Every year in June, we enter Pride Month, a time dedicated to celebrating the dynamic and diverse LGBTQIA+ community. It is a time to remember the remarkable strength and excellence this community has exhibited for decades in the pursuit of equal rights and their continued efforts to preserve hard-won protections. Pride is also a time to acknowledge and make known the inequities and injustices this community continues to face today. During this month, we honor the past while recognizing that there is still much to be done to ensure a safer, more inclusive future.  

Born out of protest, Pride Month originated in 1969 after the historic Stonewall Uprising in New York City, an event that changed the world and precipitated the LGB rights movement nationally and globally. In 2015, the site of the Stonewall Inn was declared a historical landmark; in 2016, a national monument. The rainbow flag, widely known as the symbol of Pride, was originally created by artist and activist Gilbert Baker in 1978. The flag has since undergone several revisions to acknowledge continued growth and inclusivity of all members of the LGBTQIA+ community.  

The Department of Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital is fully dedicated to addressing issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We commemorate this time by reaffirming our commitment to serving, supporting, and empowering our own LGBTQIA+ community, reflecting on the meaning of this monumental month, and reminding ourselves that there is still much to be achieved to realize true equality and inclusivity.

This past year, the Department of Surgery: 

  • Welcomed Michaela West, MD, PhD, for a Grand Rounds called “Trans-forming Surgical Care,” in which she spoke on encountering, working with, and caring for trans persons 
  • Became a member of Association of Out Surgeons and Allies (AOSA) 
  • Hosted the MGH Youth Scholars for a hands-on suturing demo and an “Ask Us Anything” session about medical careers 
  • Received a 2023 Pillars in Excellence Award from Mass General Brigham for its work in diversity, equity, and inclusion 
  • Gifted pronoun buttons to our faculty, residents, and staff 

This month and every month hereafter, join us in celebrating Pride by remembering what has been attained thus far and recognizing how much more we can achieve together. While there is much to honor and celebrate, there is still more to be done to ensure true equity, equality, and inclusivity. The Department of Surgery remains committed to this effort and to our community. 

Thank you, 

Keith Lillemoe, MD 
Chief of Surgery, Department of Surgery, Mass General 

John Mullen, MD 
Residency Program Director, Department of Surgery, Mass General 

Jonathan Friedstat, MD, MPH 
Leader, LGBTQIA+ group, Department of Surgery, Mass General 

Sareh Parangi, MD 
Co-Chair, DEI Committee, Department of Surgery, Mass General 

Salewa Oseni, MD 
Co-Chair, DEI Committee, Department of Surgery, Mass General