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QueerMed leaders Jeremy Goh, Emma Monti and David Vaz

Showing your Pride: QueerMed celebrates 2SLGBTQIA+ community

Pictured: QueerMed leaders Jeremy Goh, Emma Monti and David Vaz

“Pride is more than just a celebration or parade.”

With those words, QueerMed leader Emma Monti (MD Candidate 2026) opens up about the meaning of Pride Month, her group’s goals, and the recent Pride event they held in advance of June’s ongoing festivities. Below her Q&A you can also watch video highlights from their event:

Q: Why is Pride Month important, and what can members of the Queen’s community do to learn more or celebrate – whether in Kingston or their home communities?

Pride is more than just a celebration or parade—it is a protest of the injustices the 2SLGBTQIA+ community has faced and continues to face. It is a month for us to recognize the losses we have suffered in the past and reflect on our past, present, and future. It is a time to amplify queer and trans voices and share stories, heal together, and spread a message of equality, acceptance, justice, and perseverance. For a long time, I thought that Pride Month was only for people who were fully open or about their identity, but Pride Month is for all members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, regardless of whether they are closeted or out. Pride gives us the perfect opportunity to reach members of the community who are struggling with their identity or not ready or able to come out yet, letting them know that, when they are ready and able, there is a beautiful community ready to accept them for who they are. 

A great place to start if you are interested in engaging more with Pride Month is learning about the history of Pride. Speaking to older queer or trans folks in your community or seeking out community resources are often helpful ways to begin your journey. Engaging with 2SLGBTQIA+ media is also an amazing and very easy way to celebrate Pride—scroll through the “Pride” category on any streaming service, ask a librarian for book recommendations, listen to a queer podcast on your daily walk, any small action is great. You can also participate in your local pride parade, which is an impactful way to celebrate Pride with members of your community. In Kingston, this year’s Pride Festival runs from June 11th to 18th; Visit kingstonpride.ca for more information or to learn how you can get involved. 

Q: Tell us about QueerMed. What are some of the goals of the group and what activities is it engaged in throughout the year?

QueerMed is subset of the Global Health Interest Group in Queen’s Medicine, a group of individuals committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in healthcare. QueerMed specifically is focused on addressing health inequities for 2SLGBTQIA+ people through upstream healthcare provider education and raising awareness about the specific challenges faced by queer and trans people in the healthcare system. We aim to help our classmates and mentors become more comfortable talking about 2SLGBTQIA+ topics, such as safer sex practices or counselling queer and trans youth. 

Throughout the year, QueerMed has held exciting events for our classmates and faculty. Of note, we organized a session called “The Birds and the MDs,” a workshop that fostered discussions around queerness and aimed to make participants more comfortable when talking about sex with a diverse patient group. We focused on inclusive language suggestions, activities such as how to give a gender-neutral demonstration of correct condom use, and worked on education about the diverse array of identities that exist in the queer and trans community. A collaboration with the Sexual Health Resource Centre also allowed us to distribute prizes of safer-sex supplies. The event was a huge success, and we look forward to holding it again next year. We also collaborated with the Global Health Interest Group to help with a 2SLGBTQIA+ history-taking session, again working to promote judgement-free discussion of queer and trans health.

Q: Talk about your vision for QueerMed’s May 9 event (video follows)?

It is a pleasure to be able to plan and host the very first Pride event for Queen’s Health Sciences. We were so excited to make this an opportunity for staff and students to come together to learn about the past, present, and future of Pride and celebrate this occasion together. It can sometimes feel intimidating to begin research into the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. For example, learning about diverse sexual or gender identities can be overwhelming or misleading if someone does not have access to proper resources. We hope to create a space in which people can be inspired to learn about the community, using the resources we provide as a place to begin and ask questions. Most importantly, we want to highlight that queer and trans people exist in healthcare, both as providers and patients, and we should not feel the need to remain invisible due to stigma or attitudes in healthcare. By providing rainbow pins for our colleagues, we also want to emphasize the power of safe spaces. Even something as simple as a rainbow or pronoun pin on a hospital ID badge or backpack can make a huge difference and really mean the world to a queer or trans person, be they a colleague, friend, classmate, patient, anyone. We know that Pride is usually celebrated in June, but we wanted the opportunity to raise awareness before Pride begins, urging our colleagues and mentors to engage with the month and the diverse range of celebrations and opportunities it offers. 

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