New report provides needed data to address LGB health challenges in Hawaii
"The transgender community was mentioned in the beginning, but there was no data provided for them," LGBT Caucus Chair for the Democratic Party of Hawaii, Michael Golojuch Jr. said.
New statistics about the health of Hawaii's LGB community were recently published by the state.
Hawaii's Department of Health tracked the mental and physical health of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual individuals.
"We're 20 years behind the times, but finally glad that it's happening," LGBT Caucus Chair for the Democratic Party of Hawaii, Michael Golojuch Jr. said.
Golojuch says that the data published will provide the information needed to better address the unique health challenges the LGB community faces.
"It's going to be a very useful tool for us when we go back to legislature in 2018-- to try to get some bills passed, "Golojuch said.
In the first "Sexual and Gender Minority Health Report" the statistics for Hawaii's LGB community were drastically different than heterosexual subjects.
The report reveals 43 percent of LGB youth have been bullied either at school or electronically, and are also, twice as likely to smoke, binge drink, or experience sexual dating violence compared to their heterosexual peers.
While adults in the LGB community also face their own health concerns.
"It's four times more likely that an LGBT-- LGB for this purposes tried to commit suicide, compared to their straight counterparts," Golojuch added.
According to the report, more than 30,000 adults in Hawaii identify as either Lesbian, Gay or Bi-Sexual, as do one in ten public high school students.
While those groups were fully represented in the report, some feel not all were.
"The transgender community was mentioned in the beginning, but there was no data provided for them," Golojuch pointed out.
Hina Leimoana Wong-Kalu, also known as "Kumu Hina," says she's disappointed about the report, and worried that without the needed data the transgender community won't be able to address all health and social disparities.
"I would like to see that any further study be not only inclusive of the 'T' in LGBT, but also something comprehensive," Kumu Hina said.
The report addresses the lack of transgender data with the following text:
Limited data is available on individuals identifying as transgender and efforts are underway to continue or expand data collection efforts on gender identity in several state health surveys.
Kumu Hina says there is a large transgender community in Hawaii.
Which is part of the reason why she hopes the DOH will continue to update the data, with the "T" included.
"Hopefully this is not a one up and done.. that they do a follow up to help what legislation comes forward to protect our transgender community." Golojuch said.
To view the full report, click here.