National LBGT Cancer Network calls out major media

PROVIDENCE, R.I., March 11, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Recent news stories in Newsweek and The Telegraph on a purported connection between gender-affirming hormone therapy and cancer are misleading and dangerous, according to the leadership of the National LGBT Cancer Network, a nonprofit organization that works to improve the lives of LGBT cancer survivors and those at risk through education, training, and advocacy.

“The articles artificially elevate rare case reports as scientific ‘evidence’ of a connection between these therapies and cancer,” says Scout, executive director of the network. “Simply repeating a provider’s hypothesis that a treatment might relate to cancer does not constitute scientific evidence. The stories further misconstrue expected realignment of a person’s cancer risk with their true gender as more ‘evidence’ of problems with gender affirming therapy. For example, comparing a trans woman’s risk of breast cancer to men is deliberately misleading.”

There is no body of scientific evidence supporting a hypothesis that gender-affirming hormone therapy increases cancer risk, Scout says. “Attempting to draw this connection is a baldfaced attempt to misinterpret real science and use inflammatory language to fearmonger. There is no fire here; there isn’t even a spark.

“Most dismayingly, there is a major problem related to cancer among trans people that is not being covered by the media: how discrimination is a barrier to trans cancer screenings, diagnosis, and treatment.”

Happy Pride month! 🏳️‍🌈

Get ready to see lots of rainbow flags, including the newer Progress Pride Flag (as used by American Airlines) that includes black and brown stripes representing people of color and those lost to AIDS, and and white, pink, and light blue stripes representing the colors of the Transgender Flag.

You’ll also see Pride-themed merchandise everywhere this month, from Adidas’ new Love Unites collection, Apple’s new Pride watchbands, the Rainbow Disney collection of everything from masks to stuffed animals, Harry’s Razor’s limited edition rainbow razor, Lego’s Everyone is Awesome set, and much much more.

All of the brands mentioned above dedicate resources to LGBTQ nonprofit organizations as part of their promotions. That’s not the case with every brand that jumps on the Pride bandwagon, though. Brands that stamp a Pride flag on a product but take no positive action (or worse, use it to cover up harmful stances) will rightly be called out for “rainbow-washing.”

My colleague Tina Cannon, president and CEO of the Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce, gets dozens of calls and emails in the week leading up to Pride month from non-member companies wanting to plan something–anything–for Pride at the last minute.

Her response: “So you want to plan for something happening in literally a few days because you failed to plan in advance and now are freaking out? Maybe start by being more intentional for next year about your engagement with the LGBT community all year round.”