June is Pride Month, a month where we hold space for, listen to, celebrate, and stand with our LGBTQIA+* friends, family, coworkers, patients, and community members. While our learning, advocacy, and allyship span beyond this month, we want to ensure that we are taking this time to shine a light on both the incredible accomplishments AND ongoing struggles of the LGBTQIA+ community.
*LGBTQIA+ is an inclusive term that includes people of all genders and sexualities, such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer, intersex, asexual, pansexual, and allies. While each letter in LGBTQIA+ stands for a specific group of people, the term encompasses the entire spectrum of gender fluidity and sexual identities.
Below are some things to help us all better honor this important month and come out stronger and more supportive for the rest of the year.
Click below for our calendar of daily actions to help you become a better LGBTQIA+ ally (all links are clickable). We encourage you to both participate in and share these actions!
Are you a patient or a fellow provider? Check out these LGBTQIA+ healthcare-specific resources!
Pediatric and Adolescent Transgender Health (PATH) Clinic
Gender expansive children and adolescents often have many questions. At the PATH Clinic, UW Health Gender Services experts are ready to provide answers about potential therapy options. They also try to connect patients with other children and families with similar experiences. If you'd like, feel free to your AP provider about a referral.
The National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center
Trans Advocacy Madison
Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce: RX Coupon Card
OutReach LGBTQ+ Community Center: AODA Resources
Most Recent Dane County LGBTQ+ Health and Wellness Profile (2016)
Wisconsin Department of Health Services: LGBTQ Health
2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health
Media company Participant talks to four people about their experience as members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Local Pride Events
LGBTQIA+ Organizations and Resources
The Library of Congress discusses the history of Pride Month in the United States.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. The Stonewall Uprising was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. In the United States the last Sunday in June was initially celebrated as "Gay Pride Day," but the actual day was flexible. In major cities across the nation the "day" soon grew to encompass a month-long series of events. Today, celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts, and LGBTQ Pride Month events attract millions of participants around the world. Memorials are held during this month for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.
Because visibility and representation are crucial, we will be highlighting five prominent LGBTQIA+ medical figures right here throughout the month
Our first prominent LGBTQIA+ medical figure is Dr. Sara Josephine Baker (November 15, 1873 – February 22, 1945).
Dr. Baker was an American physician notable for making contributions to public health, especially in the immigrant communities of New York City. Her fight against the damage that widespread urban poverty and ignorance caused to children, especially newborns, is perhaps her most lasting legacy. In 1917, she noted that babies born in the United States faced a higher mortality rate than soldiers fighting in World War I, drawing a great deal of attention to her cause. Her work organizing the first child hygiene department under government control led to the lowest infant death rate in any American or European city during the 1910s.
She also is known for (twice) tracking down Mary Mallon, the infamous index case known as Typhoid Mary. Baker was in a long-term relationship with screenwriter Ida Wylie.
Our next prominent LGBTQIA+ medical figure is Dr. Alan L. Hart (October 4, 1890 – July 1, 1962).
Dr. Hart was an American physician, radiologist, tuberculosis researcher, writer, and novelist. In 1918, he was one of the first trans men to undergo hysterectomy and gonadectomy in the United States and lived the rest of his life as a man.
He pioneered the use of X-Ray photography in tuberculosis detection. Dr. Hart was instrumental in developing tuberculosis (TB) screening programs at a time when TB was the largest disease killer in the US. Dr. Hart’s efforts with screening programs saved thousands of lives. Utilizing an X-Ray system Dr. Hart developed, doctors managed to cut the tuberculosis death toll down to one-fiftieth from previous levels.
Our next prominent LGBTQIA+ medical figure is Dr. Louise Pearce (March 5, 1885 – August 10, 1959).
Dr. Louise Pearce, a physician and pathologist, was one of the foremost female scientists of the early 20th century. Her research led to a cure for trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) in 1919.
In 1920, when a severe outbreak of the disease broke out in the Belgian Congo, (modern-day Zaire), Dr. Pearce, then 35 years old and attracted by the adventures of field research, volunteered to go alone to Leopoldville to test the new drug. The Rockefeller Institute sent Pearce, “trusting her vigorous personality to carry out an assignment none too easy for a woman physician and not without its dangers.” Studying the effect of each dose of tryparsamide on more than seventy patients, Pearce saw the parasites were completely eradicated within a few weeks of the treatment. Belgian officials, impressed and grateful for her results, awarded her the Ancient Order of the Crown and elected her a member of the Belgian Society of Tropical Medicine. For many years, Louise Pearce lived with physician Sara Josephine Baker and author Ida A. R. Wylie and is even buried alongside them. All were members of Heterodoxy, a feminist biweekly luncheon discussion club, of which many members were lesbian or bisexual.
Our next prominent LGBTQIA+ medical figure is Dr. Bruce Voeller (May 12, 1934 – February 13, 1994).
Dr. Voeller was an American biologist and AIDS researcher who pioneered the use of nonoxynol-9 as a spermicide and topical virus-transmission preventative. He won a five-year fellowship at the Rockefeller Institute to complete his doctoral studies in biochemistry, developmental biology, and genetics, before becoming an associate professor there. Before the 1980s, AIDS was known by various names, including GRIDD (Gay-Related Immune Defense Disorder); however, because this term was both inaccurate and contributed to a dangerous stigma, Dr. Voeller coined the term “Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome.” He then established the Mariposa Foundation and conducted research in the field of human sexuality to find ways to reduce the risks of diseases related to it. At the time of his death, Dr. Voeller’s research centered on the reliability of various brands of condoms in preventing the spread of diseases and on viral leakage studies for the then-recently approved female condom.
Our final prominent LGBTQIA+ medical figure is Dr. John Ercel Fryer (November 7, 1937 – February 21, 2003).
Dr. Fryer was an American psychiatrist and gay rights activist best known for his anonymous speech at the 1972 American Psychiatric Association (APA) annual conference where he appeared in disguise and under the name Dr. Henry Anonymous.
This event has been cited as a key factor in the decision to delist homosexuality as a mental illness from the APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Fryer was the first gay, American psychiatrist to speak publicly about his sexuality.