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Federal agency distributes books on homosexual youth health care

WASHINGTON (BP)–The federal government is distributing a book on physical and mental health care for homosexual young people to health centers and AIDS programs it funds.
The Health Resources and Services Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is distributing 4,000 copies of the book, “Lesbian & Gay Youth: Care & Counseling,” to federally supported community and migrant health centers, as well as AIDS programs funded under the Ryan White CARE Act, a HRSA spokesperson confirmed. The books will be disseminated to more than 750 such centers and programs, according to The Washington Blade, a weekly newspaper for the homosexual community in the capital.
The purpose of the book, according to a July 24 report in The Blade, is to help health-care providers understand the physical and mental needs of homosexual adolescents.
According to The Blade, the book has three divisions: “An overview of gay adolescents’ needs and experiences, including the development of a gay identity; a discussion of gay adolescents’ physical and mental health concerns; and an examination of HIV infection in adolescents, including risk behaviors, prevention, care and guidelines for HIV counseling and testing.”
Peter LaBarbera, a Family Research Council policy analyst who tracks the homosexual rights movement, said, “I don’t think the average American would want his tax dollars spent on confirming kids in homosexuality. You’re telling (adolescents) it is normal, and this is scandalous.
“I think it’s astounding that the government would spend millions of dollars to stop kids from smoking because it’s dangerous to their health and then turn around and spend thousands and thousands of dollars on homosexual books … promoting another” dangerous behavior, especially for men, he said.
LaBarbera, who bought a copy of the book at a homosexual-oriented Washington bookstore, said it discusses “transgendered kids.”
“This is crazy that the homosexual movement is talking about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered youth,” he said, but “that our government would be getting behind these concepts is frightening. I think it’s just very irresponsible to promote the idea of gay youth.
“This whole gay youth agenda is just moving so fast. We’re being swept up in it.”
The book’s authors are Caitlin Ryan and Donna Futterman, both lesbian health activists, The Blade reported.
“Health and mental health providers need to know the questions to ask and the answers to give when working with adolescents who are questioning their sexual identity or ‘coming out’ as lesbian or gay. We wrote this book to save lives,” Ryan said, according to The Blade.
Many health-care providers “don’t ask about an adolescent’s sexual orientation, even though the (American Medical Association) … recommends that they routinely ask about sexual identity,” she told The Blade.
According to the newspaper, Futterman said, “The vast majority of gay kids haven’t come out. The health-care provider really has to be the one to initiate a discussion and make it clear that they understand there are kids who are questioning their orientation and that questioning doesn’t mean that you’re automatically going to be gay or bisexual.”
Ryan and Futterman decided to write the book after HRSA sponsored a conference in 1994 on the health needs of homosexual adolescents, The Blade reported. The text of the book originally was published last year in a journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.