Celebrating PRIDE at VCU School of Dentistry
Contributed by Carlos Smith, D.D.S., M.Div., director of diversity, equity and inclusion and the ethics curriculum and associate professor at VCU School of Dentistry
Continuing on our path toward a more inclusive VCU School of Dentistry, we wanted to take a moment and reflect upon PRIDE month and recognize our LGBTQ+ community members – patients, students, staff and faculty.
PRIDE Month initially began in recognition of the Stonewall Uprising in 1969. 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. Learn more here.
Several of our School of Dentistry students have joined together to form Aligned and Allied, a student group that fills a much needed role of providing a safe and supportive space for the LGBTQ+ community and its allies here at the school. You can connect with them via social media here.
What can oral health providers and professionals do to create more inclusive care settings for patients of all genders and sexualities?
On Thursday, June 30, join the CareQuest Institute for a timely, practical webinar that discusses how to provide better care and supportive environments for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, queer, intersex, and asexual patients. Register here.
Here are some additional resources we should all be familiar with to better care for our patients and to understand the lived experience of our LGBTQ+ friends and colleagues:
- Ten Things Dental Students Can Do To Support LGBT+ Patients
- 5 Reasons an LGBT+ Affirming Dentist Can Make All the Difference
- From the ADA New Dentist Blog – Five ways you can be a better ally dentist
- From the ADA New Dentist Blog – LGBTQ equality is on the rise; it’s time for dentistry to catch up
- Visit the VCU Health Sciences Diversity podcast on The PIPELINE podcast, entitled “A is for Ally” featuring Sander Jennings, TV personality (from the TLC reality series “I Am Jazz”) and LGBTQIAA+ and transgender rights advocate.
- Inclusive of ALL: Improving Care for LGBT+ Patients – we invite you to view webinars from our past Inclusive Excellence Weeks focusing on the LGBT+ communities.
- Trauma Informed Care and the Health Needs of the LGBTQ+ Community, with speaker and VCU graduate Melissa-Irene Jackson, M.S.W., from Virginia Planned Parenthood. View here.
- Inclusive of ALL: Improving Care for LGBT+ Patients with Dr. Steve Crossman, former Associate Professor & Vice Chair, Clinical Operations and Family Medicine Education, Department of Family Medicine and Population Health at the VCU School of Medicine. View here.
Want more information pronouns?
Gender Pronouns: A Provider’s Guide to Referring to Transgender Patients
Pronouns and Advocacy in Medicine
The inclusivity trap? Asking patients for their pronouns helps us treat them — unless they shut down