The night was great and fun despite being about a supposedly boring (important) subject. I am grateful Women's Nite brought forth our awareness on such a highly neglected yet significant mainstream issue. I could tell that this session has opened-up everyone's perspective even mine, focusing primarily on women's health concerns and services especially as a LGBT person living in Singapore. I want to thank the volunteers at Women's Nite who presented for this platform. I may have only been there twice to your meetings but, even perhaps it has empowered me to act on good thoughts and making real long term decision that will make the world around me a better place. It has also empowered me to use my voice to contribute and share a few good ideas with a community I can call my own and learn from them altogether. My night ended up with more than a few (good) new friends. A big THANK YOU! to all the girls in Women's Nite. x:D I will definitely be back for more!
What does health and well being mean to you? Is it important to you? What are you currently doing to take care of your health and well-being? What would you like to do? What may be some challenges to your health and well being as a lesbian and bisexual woman? How do you ensure that you can financially afford to take care of your health and well being now and at various stages of your life? At various stages of your life, why do you think you will be taking care of? What can the community do to help in our health and well being? Keeping good health to women in the discussion involved drinking in moderation and exercising. But it also goes beyond that.
For some present in the discussion, having children, being able to consider practices of co-mothering, surrogate parenthood and adopting are also key to the well-being of lesbian women and women in same-sex relationships, keeping good familial and community ties through living together, buying property houses near to each other and doing shared communal activities such as cooking for each other and caring for each other when one falls ill emerged in our discussions.
Women suggested that we should come to a normative agreement on who is our de facto care-giver/immediate point of contact in face of any health issues/crisis. Perhaps what is most important is also making good passive income that gives one additional dividends to pay for food and rent, the buying of a good medical health insurance that provides a good coverage for all illnesses later in old age and making sure one goes for check ups when one is older.
HPV (human papillomavirus) is one of the top 9 cancers but doctors or medical professionals tend to forget about the specific needs or existence of lesbians in terms of general healthcare provision in Singapore. ALL women in their 40s and above are encouraged to have mammograms and sexually active women regardless of sexual orientation are encouraged to go for PAP smear tests.
Some challenges to these healthy practices include communication and relationship breakdowns in the realm of the family where such reminders and encouragements to go for checkups are usually carried out (by parents or other kin/relatives). Lesbian women who do not keep good relationships with their parents or family might forget or even oversee the need to do healthchecks at crucial points in their lives. In sum, lesbian women face greater health challenges, they are invisible in the healthcare sector, there are higher rates of smoking, drinking and illnesses (depression, eating disorders) amongst lesbians that we need to be aware of and take positive action.