Pride and Public Health

In addition to Immigrant Heritage Month, June is also Pride Month! It’s an important month for both public health and health equity. Ginger Lee writes that “The LGBTQ community has endured systemic and legally sanctioned discrimination, shaming by institutions and systems, shunning by families of origin, the HIV epidemic, and being targeted for brutality and violence because of who LGBTQ people love or how they express their gender. Because many LGBTQ people are also people of color, stressors and conditions known to negatively affect health are often multiplied.”

Public health has an opportunity to address negative health outcomes and to support all community members in living healthy lives. Health Educator Bellamy Riley says that public health measures—like getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases—can be a meaningful part of celebrating Pride: “In a season all about loving and embracing who you are and finding beautiful community, getting tested can feel like one more way of affirming yourself and your right to good health, good sex, and peace of mind. Taking care of your sexual health is both self-care and community care.”

This month, keep an eye out for our health educators at community Pride events—they’ll be distributing information and even some swag! You can also check out our website to learn more about STI/HIV testing opportunities.

RHHD Health Educators Bellamy Riley and Darcy Strayer celebrate Pride at Richmond’s Recovery PrideFest.
At Pride events, health educators hand out information about STI testing—and fun swag!