Throughout Pride Month we wanted to hear from members of our QMG Family. We had the opportunity to chat with Patience Excellence Coordinator Will Hill and learn more about what Pride Month means to him and why inclusive healthcare is important for the LGBTQ+ community.
“Pride Month to me is a time of celebration and recognition. There are so many people who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community, and many more who have friends or family who are in that community. We all come in many different colors, shapes, and sizes and we can celebrate the beauty in each and every person,” Hill said. “Those who may have felt afraid or ashamed for who they are can feel happy and proud, and be surrounded by others like them. We can also celebrate just how far we’ve come. However, it’s also an important time to recognize the progress we still need to make and recognize the people who helped us get here. People from the most marginalized and mistreated communities have truly made such a large impact and they deserve recognition.
“I think the biggest thing is to remember how much we take for granted. My husband and I would not have been able to legally marry even 10 years ago. We are surrounded by loving family and friends, but even we still feel nervous and hesitant when in public — ready for judgment or insults at any turn. It still happens! Some people don’t know what it’s like to watch TV/movies and hardly ever see someone who is just like you, much less heroes or important characters just like you. It’s not about who is special and who is not. Everyone individual is special. However, Pride Month is a time of celebration for so many people who have not always been loved, appreciated, or respected for who they are — for their own specialness. Even if you’re not in the LGBTQ+ community, recognize that at LEAST one person you love absolutely is.”
Will shared that inclusive healthcare is important for the LGBTQ+ community and needs to be a given for any medical facility or provider. Being in the LGBTQ+ community affects your physical, emotional, and mental health in unique ways, and having providers capable of recognizing and treating that is essential.
“Respectful and benevolent healthcare needs to be accessible to everybody, and everybody has different needs. Again, I think people take for granted the fact that their doctor has quite possibly seen plenty of patients with similarities to them,” Will shared. “There are a lot of trans people, for example, who still struggle to find a doctor who is able to help them and will treat them with dignity and respect. Plenty of providers, nurses, and other healthcare staff are also part of the LGBTQ+ community too!”
There are important health and wellness initiatives to bring to attention to this month for the LGBTQ+ community. One health initiative is knowing your HIV Status and getting tested regularly. HIV and AIDS have devastated lives around the world, but there is treatment available so people can improve their health, prolong their lives, and significantly lower the risk of transferring HIV to others. If you are positive, catching it early is key. There is even medication now that can be used for prevention.
“Another important thing I stress to everyone at this time is remember to love and pay attention to yourself — including your body and mental well-being. Our bodies cannot function well if we are mentally unwell, and vice versa,” Will noted. “Don’t be ashamed or scared if you recognize these things need tending to — seek help and seek treatment. Recognize that the healthier we are for ourselves, the better we can be there for our loved ones.”
Thank you, Will, for sharing your story and what Pride Month means to you, for you, and for the LGBTQ+ community.