June is Pride month, and what has traditionally been a month marked by years of month-long celebrations, has recently come under intense scrutiny, division, and hate. The first Pride dates back to 1970 marking the 1 year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots where after years of abuse and brutality the LGBTQ+ community decided to fight back.
Fast forward 53 years—
As a member of the LGBTQ+ community and as a healthcare leader, I wanted to share my thoughts on Pride month, why it’s important, and why it deserves to be celebrated. Somewhere (actually in a LOT of places) around the world, there are confused kids, teenagers, and even adults who still think being dead is better, or easier, than being gay. So many people in the community have been in that exact spot, and it wasn’t ok then, and it definitely isn’t ok now. Politicians are grandstanding on gay and trans rights for political gain. That too, is not ok. This is not a political issue, this is a human issue. And, as a healthcare leader and a physician, these human issues are important not only socially but also in our profession.
This month allows us to celebrate the struggles and the triumphs we, as a community, have overcome. Yes, there are still people who look with disapproving stares and shift uncomfortably in their seats, but this month allows us to not focus on them, but rather focus on celebrating each other and all of the people who care, who love, and support us. This month is a time to drown out the negative and stand together to support those who have not only overcome, but also who may still be struggling—to raise up those who feel less than or marginalized. This month is time to say—and be reminded—that you are exactly who you are meant to be. This month affords us all the opportunity to support each other and to allow our allies to stand with us in support. Love is bigger than politics and hate.
This month is also an opportunity to see which organizations authentically and fearlessly support the LGBTQ+ community and I am proud to be part of, and lead, an organization that does. To lead a clinical team, to provide identity-centered care, and to work with partners (such as Violet) to create an inclusive and equitable workplace is fulfilling. We will continue making space and providing high-quality care for all people.
Always know there are people ready to support you, socially, clinically, and as a friend— during Pride Month and every month.