As we observe LGBTQ Pride Month this year, we honor the resilience of the queer community even in the face of increasing violence around the world and close to home.

The current administration has reversed many of the restrictions and policies previously enacted at the federal level to limit the rights of LGBTQ people, however, in many states it is still legal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, education, housing, healthcare, and many other areas. Many states across the country are enacting restrictive and discriminatory laws barring transgender youth from seeking out affirming healthcare and segregating them in their schools. This has been shown in empirical studies to negatively impact the mental health of these already at-risk youth.

There are significant disparities in care and access to care for LGBTQ people. According to a 2018 survey by the Center for American Progress, one in ten lesbian, gay, or bisexual respondents indicated that they were refused service or received harsh or abusive language or unwanted physical contact in the last year from a healthcare provider. One in three transgender respondents had the same response. These negative experiences sow mistrust in healthcare professionals and cause members of the queer community to be less likely to seek out emergency and preventive care in the future.

ACHE is committed to uplifting our members who identify as a member of the queer community. The national chapter provides resources about the LGBTQ community including national health initiatives and connections to organizations that support LGBTQ youth, families, elders, and others. ACHE of Greater Ohio is committed to providing resources and weaving culturally competent care for the queer community into our events.

This year, as the country begins to slowly reopen, cities across the country are considering how to safely hold pride celebrations. The fight for true equality continues and state sanctioned discrimination must be condemned. No one should be denied care or leave a care site in worse condition, physically or mentally, than when they arrived. We hope you will join ACHE of Greater Ohio in supporting and championing our friends, neighbors, and family members who identify as a member of the LGBTQ community.