On Oct. 11, BWHers came together for the Brigham’s second annual National Coming Out Day celebration.
The day, hosted by the BWHC LGBT & Allies Employee Resource Group (ERG), began outside 15 Francis St., where Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital President Michael Gustafson, MD, MBA, and others in attendance witnessed the raising of the rainbow flag. The ceremony concluded with a rendition of Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors,” sung by Mark Anderson, of the Department of Medicine. At the flag-raising, Gustafson emphasized that “coming out still matters.”
“When people know someone who is LGBTQ, they are far more likely to support equality under the law,” Gustafson said. “Beyond that, our stories can be powerful support for each other. We thank each of you for helping to make BWHC an inclusive and welcoming environment for all of our LGBT staff, patients and families.”
National Coming Out Day, founded in 1988, honors all who have come out as LGBT or as a straight ally for equality.
Celebrations continued with a special event in Bornstein Amphitheater, featuring Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey as the keynote speaker. The talk was also live streamed via webcast at BWH and BWFH.
BWHC President Betsy Nabel, MD, who introduced Healey, said it was inspiring to see the Brigham community come together to celebrate and support each other on National Coming Out Day.
“The Brigham is committed to being a welcoming place for our patients, families and staff,” Nabel said. “It’s very important to me that we treat everyone who walks through our doors with dignity and respect. That’s our Brigham Way.”
Healey, a leader and advocate on behalf of the LGBT community, said even though there has been so much progress in terms of LGBT rights, current events show there is much more that still needs to be done.
“Support is essential to helping the LGBT community feel comfortable to be who they are,” Healey said. “Our partnership with the Brigham is critical to our efforts to ensure that everyone is treated equally.”
Pothik Chatterjee, MBA, director of Business Development and Strategic Planning in the BWPO and chair of the BWHC LGBT & Allies ERG, said holding these events at BWH is important for many reasons.
“Visibility of the LGBT community matters a great deal in health care and hospitals because it allows our clinicians to provide high-quality care to all our patients. Our LGBT staff can be their authentic selves without unnecessary anxieties holding them back,” he said. “We have made an astonishing amount of progress for gay, lesbian and bisexual members of our community, and this day is a great reminder of the work that we have ahead to promote equality for our transgender community.”