Iowa Primary Care Association Recognizes LGBTQ+ Pride Month

June 06, 2023

Every June, Pride Month honors the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York City and recognizes the impact of LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, plus all non-straight, non-cisgender identities) people in the United States. It is a time to reflect on our history and generate action toward equity, while also celebrating the diverse backgrounds and experiences of LGBTQ+ people.

On June 28, 1969, New York police raided the Stonewall Inn, a safe haven for LGTBQ+ people who could face harassment and criminal charges for their sexualities, gender expressions, drag performances and more. A watershed moment for the LGBTQ+ community, the protests that took place over the next six days created a catalyst for the gay civil rights movement of the 1970s and 1980s and future LGBTQ+ movements. A year after the Stonewall Uprising, thousands participated in the Christopher Street Gay Liberation Day March, considered to be the first Pride March.

While Pride is a time of celebration, it is important to recognize and address the inequities the LGBTQ+ community faces. LGBTQ+ people have disparate rates of mental health conditions, substance use disorders, sexually transmitted infections, and experiences of violence, discrimination, marginalization and more. While LGBTQ+ people have many shared experiences, health outcomes are varied throughout the community, as other root causes, such as disability, race/ethnicity or socioeconomic status may have impacts.

Healthcare access is also a barrier for LGBTQ+ people, as over 140 bills have been introduced across the nation affecting LGBTQ+ healthcare, many related to gender-affirming healthcare. It is essential that providers offer culturally competent care, as many health disparities for LGBTQ+ people are associated with the stigma and discrimination this community faces. Some examples of culturally competent care include asking about gender identity, sexual orientation, and relationships on intake forms, using correct terminology, providing inclusive health information resources, and more.

Iowa’s community health centers have always welcomed people who are part of the LGBTQ+ community and continue to provide care to thousands of LGBTQ+ Iowans. We remain committed to intentional action for a better future and to our vision of health equity for all.