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Celebrating Pride, Remembering Those Who Brought Us This Far

6/16/2018 – You can tell it’s June because the streets of Ohio are filling with rainbow flags, club mixes, and waving drag queens. Equitas Health staff and volunteers have already greeted many of you at Pride fests in Dayton, Cleveland, Lancaster, Newark, and Athens; we look forward to gathering with more of you in the coming weeks.

We celebrate Pride in June to commemorate the Stonewall Uprising, which marked a turning point in the way our community understood itself—no longer willing to hide, or submit, or bend to oppression. The events of last year’s Pride parade in Columbus marked another such turning point, as a new generation of protesters asked us to witness the great disparity of freedoms afforded to different members of our community and recognize that our lived experience varies widely across the divides of race, class, age, and gender identity.

The year that followed has been humbling. As the largest LGBTQ-focused medical and behavioral health provider in the region, we at Equitas Health understand what is at stake if our services are not truly accessible to all members of our community. We have considered what we can do to make sure our tagline “care for all” is not just a phrase, but a working reality.

This year has also been sobering as our collective advances have come under attack by the Trump administration. From the rollback of LGBTQ health data collection and nondiscrimination regulations, to attacks on the Affordable Care Act and DACA, both of which acutely affect members of the LGBTQ community, to the military ban that excludes transgender people from serving, to scores of judicial appointments that jeopardize decades of protective case law, our community is living through an assault that threatens us all. There is work to do, within and without.  We must continue fighting together—fighting for our lives, our healthcare, visibility, for us!

In the coming weeks we will share with you some of the goals we’ve set for ourselves this year, but in the meantime, it’s Pride, so we’ll be celebrating. We celebrate the magnificent variety of voices and experiences that rise up from the breadth of our community, and we celebrate the legacy of activism that continues to carve out the space for LGBTQ people of all backgrounds to live healthy and satisfying lives.

Find us at upcoming Pride events, and we’ll celebrate together!

March on!

Bill Hardy
President & CEO
Equitas Health