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Showing Our Pride
As nurses, ONA members see firsthand the very real systemic challenges to health equity, access, and inclusion our LGBTQIA+ patients’ experience. These systemic challenges reinforce structural inequality, with Black trans women an extremely at risk patient group – the average lifespan for a Black trans woman in America is 35 years old right now. Gender, gay, queer, and trans issues are critically important public health issues that directly intersect with structural racism. Nurses are key in the long, ongoing work of fully dismantling both.

When the HIV/AIDS epidemic of the 1980’s exploded, nurses were the ones standing by, protecting, and caring for gay men. Nurses were on the front lines of that epidemic, and served the nursing profession with dedication, courage, and compassion, in a world where equal rights were still decades away. Nurses were there when our LGBTQIA+ patients died without their long term partners, in a healthcare system that puts a premium on the societal norms of heteronormative, partnered, cis relationships. Nurses have long had a history of being forces for compassion and social good, and this Pride, we examine with open eyes the many structural barriers that still exist for LGBTQIA+ patients and nurses alike.

ONA is inspired by the dedication and activism of our membership in providing inclusive care to our most vulnerable patients. Direct change happens day by day, and conversation by conversation. Through establishing inclusive practices around normalizing the use of pronouns with new patients and educating practitioners on the impact of bedside deadnaming, we can better support our LGBTQIA+ patients.

Justice delayed is justice denied, and ONA nurses will advocate for justice for our patients until all of us are free of systemic oppression.

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Oregon Nurses Association
18765 SW Boones Ferry Rd. Suite 200, Tualatin, OR 97062
(503) 293-0011 or 800-634-3552 (Oregon Only) E-mail:ONA@OregonRN.org