Darien S., MD, MBA

Q: How are you celebrating PRIDE this year?

Q: How are you celebrating PRIDE this year?

A: We will see! I’m excited to see how vaccination rates improve in Los Angeles and how that might make for an exciting, in-person Pride. But if not, I’m happy to be at home with my partner.

Q: What does PRIDE mean to you in 2021?

Q: What does PRIDE mean to you in 2021?

A: We should always honor the roots of Pride as a protest. Each Pride, I reflect on all of the Black LGBTQ+ folks who were sidelined or erased by the broader, mainstream gay movement in exchange for institutional power and mainstream acceptance. While we’ve come a long way, mainstream Pride events also left a lot of folks out who should’ve been centered—most notably, our Black queer, trans, and GNC family. It’s high time they get the flowers they deserve.

How did your relationship affect your life in the pandemic?

How did your relationship affect your life in the pandemic?

My relationship with Phillip was my source of strength throughout this pandemic. Phillip was always there to help motivate me before hectic shifts and was always there with an open ear at the end of the day.

Q: What does PRIDE mean to you in 2021?

A: We should always honor the roots of Pride as a protest. Each Pride, I reflect on all of the Black LGBTQ+ folks who were sidelined or erased by the broader, mainstream gay movement in exchange for institutional power and mainstream acceptance. While we’ve come a long way, mainstream Pride events also left a lot of folks out who should’ve been centered—most notably, our Black queer, trans, and GNC family. It’s high time they get the flowers they deserve.

Q: What specific role do you think the medical community has to play in the advancement of equality for LGBTQ+ folks?

A: The medical community has a long way to go in terms of making affirming, trans-inclusive healthcare the industry standard. I think that medical institutions should be speaking out much more loudly about their support for transgender youth, especially during Pride.

Q: What would a more inclusive, identity-affirming healthcare environment look like and what do you think it would take for us to get there?

A: I really appreciate this question, but I also want to push back on it: I don’t have all the answers. The LGBTQ+ community is a coalition of diverse voices and experiences. If we really want to answer this question, then the hospitals and medical schools that wield tremendous power and wealth should be creating and empowering task forces of LGBTQ+ activists and healthcare providers to help address systemic homophobia and transphobia in our institutions.

Q: How are you celebrating PRIDE this year?

A: We will see! I’m excited to see how vaccination rates improve in Los Angeles and how that might make for an exciting, in-person Pride. But if not, I’m happy to be at home with my partner.

Q: How did your relationship affect your life in the pandemic?

A: My relationship with Phillip was my source of strength throughout this pandemic. Phillip was always there to help motivate me before hectic shifts and was always there with an open ear at the end of the day.

Q: What is your safe space with your partner?

A: Our safe space is definitely our home. We have created a space filled with special memories of our family and friends.

Q: How long have you been together, and how did you meet?

A: We met in a small bar in Soho NYC, and we’ve been together for over 7 years!

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