Happy Pride Month! 🏳🌈 For the next few weeks, we’ll be featuring the stories of our ACVIM Members and highlighting the important work being done by veterinary organizations to support and enhance visibility for LGBTQ+ individuals in
Member Feature: Seika Hashimoto-Hill, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (LAIM)
What does Pride mean to you when applied to the field of veterinary medicine?
Trans-/non-binary gender identities are normal variations of human identity, as recognized by the American Medical Association in their recent letter opposing the state legislation that prohibits the provision of medically necessary gender transition-related care to minor patients. Science has shown gender and sexuality are a spectrum. The older ‘gender binary’ paradigm has been challenged, and newer research is more carefully designed to characterize gender and sexuality by application of genomics, neuroscience, and psychology. As a person in STEM, I hope to be familiar with renewed information and update the veterinary community as needed, as provision of biological basis is shown to be one of the most effective ways to gain public support for LGBTQ+ rights.
Personally, I’d like to thank LGBTQ+ veterinarians for sharing their stories and letting me witness their courage, passion, resilience, and love. Being an ally empowers me, and I invite fellow veterinarians to do the same.
- Seika Hashimoto-Hill, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (LAIM)
Member Feature: Ewan Wolff, PhD, DVM, DACVIM (SAIM)
What resources or changes are currently needed in the veterinary field in order for it to be made more inclusive for LGBTQ+ individuals?
The time is past due to come to the aid of transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming people in the veterinary profession. 1 in 6 people in Gen Z identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community, and the numbers of out gender diverse people is growing
daily, as is visibility. More than anything else, gender diverse people in veterinary medicine need receptiveness to their needs, awareness, and the ability to exist with the same expectations of safety, understanding and access to opportunity as
their cis peers. The veterinary field can help by committing to acknowledging the civil rights of gender diverse people in all sites in which veterinary medicine is taught and practiced. This is what it means today to support the 'T' in LGBTQ+.
- Ewan Wolff, PhD, DVM, DACVIM (SAIM)
Organization highlight: Veterinarians as One Inclusive Community for Empowerment, or VOICE, is a student-run organization that seeks to increase awareness, respect and sensitivity to differences among all individuals in veterinary medicine.
VOICE Chapters across the country aim to partner with veterinary colleges to offer promotional and financial support for events that elevate diversity and inclusion. Chapters also provide mentorship to youth, particularly those from underrepresented
backgrounds, who are interested in careers in veterinary medicine.
To learn more about VOICE and their mission and to find out how to get involved, head to https://vetvoicenational.org/
Member Feature: Chamisa Herrera, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Oncology)
What does being an ally mean to you?
The world is in desperate need of people who are more than allies on issues of social justice. We need people who see their own humanity tied to fighting for a world that is more just and more loving. To me "ally" is a term people use to signal support
for a cause that is outside of themselves, a cause they do not consider a personal problem. Rainbow washing and blackouts on social media are not enough. For the world to change for the better, people can't think of this work as helping
others. By advancing equality and dignity and justice you are acknowledging that this is personal. That the world you want to live in has yet to be created. Participation is an obligation. If you're reading this, and to you any injustice
is personal, you can consider yourself a co-conspirator or accomplice and we need you here. Welcome.
- Chamisa Herrera, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Oncology)
Organization highlight: The Pride Veterinary Medical Community, or PrideVMC, was founded to create a better world for the LGBTQ+ veterinary community through education and advocacy, student empowerment through their Student
program (PrideSVMC) and member recruitment, engagement and outreach.
You can get involved in PrideVMC’s mission by becoming a member - membership is open to everyone in the animal health and veterinary community. You can also participate in one of the many activities and events they have scheduled for Pride Month,
“The Intersectionality of DEI and Vet Med,” a webinar open to all scheduled for June 14, 6:00-7:00 pm MDT
Instagram Live Convos with PrideVMC leadership scheduled for June 4 and June 11
Vet Med Pride Celebration: June 17, 6:00-7:00 pm MDT. Virtual spaces for story sharing, games and dancing. All are welcome!
For details and registration links, go to https://pridevmc.org/calendar/