DALLAS, Sept 8, 2021 — The American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all, and its Revive initiative, a fundraising and education initiative for content creators, livestreamers and gamers, is raising awareness of the barriers to cardiovascular health and mental well-being of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex and asexual (LGBTQIA+) community with the first-ever “Live Fierce Island” Charity Stream-a-thon on the streaming platform Twitch.
From September 9 through 13, participating streamers will play Animal Crossing on Twitch – giving their islands Pride-inspired makeovers – while raising funds for the American Heart Association with their followers who tune in. Streamers’ Pride-themed islands underscore the need to celebrate Pride year-round, and also bring awareness to the unique risk factors that LGBTQIA+ adults experience which contribute to poor cardiovascular health.
The week-long event will culminate on September 13 at 2 p.m. PT/4 p.m. CT/5 p.m. ET with a finale event hosted by drag queen, legend, icon and star, Trixie Mattel, who will review the final Animal Crossing island designs and lead a roundtable discussion with streamers to discuss mental and cardiovascular health in the LGBTQIA+ community and celebrate the streamers’ work at twitch.tv/TrixieMattel.
“It’s a pleasure to be involved with such an amazing cause,” said Mattel. “I have family members and loved ones that have struggled with depression and other mental health issues, and I’ve seen how hard it can be. I’ve been learning a lot about the health disparities that exist in the LQBTQIA+ community and the mental health effects on cardiovascular health, and I’m thrilled to be doing my part to raise awareness and critical funds for the lifesaving mission of the American Heart Association.”
There is mounting evidence that LGBTQIA+ adults experience disparities across several cardiovascular risk factors compared with their cisgender, heterosexual peers. According to a recent American Heart Association statement, Assessing and Addressing Cardiovascular Health in LGBTQ Adults, unique healthcare barriers for LGBTQIA+ people include:
- LGBTQIA+ adults report experiencing high rates of discrimination in health care settings.
o More than half (56%) of LGBTQIA+ adults and 70% of those who are transgender or gender non-conforming report experiencing some form of discrimination from a health care professional.
- Fear of discrimination can translate to LGBTQIA+ adults delaying primary or preventive care, or lack of trust toward health care professionals.
- LGBTQIA+ adults experience multiple, interrelated psychological and social stressors, including exposure to discrimination and violence. While data on how these stressors affect their cardiovascular health is limited, there is evidence that mental health has direct effects on physical health, and stressors can contribute to increased inflammation, which impacts heart health.
o LGBTQIA+ populations may face unique stressors, such as family rejection and anxiety over concealment of their sexual orientation or gender identity. 
o LBGTQIA+ adults in historically excluded racial or ethnic groups all experience higher poverty levels, insecure housing, and fewer health care options than their white LGBTQIA+ peers.
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives for all – including the LGBTQIA+ community. For more information on Live Fierce Island and the Revive initiative, visit here.
Research News about LGB/LGBT/LGBTQ people and heart health:
- AHA Scientific Statement: Discrimination contributes to poorer heart health for LGBTQ adults
- Many transgender people who receive hormone therapy have unaddressed heart disease risks
- Ideal heart health less likely among lesbian, gay and bisexual adults
- Social support may reduce heart, stroke effects of discrimination in transgender and gender non-conforming adults
- LGB adults may be less likely to take statins to prevent heart disease
- Aging LGBT seniors a major public health issue
- Beloved San Francisco drag queen spreads message of heart health
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1
For media inquiries please contact:
Tim Stergiou-Allen: firstname.lastname@example.org, 214-706-1173
For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)
 Lamda Legal. When health care isn’t caring: Lambda Legal’s survey on discrimination against LGBT people and people living with HIV. 2010 on behalf of the American Heart Association Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing; Council on Hypertension; Council on Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health; Council on Peripheral Vascular Disease; and Stroke Council. Assessing and addressing cardiovascular health in LGBTQ adults: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation. Accessed August 28, 2020. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1161/CIR.0000000000000914 Page 8
Meyer IH. Prejudice, social stress, and mental health in lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations: conceptual issues and research evidence. Psychol Bull. 2003;129:674–697. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.129.5.674 2010 on behalf of the American Heart Association Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing; Council on Hypertension; Council on Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health; Council on Peripheral Vascular Disease; and Stroke Council. Assessing and addressing cardiovascular health in LGBTQ adults: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation. Accessed August 28, 2020https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1161/CIR.0000000000000914 Page 2
 Badgett, M.V L, Choi SK, Wilson BDM. LGBT poverty in the United States: a study of differences between sexual orientation and gender identity groups. October 2019. https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/National-LGBT-Poverty-Oct-2019.pdf?utm_campaign=hsric&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery. Accessed August 28, 2020. on behalf of the American Heart Association Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing; Council on Hypertension; Council on Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health; Council on Peripheral Vascular Disease; and Stroke Council. Assessing and addressing cardiovascular health in LGBTQ adults: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation. Accessed August 28, 2020 https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1161/CIR.0000000000000914 Page 3