Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-06-19
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

2018 MIDWEST LGBTQ HEALTH SYMPOSIUM Jessica Halem keynote LGBTQ health symposium
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times
2018-09-19

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Jessica Halem, a former Chicagoan and Harvard Medical School's first-ever LGBT program director, gave the keynote address, "Honor the Dead and Fight for the Living," at the Midwest LGBTQ Health Symposium Sept. 15 at Malcolm X College.

Halem started her career working for then Rep. Bella Abzug after graduating from Sarah Lawrence College. Among her other career accomplishments are 15 years performing comedy, transforming Howard Brown Health's Lesbian Community Care ( formerly Cancer ) Project during its early years and serving on Barack Obama's first LGBT Advisory Committee. She is the recipient of many awards and is a member of the Tegan and Sara Foundation board of directors.

Howard Brown Health ( HBH ) President and CEO David Ernesto Munar thanked Malcolm X College for hosting the symposium in the wake of the citywide hotel workers strike ( JW Marriot was the original location ) while HBH Center for Education, Research and Advocacy Vice President Andie Baker unveiled the center's new voting drive campaign—Who's Seats? Your Seats!

"This year, more than ever, we are reminded of the urgency of the issues that we face," said Baker. "It is time to mobilize and get to the polls."

Halem roused the crowd with her facial expressions and bawdy sense of humor as she took the stage. Her humor caused bursts of laughter throughout her talk.

"Howard Brown, you are crushing it," Halem said at one point. "You have to really love the community you serve to be up this early on a Saturday morning. I am inspired by all of you and the work you do."

Halem said she was born a radical Jewish feminist lesbian, added that every LGBTQ person has been "surviving and thriving in the face of great adversity since most of us were born."

In terms of the work she does, Halem said places like Harvard Medical School have a history of inertia that is weighing them down and making it hard to enact the changes LGBTQ people are clamoring for with regards to training and overall cultural competency. Halem explained that the lack of diversity in leadership is a part of why these institutions are slow to change.

Halem said that she wanted to talk about honoring the dead and fighting for the living because far too often this is not the case because of how one talks about health. She explained that people do not ask why people, for example, smoked or drank too much alcohol or ate too much or took care of everyone else and not themselves. Instead, Halem said, they talk about risk factors and this does not help anyone get at the root of the issue.

"We need to have real conversations even within our own LGBTQ community about this issue," said Halem. "Queer women especially do not take care of themselves enough, including going to the doctor, and that has to change. Everyone needs to take two hours out of each day to take care of their minds and bodies."

Figuring out what is working and improving on what is not working is the key, she added.

Halem explained that in medical schools sex and gender, and the differences between the two, are not being taught, and that only five hours of class time is spent talking about LGBTQ people and their issues. She said they instead spend a lot of time talking about what is "normal" i.e., the threshold with which everything is measured and that excludes LGBTQ people's lived experiences.

"What would medicine look like if, for the past 100 years, LGBTQ people were the doctors studying their own communities patients," said Halem. "What if LGBTQ people were the standard that everything else is measured by in medicine."

Resilience is something Halem said she is obsessed by. She said New Orleans is not resilience because of Hurricane Katrina but because of what the city has had to deal with historically.

"It is not about the hits you take, it is about how quickly you can bounce back," said Halem. "White cisgender heterosexual rich men do not have the same resilience because they do not have to deal with the things the rest of society has to face on an everyday basis."

One thing that Halem does as a part of her job is to recruit LGBTQ people into Harvard Medical School. She said that 17 percent of this year's incoming students are LGBTQ.

"The most important thing that should happen in medicine is to get the patient and provider to talk openly with each other," said Halem. "Also, LGBTQ people need to go to their healthcare provider on a regular basis and be honest with them about their lives."

Halem called on the audience to seek some pleasure and joy in their lives and quoted Audre Lorde: "When I dare to be powerful—to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid."

A Q&A session followed.

HBH and the Center for Education, Research and Advocacy were the symposium's presenters.

Visit WindyCityMediaGroup.com to read more summaries of symposium events.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

BOOKS Assisted-reproduction book's author hopes to help LGBTQ parents 2019-06-26 - Kim Bergman has helped bring more than 1,700 babies into the world throughout her 30 years working in the assisted-reproduction field. She and ...


Gay News

ART Local lesbian artist on being banned from social media 2019-06-26 - Religious LGBTQ+ youth have a higher risk of suicide than their heterosexual counterparts, according to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Chicago artist ...


Gay News

U.S. advances in World Cup on Rapinoe kicks 2019-06-24 - Megan Rapinoe scored on penalty kicks to give the United States a 2-1 win on June 24 over Spain to book a spot ...


Gay News

Artist fuses video, poetry to inspire psychedelic experience 2019-06-23 - Poet, new media and sound artist Sara Naomi Goodman will perform "Deep Dream: An Evening of Poetry and Video Synthesis" followed by a ...


Gay News

People with disabilities wanted to talk about justice system 2019-06-23 - Access Living, a local disability rights and advocacy organization, is seeking people with disabilities who have had contact with the Cook County criminal ...


Gay News

Walgreens, Greater Than AIDS offering free tests June 27 2019-06-23 - Walgreens and Greater Than AIDS are partnering community organizations across Chicago to provide free, confidential HIV testing and counseling in 22 Chicago Walgreens ...


Gay News

Wintrust hosts second annual Pride Month event 2019-06-22 - Wintrust Financial Corporation held its second annual Pride month reception and panel discussion June 19 at the Wintrust Grand Banking Hall in Chicago's ...


Gay News

Lightfoot hosts Pride reception 2019-06-21 - Hundreds gathered in Preston Bradley Hall in the Chicago Cultural Center as Mayor Lori Lightfoot hosted an LGBT reception in honor of Pride ...


Gay News

Title X gag rule begins, limiting health care access for many, Planned Parenthood responds 2019-06-20 - WASHINGTON —— The Trump-Pence administration's Title X gag rule takes effect today in every state but Maryland, after a ruling by a panel ...


Gay News

AMA adopts new pro-LGBTQ policies at annual meeting 2019-06-19 - The American Medical Association ( AMA ), voted to adopt new policies on emerging health care topics during the first day of voting ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.