National Eating Disorders Association
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October marks LGBTQ History Month, a time for reflecting on the community’s history as well as the LGBTQ+ civil rights movement. The community’s numerous accomplishments would not have been possible without the efforts of countless individuals working tirelessly for equality. Here are 10 individuals from the past and present who have made the world a better place—and have offered words of wisdom on confidence and taking up space. 

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Last week, I had the privilege of attending  In My Mind: A LGBTQ People of Color Mental Health Conference organized by DBGM. Held once a year in New York City, the conference centers the voices of LGBTQ+ people of color, particularly trans women of color. 

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It’s no secret that gender stereotypes are an omnipresent aspect of today’s society. A trip to a toy store, visit to a playground, or afternoon watching children’s television programs reveal that from an early age, girls are expected to be vulnerable and in need of protection while boys are supposed to be adventurous and independent. These harsh norms are often ingrained into children before the time they reach age 10. 

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This week, the bisexual+ community is being celebrated and recognized. #BiWeek aims to increase awareness and support for LGBTQ people who fall under the bisexual+ umbrella. LGBTQ people already have many issues of being misunderstood, mislabeled, bullied, and victimized. In addition to these issues, people who fall into the LGBTQ community are far more likely to suffer from an eating disorder. 

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Many of us from minority communities, whether it be our race/ethnicity, sexual orientation/gender identity, foreign/immigration status, or any other such factor, share an unfortunately common experience moving through the world: being the only one of your group in a room.

This “room” may be a classroom, a waiting room, a workplace, a party or event, or even a terminal at an airport. It doesn’t really matter what the context is, the experience remains the same.  

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Each year, it is reported that one person in the UK completes suicide every 120 minutes. Most of those people are men. And suicide and eating disorders often intersect; for example, those suffering with anorexia are 31 times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population. 

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I Love My LGBT Body is a Facebook page created by Leon Silvers, an eating disorder therapist in NYC, to spread awareness of eating disorders and body image issues in the LGBT community." Silvers photographs various members of the LGBT community and interviews them about their experience with gender, sexuality, identity, body image and eating disorders.

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An ally is defined by the Human Rights Campaign as “someone who is supportive of LGBTQ people. It encompasses non-LGBTQ allies as well as those within the LGBTQ community who support each other, e.g., a lesbian who is an ally to the bisexual community.”

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Here at NEDA, we find it vital to recognize the unique experiences of individuals from marginalized communities who are affected by eating disorders. In today's difficult climate, we've compiled a list of helpful resources, support posts, and self-care tips catered to our transgender and non-binary friends.

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June is Pride Month, a time to celebrate the successes and gifts of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) communities. As this month of celebration comes to a close it is the perfect time to reflect on the next steps if we want to keep making our world a safer, more just place for LGBTQ people. One important set of next steps is to build awareness and action related to eating disorders prevention among the most marginalized LGBTQ communities, including transgender and gender diverse people. 

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