2024 Grant Cycle

The Lesbian Health Fund

The Lesbian Health Fund (LHF), a program of GLMA, improves the health and well-being of LGBTQ+ women and girls through funding rigorous scientific research. Since its inception in 1992, LHF has funded 131 research projects, awarding over $1.2 million in grants. Our grants are crucial catalysts to larger, multi-million dollar studies funded by federal agencies.

And today, LHF remains the only research fund dedicated solely to advancing the understanding of the unique health needs of LGBTQ+ women and girls. There is still a great need to understand how social determinants, especially race and ethnicity, influence the health and wellbeing of LGBTQ+ women and girls.

Our Impact

Groundbreaking Research

Research is underway on the following issues:

  • Reproductive technologies and access for racialized sexual and gender minority people
  • The health of sexual and gender minority people of color living with polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Self-compassion interventions for stress in sexual minority women
  • A longitudinal pilot study on psychosocial factors and depressive symptoms among gender minority adolescents

Educating Providers and Scientists

Important results from LHF-funded studies have been published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at professional conferences on topics including:

  • Alternative insemination methods
  • Education of primary care providers on lesbian health and cultural sensitivity
  • Health risks and barriers to health care
  • Health care access for older, rural lesbians
  • Breast cancer risks and treatment
  • Lesbian domestic violence
  • Mental health of lesbian mothers and children of lesbian parents
  • Osteoporosis and bone density loss
  • Prevention of sexually transmitted diseases
  • Substance use issues

Launching Further Studies and Leveraging Millions of Dollars

LHF grants have been crucial to propelling promising research questions to the attention of other, larger granting agencies. The small grants LHF provides allow researchers to test concepts and collect pilot data that must be done before other agencies will consider funding larger studies. Receiving an LHF grant is often a catalyst to receiving much larger grants from other agencies. Our grantees have been awarded millions of dollars from federal agencies and research funding organizations to pursue groundbreaking research in lesbian health that would not have been possible without the initial funding from LHF.

Dedicated Support for LGBTQ+ Women and Girls' Health

LHF centers and uplifts communities whose lived experiences and health are impacted by sexism, misogyny, transmisogyny, and/or misogynoir using an anti-oppressive approach in pursuit of health justice. LGBTQ+ health research is still generally underfunded, but only 6.5% of LGBTQ+ research funded by the National Institutes of Health includes lesbian women despite LBQ women representing 55% of the LGBTQ+ adult population, and LBQ and questioning girls comprising 66% of the LGBTQ+ youth population.

We've expanded the LHF community over the last three decades to reflect the LGBTQ+ community's growth and increased visibility; however, LHF remains committed to prioritizing research led by and for LGBTQ+ women and girls to address this disparity within our community.

For more information on LHF's work, click here