBTQ+ cancer specific support communities, individuals can build friendships and
found family, share what they're going through
with people who understand on a deeper level
and share information on doctors who provide
affirming care.
Organizations that are working toward
eliminating these barriers both systematically and communally are Escape, the Transgender Cancer Patient Project and Queering
cancer. Escape primarily serves LGBTQIA+
individuals who have been affected by cancer
between the ages of 13 and 39. Escape currently provides the largest online LGBTQIA+
cancer support groups, and they have taken
measures to privatize their support spaces
to reduce the risk for those who are not out

to their families. Escape also offers a blog,
LGBTQIA+ education training for medical
professionals, online community events
through Zoom, and information on advocating for yourself as an LGBTQIA+ cancer
patient. Escape plans to expand their offerings in the future to include: a database outlining affirming doctors, a podcast, summer
camps/retreats, an app for the community to
connect, in-person support groups and an
allyship space for those interested in creating
equity for this population. Escape is also in
the process of obtaining non-profit status,
and they are currently accepting applications
for board members.
The Transgender Cancer Patient Project is
created by and for transgender cancer patients.
The Transgender Cancer Patient Project's
currently offers the largest transgender cancer
patient online support community. They also
provide zines about the transgender cancer
patient experience as well as zines that act as
fun educational materials about pronouns
and trans identity! The project works hard to
make all their resources accessible, and you
can read their zines online for free!
Queering cancer is a new database that
outlines hundreds of articles, websites, and
other resources, specifically for the LGBTQ2+
cancer community. Queering Cancer also
offers support groups and a blog for those
within the community. You can find Escape
and the Transgender Cancer Patient Project
in their database, as well as a wealth of other
information and supports.
All of these organizations are working
diligently to serve this population of cancer
patients and survivors, but it's not enough.
The protections for LGBTQ+ patients in the
United States, ensuring equal healthcare has
been stripped away and research is scarce on
cancer and the LGBTQ+ community. The fight
for equal rights is a constant uphill battle,
and there is so much more work that needs
to be done to create equity in this community. Cancer can happen to anyone, regardless
of sexual orientation or gender identity, and
we need healthcare and cancer support that
is inclusive of all people. How can you get
involved? l

For more information on the organizations mentioned and additional support, please contact
Escape at escape.yac@gmail.com or contact us through our website at escapeayac.org.

HAILEY JOHNSTON IS A HODGKIN'S
LYMPHOMA SURVIVOR AND
ACTIVIST WITH A BACHELOR'S
DEGR EE IN POLITICAL SCIENCE.
SHE CUR R ENTLY WORKS AS AN
ADVOCATE FOR DOMESTIC AND
SEXUAL VIOLENCE SURVIVORS,
AND SHE IS THE FOUNDER OF
ESCAPE: LGBTQIA+ ADOLESCENT
AND YOUNG ADULT CANCER
SUPPORT. ONCE A VACCINE
IS R ELEASED, AND COVID19
R ESTRICTIONS AR E LIFTED, SHE
PLANS TO PURSUE DOCTOR AL
STUDIES IN PUBLIC HEALTH AND
POLICY. HAILEY IS PASSIONATE
ABOUT SERVING THE LGBTQIA+
COMMUNITY AND CR EATING
EQUITY IN HEALTHCAR E SERVICES. 

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Elephants And Tea - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Elephants And Tea - December 2020

Contents
Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - Cover1
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Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - 1
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