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June is Pride Month, a time to recognize the contributions of LGBTQ+ people and celebrate them in all their different identities. Whether you are part of the community or an ally, here are a few ways to celebrate Pride and the LGBTQ+ community this year with your UW Medicine colleagues.

Rainbow flag raising

At noon on Tuesday, June 1, 2021, we will raise the Pride Flag outside at each of our hospital campuses. The flags will remain flying for the entire month. Below are details for each flag raising:

Harborview Medical Center: Staff will meet at View Park at 11:45 a.m. before the flag raising for a physically distanced photo with the pride banner. There will be remarks from Sommer Kleweno-Walley, MHA, MA, SLP, interim CEO of Harborview.

UW Medical Center – Montlake: Due to crowding and traffic concerns outside the hospital entrance, staff are not encouraged to gather there to watch the flag raising. Please help to maintain patient access by watching from a distance. Cynthia Hecker, CEO of UW Medical Center, and the hospital’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) committee will raise the flag.

UW Medical Center – Northwest: Santiago Neme, MD; Keri Nasenbeny, associate chief nursing officer; and the hospital’s EDI Committee and staff will be present for the flag raising. Staff are encouraged to attend, physically distanced, near the bus stop across the street from the flag pole.

Valley Medical Center: The flag will be raised by members of the LBGTQ+ and EDI committees, along with administrators. Staff are invited to watch from street level (physically distanced) or on Facebook Live.

The Pride flag, in all its design variations, is a staple of Pride Month and LGBTQ+ culture. But how did a rainbow come to be symbolic for queerness? It began in the 1970s, when California’s first openly gay elected official, Harvey Milk, commissioned the flag from artist and drag performer Gilbert Baker. The diversity of the colors in the flag represents the diversity within the LGBTQ+ community.

More recently, black and brown along with white, pastel blue and pastel pink, have been added to the flag, sometimes as stripes and sometimes as a triangle. These additions represent Black, Indigenous and People of Color members of the LGBTQ+ community and transgender people, respectively.

LGBTQ+ affinity group

UW Medicine’s Office of Healthcare Equity (OHCE) invites members of the community to gather in a protected, supportive virtual space to share concerns, celebrate and be in community from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Friday, June 25. Watch your email and the Huddle event calendar for more details and the Zoom link.

Virtual photo booth

Take your Pride-themed photo at our virtual photo booth. The booth features fun rainbow stickers, including one for each UW Medicine hospital. Visit the virtual booth to take your photo, then download the photo to your phone and share on social media. (If you share it, be sure to tag us @uwmedicine.) 

Pride Fridays

Each Friday throughout the month of June, show your LGBTQ+ pride and allyship by joining your colleagues and wearing rainbow clothes and accessories.

If you don’t have any Pride apparel, we can help. Due to high demand, Pride t-shirts will be available at the Harborview gift shop and the gift shops at both UW Medical Center campuses.

Virtual Seattle Pride celebration

Seattle Pride is virtual again this year with two days of speakers, performances, activities and more. The event will take place on June 26 and 27 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. The theme this year is “resilience.” Register to learn more and join the festivities.

Pride email signature icon

Show your pride or allyship to your colleagues by placing an icon in your signature in support of the LGBTQ+ community. There are two icons to choose from: a rainbow flag and a rainbow heart. Download the icons.

More Pride resources: