What Does Pride Mean?

June 01, 2022

Denver Health What Does Pride Mean 2022

June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month, a time to recognize and celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and non-binary individuals, as well as any others who identify as LGBTQ+ in our community. Denver Health is proud to serve Denver's LGBTQ+ community with an LGBTQ+ Health Services care team that is specially trained in how to provide sensitive and affirming health care to all. We are also proud of our team members who identify as LGBTQ+ and are honoring them all month long with special events, including a special Pride Day celebration during our staff Days of Celebration event. The theme of this year's Days of Celebration is "I, You, We Belong."

In the spirit of this year's Pride celebrations, we asked a few of our team members to answer the question "What does Pride mean to you?" These are their heartfelt and thoughtful responses:

Andrew Lewis Denver Health
Andrew Lewis, ACS Laboratory Supervisor

Andrew Lewis

  • Pronouns: he/him/his
  • Department: ACS Laboratories
  • Title: ACS Laboratory Supervisor

"To me, Pride means knowing that it is okay to be yourself even if you do not necessarily see validation of that. It is not only about supporting ourselves, but also the ones we love in order to bridge the gap of marginalization."

Katie Hyzy

  • Pronouns: she/her/hers
  • Department: Integrated Behavioral Health
  • Title: Behavioral Health Consultant
    Katie Hyzy Denver Health
    Katie Hyzy, Behavioral Health Consultant

"To me, Pride means to show up to my life and in my relationships in a way that is unequivocally authentic and whole. To celebrate and live the truth of who I really am without fear, shame or doubt."

Kevin Kamis

  • Pronouns: he/him/his
  • Department: Public Health Institute at Denver Health
  • Title: Research Associate

"To me, Pride means loving and caring for yourself and for your community. At Denver Health I am able to show up to work as my full, authentic (gay) self, and for this I am extremely grateful."

Kevin Kamis Denver Health
Kevin Kamis, Research Associate.

Mariah Hoffman, MD

  • Pronouns: she/her/hers
  • Department: General Internal Medicine, HIV Primary Care
  • Title: Primary Care Physician in the Webb Center for Primary Care Adult Clinic and Medical Director/Primary Care Provider in the EIS Primary Care Clinic

Dr. Hoffman said that she finds the meaning of Pride in her daily work at Denver Health.

"I deliver LGBTQ+ affirming care at Denver Health by listening to the individual needs and goals of each patient and finding ways to meet those goals. I believe each person's unique story can guide their care and I love finding ways to walk this path with each patient providing care based in sound science.

Mariah Hoffman, Denver Health
Mariah Hoffman, MD, Primary Care Physician.

"As an ally to the LGBTQ+ community, I hope every patient knows that they will be treated with respect at Denver Health. I want each person to feel that they have found a safe place to receive care with us and that we will do our best to meet their goals, providing the most inclusive care possible."

Rich Zavala

  • Pronouns: he/his/him
  • Department: Food and Nutrition Services
  • Title: Lead Cashier

"The meaning of pride for me is the person I am today. With the struggle of growing up dealing with bullying and depression, I am stronger today and proud to be who I am and have become.

Rich Zavala
Rich Zavala, Lead Cashier.

"I celebrate my Pride daily by wearing my rainbow lanyard, pronoun pin and being my genuine self! Denver Health supports and celebrates the LGBTQ+ community with LGBTQ+ Health Services available, employees wearing rainbow and trans-lanyards, LGBTQ+ colored crosswalks and LGBTQ+ workshops."

Joshua Derrig

  • Pronouns: he/him/his
  • Department: Public Health Institute at Denver Health
  • Title: Research Associate

"To me, Pride means 'daring to be' and show up in this world, as your most authentic self.

Josh Derrig Denver Health
Joshua Derrig, Research Associate.

"It's an opportunity be honest, compassionate, loving, expressive and vulnerable. Pride is also a time of celebration and reflection – celebrating how far LGBTQ+ people have come, the inherent rights we've had to fight for and the vast spectrum of love we share, while also reflecting on the lives we've lost in our fight, the obstacles and hate we've overcome, and the ongoing battle for true equality. Pride is resistant. Pride is resilient. Pride is acceptance. Pride is unapologetic. Pride is love."

Tracy Scott

  • Pronouns: she/her/hers
  • Department: LGBTQ+ Health Services 
  • Title: Administrative Director

"I am proud and honored to work with a team dedicated to serving LGBTQ+ communities. Last year more than 850 new LGBTQ+ patients established primary care at Denver Health, and we are on track to surpass that number in 2022.

Tracy Scott Denver Health
Tracy Scott, LGBTQ+ Health Services Administrative Director.

"Wearing Pride lanyards, creating safe and affirming clinical spaces and asking people their pronouns are a few ways we can continue to become a national leader in LGBTQ+ health care. LGBTQ+ Health Services is grateful to our colleagues for making Denver Health an LGBTQ+ affirming organization."