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.

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 LGBT 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.

During this month, we honor the past while recognizing that there is still much to be done to ensure a safer, more inclusive future — not just in society, but also in surgery. 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, celebrating the importance of this month, and acknowledging there is more to be done. At the Department of Surgery, we are working to foster a more inclusive department for everyone.

While Pride Month is celebrated in June, our efforts are not just limited to this month. Pride is an opportunity to reflect and learn from the past, evaluate where we are in the present, envision where we would like things to be and make changes so that the future becomes a reality. The Department of Surgery remains committed to this ongoing effort and to our community, both within and outside of surgery.

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+ working group, Department of Surgery, Mass General

Sareh Parangi, MD
Chair, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, Department of Surgery, Mass General

Salewa Oseni, MD
Co-Chair, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, Department of Surgery, Mass General