Sleeping While Queer: LGBTQ+ Perspectives on Sleep Health + Sleep Disorders

June is Pride Month! Project Sleep is proud to highlight LGBTQ+ sleep health and insights from LGBTQ+ members of our community throughout the month of June.

What does LGBTQ+ identity have to do with sleep? More than you might think! Experiences shared by many LGBTQ+ people can affect sleep health and sleep disorders in challenging and often invisible ways. Research shows that anti-LGBTQ+ stigma and discrimination lead to sleep disparities.

Want to know more? Watch Sleeping While Queer: LGBTQ+ Perspectives on Sleep Health + Sleep Disorders to hear community members share how their identity and sleep are closely intertwined.

Watch Sleeping While Queer

Meet Our Guests

Alphonse Littlejohn (they/he) is probably asleep as you read this. Al came to his narcolepsy diagnosis after surviving a car accident in 2017 and has been fighting for his right to exist as a black and indigenous non-binary queer person ever since. Laughter and loving relationships are their favorite reasons for waking up every day.

Benny Manning (he/him) is a queer transgender man living with narcolepsy. He loves exploring new places, and he loves being at home in bed.

Edgar Castro Tello (he/they) is Venezuelan born and raised, but now calls Tampa, Florida his home, where he lives with his partner, Frankie. He was diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnea in 2016 at the age of 25; a diagnosis that was too late in the making. Edgar hopes his story will shed some light on the prevalence of sleep disorders in the gay bear community.

Elizabeth Wilson (she/her) lives in the North Carolina mountains. She is a poet, aspiring tap dancer, chronic illness advocate, and Rising Voices speaker living with type 1 narcolepsy with cataplexy. Elizabeth won the 2021 Patricia Dobler Poetry Award, and her first book, Windowpanes, won the 2021 Sappho’s Prize in Poetry.

Sean Psujek (she/her) is an educator and maker, often combining the two professions. She has used stretchy fabric to model a gravity assist maneuver, has made earrings from curve stitched hyperbolic paraboloids, and has ignited large quantities of rocket candy indoors. You can usually find her at the local makerspace creating.

We want to hear from you! If you are an LGBTQ+ adult age 18 or older, we invite you to participate in our LGBTQ+ Sleep Survey. Your insights will help inform our advocacy and awareness campaigns, and advance dialogue on LGBTQ+ sleep health in the legislative, research, and medical communities.

Project Sleep is dedicated to raising awareness about sleep health, sleep equity, and sleep disorders. Click here to learn more about our sleep equity work.

Are you living with narcolepsy or hypersomnia? Wake Up Narcolepsy offers a free online LGBTQIA+ support group. To join, make an account on and follow Wake Up Narcolepsy. From there you’ll be able to see all of the groups and register.

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