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Standing With & Supporting LGBTQ+ Communities at Dell Med

June 30, 2021

As many of you know, LGBTQ+ Pride Month is celebrated each June to commemorate the Stonewall riots of 1969 that marked the beginning of the gay liberation movement. As this year’s Pride Month comes to an end, we hope everyone has taken time to pause, reflect and rejoice in the achievements, 52 years later, of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities. Despite this progress, we must also recognize the continuous struggles with violence, victimization and discrimination that LGBTQ+ communities still face.

The Dell Med Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, or ODEI, celebrates the sex and gender diversity of the LGBTQ+ communities within Dell Medical School and the community at large and stands in solidarity with the present inequities these communities face. In particular, trans and queer youth of color face higher rates of suicidality and heightened rates of other mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and substance use disorder than their cisgender, heterosexual youth counterparts.

Austin Pride will host its annual parade and festival on Aug. 14. Dell Med will again march alongside other members from the UT Austin community, including individuals representing Texas Athletics, the Gender and Sexuality Center, the School of Nursing, the Texas Exes Pride Alumni Network and many others. Contact Jesús Ortega, director, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, to learn more.

Also, everyone is welcome to participate in events hosted by the Queer Medical Association at Dell Medical School, or QMA, led by Edy Adams, second-year medical student; Danny Bamrick-Fernandez, second-year medical student; and John Saxton, second-year medical student.

QMA’s mission includes:

  1. Building a queer health professions pipeline, beginning with the creation of a pre-health mentorship program.
  2. Bringing our community closer together with social events and networking opportunities.
  3. Increasing visibility through the creation of an Out List, a public directory of the queer community at Dell Med. If you’re interested, you can view or join the list.

QMA is open to all Dell Med students, trainees, staff and faculty. If you’d like to join, provide your email to be added to QMA’s communication channel where events and updates are posted. If you’re interested in serving as a faculty advisor or staff liaison, please indicate your interest. If you need assistance or have any questions, reach out to John Saxton.

This blog post is authored by Rene Salazar, M.D., on behalf of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Dell Medical School.