Blog Author: Ed Carlson, CVT, VTS (Nutrition)
NAVTA Immediate Past President
Pride month reminds me of how fortunate I am to be surrounded by so many accepting family members, friends, and colleagues in veterinary medicine.
I was ten years old when Pride Month was born in June 1969. I am very thankful and proud of how it has evolved over the years and has become more widely celebrated and accepted, increasing awareness of diversity in our society. Homophobia still exists and unfortunately probably always will, but we have come a long way in my lifetime, thanks to many trailblazing activists in the LGBTQ community.
Growing up in a small New Hampshire town, I had never heard of Pride, the LGBTQ community, or diversity and inclusion. Pride was not celebrated or even mentioned, for that matter. During much of my life, the thought of getting married never crossed my mind; I didn’t think it would be possible, in my lifetime, for two men to marry. Walter and I had been together for eight years when same-sex marriage became legally recognized in Massachusetts in May 2004. We were married in January 2005. When we told Leonard, Walter’s dad, that we were planning to be married, he asked where. When we said we would have a small ceremony, maybe at a JP’s or city hall, Leonard suggested the home that we all shared. Pretty progressive and accepting for a man in his 80’s! After the ceremony, he walked over, shook our hands, and wished us many years of happiness. I am truly blessed to have married a wonderful man and into a loving, accepting family.
I am also extremely thankful for the many pioneers of the Pride movement, including Dr. Jeffery Collins and Dr. Herman Westmoreland. These two veterinarians “courageously placed an ad in The Advocate, the national gay magazine, announcing the first gathering of the Association for Gay Veterinarians (AG Vets) to be held in Las Vegas during the 1978 AVMA convention.” – Pride VMC, https://pridevmc.org/history/
Celebrate Pride; you don’t need to be LGBTQ; celebrate what makes you unique!