With the recent legislation passed by the Supreme Court declaring same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional on the national level, many LGBTQ activists are looking ahead at other issues impacting the community — from queer and trans youth homelessness to racial justice and from violence against the queer and trans community to another issue that's been in the news a lot lately: Healthcare. In order to better understand these issues, a new app called called PRIDE is conducting the largest LGBTQ health study in history. LGBTQ healthcare, like everything else, is improving slowly but surely — but we still have a long way to go. This study will hopefully get us there.
Though it's not clear yet how and when this information will be used, we do know that the free app aims to find out what health issues the LGBTQ community faces and finds most pressing. Surveys that will be administered by it include ones about HIV/AIDS, smoking, cancer, obesity, and mental health issues. The co-director of the study, Mitchell Lunn, said in an interview with BuzzFeed that he hopes this study will especialy shed light on issues surrounding the health of trans and bisexual communities, as those demographics are often understudied or ignored completely.
For people who are already using the app, It's important to remember that your answers won't immediately do anything, per se. The study is a long-term effort to collect data about the community, and it can be expected that a lot of people will participate due to its ease of access (thanks, technology!). For the curious, though, I downloaded the app to see what sorts of questions the surveys ask and what we can expect from the whole project. Here's what I found.
As soon as you open up the app, you're given the option to check out some consent information and learn more about the study by swiping right before you actually join in.
Swiping right tells you things like who the study is geared towards, where it was created, and why it's important.
After you press "Join Study," you're asked a variety of eligibility questions that will determine if you fit the demographic intended for the survey. It's important you answer honestly so researchers can get the most accurate data possible, so give it your all — there's no shame and no judgement here.
The app also offers a community discussion forum where people can post topics they want researchers to study and comment on ones that have already been posted. Some current topics include LGBTQ sex education in schools, mental illness in bisexual communities, the fetishization of lesbians in popular culture, and religious affiliation of LGBTQ folks, to name a few.
The app also asks users to complete a variety of surveys that address everything from demographic information, to health issues, to lifestyle.
The time commitment for the survey is relatively short per session, but a little longer when it comes to the big picture. You only have to devote about 15 minutes per week (about two minutes a day) for six to nine months. You can also withdraw from the survey whenever you desire.
The app is very serious about protecting your privacy and using secure databases so your information won't be leaked.
The benefits? Satisfaction that you're participating in something that will help you, your family and friends, and other members of the LGBTQ community who don't have access to healthcare and other resources they both need and deserve.
Learn more about the PRIDE study here, and if you're interested in participating and are an iOS user, it can be downloaded from the app store. Non-iOS users will soon also have access to the survey and forums.
Images: Maya M/Bustle (8)