Philly’s Drexel U to Offer Certificate in LGBT Health

Drexel University in Philadelphia, Penn. is offering, what is believed to be, only the nation’s second certificate course in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT)Health . To start, Professor Robin Brennan has the class engage in an exercise to give them a glimpse of what is like to be LGBT:

PHILADELPHIA — Take five or 10 minutes, the professor said, and write down things that you love, like, need or enjoy.

Now pair up with someone you don’t know and spend 20 minutes introducing yourself. Talk about whatever you want. But don’t mention anything that you wrote down.

Try going on for a half-hour without a word about the most important things in life. Imagine a full day.

“It might be difficult,” said instructor Robin Brennan. “That’s what this course is about. That is just a glimpse of what it is like for somebody who is LGBT” — lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.

The course is about LGBT health disparities, many of which — such as higher-than-average rates of suicide, drug addiction, and smoking — are linked to greater stress. Fear of sharing personal information, even with a doctor, doesn’t help.

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