Each year, GLMA honors exemplary individuals and/or organizations for their significant contributions to improving the health and well-being of LGBTQ individuals or people living with HIV/AIDS; improving the climate for the LGBTQ health workforce; or contributing to gains made by the LGBTQ civil rights movement. Achievement Awards were presented virtually at the 39th GLMA Annual Conference on LGBTQ Health.
This year's recipients join a distinguished list of past honorees, including Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine, and Congressional Members Tammy Baldwin, Barney Frank, and the late John Lewis. To see a list of previous awards recipients, visit GLMA Awards.
The GLMA Board of Directors is excited to announce the 2021 GLMA Achievement Award recipients, who are:
Patricia M. Dunn, JD, MSW
GLMA is honored to present Patricia M. Dunn, JD, MSW (1955-2020) with a posthumous GLMA Achievement Award for her lifetime of service committed to LGBTQ health equity. Pat's groundbreaking work as GLMA's Director of Policy and Programs (1998-2002) led to the inclusion of sexual orientation in HHS's Health People 2010 and to the formation of the National Coalition on LGBT Health. Her efforts to secure funding for and publish Healthy People 2010: Companion Document for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health laid the foundation for continued advocacy today to promote SOGI data collection across the federal government and ensure LGBTQ inclusion in federal health policies and programs. As colleagues and friends who worked with Pat describe it, the Companion Document "became a bible for queer health researchers."
Pat also served briefly as GLMA Acting Executive Director and was a member of the American Legacy Foundation's Priority Populations LGBT Experts Panel. Her final work position was as Vice President of the San Francisco Community Clinic Consortium, where her work especially benefited unhoused individuals and people living with HIV/AIDS. She also served as an Advisor Board Member for USJS: United States Joint Statement Warning against Conversion Therapy, a focus very important to her. Pat received her JD from the University of California at Davis and Masters of Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis.
Pat is survived by her loving spouse, Eileen Blumenthal, JD. GLMA will be forever grateful to Pat for her contributions to advance LGBTQ health and well-being.
interACT: Advocates for Intersex Youth
interACT: Advocates for Intersex Youth and its dedicated team members are at the forefront of the movement to advance human rights for children born with intersex traits. Founded in 2006 as Advocates for Informed Choice, interACT entered an already existing ecosystem of intersex advocacy and community support, filling a gap by undertaking legal advocacy on behalf of children with intersex traits. Since then, the strategies interACT has pursued, particularly its outreach and advocacy with leading medical and health associations, have moved the needle considerably on awareness and understanding of the challenges and harms faced by intersex children due to prevailing medical practices. interACT’s years of advocacy have laid the groundwork for improved intersex policy at local, state, national, and international levels. While there is still a long road ahead to achieve intersex justice, GLMA’s team has witnessed firsthand the significant impact and urgency of interACT’s efforts.
interACT is an intersex-led national advocacy organization whose goal is to promote intersex wellbeing with a focus on ending unnecessary harmful interventions on children born with intersex traits. The organization has three main programs: interACT Law and Policy, its legal reform and medical advocacy program, interACT Youth, its pioneering intersex youth leadership group, and interACT Media, which spreads awareness of intersex issues by consulting on the placement of intersex stories in the public eye. interACT’s groundbreaking work exists at the intersection of LGBTQ rights, civil and human rights, children's rights, reproductive justice, and healthcare. Learn more about interACT on its website.
National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network
With health inequities at the forefront during the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, the National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network’s work to support queer and trans mental health practitioners of color and address the mental and behavioral health of LGBTQ people of color is more crucial than ever. Since its launch in 2016, NQTTCN has worked at the intersection of movements for social justice and the field of mental health to integrate healing justice into both of these spaces. NQTTCN aims to increase access to healing justice resources for queer and trans people of color (QTPoC), trains QTPoC mental health practitioners to increase their understanding and practice of healing justice as a framework, and works with social justice organizations to incorporate healing justice into their movement building efforts. NQTTCN’s vision of a world where all people have access to healing resources rooted in social justice and liberation to recover from trauma, violence, and systemic oppression offers a transformative intervention in the field of healthcare.
The organization’s QTPoC Mental Health Practitioner Directory and its Mental Health Fund, which provides financial assistance to QTPoC seeking mental health support, fill a vital need. During the plenary panel Telehealth for Transgender Patients and Clients at the 2020 GLMA Annual Conference, Founding Director Erica Woodland, LCSW, shared NQTTCN’s work in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, state repression and violence, and ongoing uprisings for racial justice, leaving a profound and lasting impact on the conference audience and GLMA’s Board of Directors. Learn more about NQTTCN on its website.
Karen L. Parker, PhD, MSW
Karen L. Parker, PhD, MSW’s incredible leadership, tenacity, and dedication in establishing and leading the NIH Sexual & Gender Minority Research Office (SGRMO) has led to numerous advances in research and related areas designed to improve the health and well-being of LGBTQ/SGM individuals. SGRMO programs and initiatives, including support for the National Academies 2020 consensus study report, Understanding the Well-Being of LGBTQI+ Populations, are changing the landscape for LGBTQ health equity and positively impacting the everyday lives of sexual and gender minority individuals. As one nominator described it: “Dr. Parker is an LGBTQI+ health hero: she has created the infrastructure for LGBTQI+ health research at NIH and been a true champion of LGBTQI+ health issues both inside and outside of NIH.”
Dr. Parker currently serves as Director of the Sexual & Gender Minority Research Office (SGMRO) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She was instrumental in the formation of the office in the fall of 2015 and was appointed Director in June 2016. In her role as Director, she is co-chair of the trans-NIH Sexual and Gender Minority Research Coordinating Committee (RCC), a committee on which she has served since its inception in 2011, and co-chair of the NIH SGM Research Working Group of the Council of Councils. Dr. Parker is also a member of the NIH Anti-Harassment Steering Committee and serves as the co-chair of the NIH Office of the Director Anti-Harassment Champions Working Group. Her impact on SGM-related initiatives extends beyond NIH, as well. Dr. Parker serves as co-chair of the Measuring Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Research Group, an entity of the Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology, as well as co-chair for the Department of Health and Human Services LGBT Coordinating Committee. Learn more about Dr. Parker on the NIH website.
National Academies Report - Understanding the Well-Being of LGBTQI+ Populations
Understanding the Well-Being of LGBTQIA+ Populations, published by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) in 2020, is already having a game changing impact on the LGBTQ health research landscape. As one nominator wrote: “The 2020 NAS report is a groundbreaking effort to compile and synthesize a decade’s worth of research, policy change, and public opinion about the social and legal status and well-being of LGBTQIA+ people” and broadens “the scope of the 2011 Institute of Medicine report on LGBT health to include not just the domain of health but all of the sectors and factors – the social, political, and economic determinants – that affect LGBTQIA+ health and well-being.” In a little under a year, the report has already been used in a wide variety of policy contexts, including in support of the federal Equality Act and opposition to state-based bans on gender-affirming care for transgender youth. Another nominator wrote that the report “lays the foundation for the next decade of research, advocacy, and policy in LGBTQI+ health.” In short, the report will serve as an invaluable tool in improving the health and well-being of all sexual and gender minorities for years to come.
Charlotte J. Patterson, PhD, Martín-José Sepúlveda, MD, ScD, MPH, and Jordyn White, MS served as editors of the report, with Drs. Patterson and Sepulveda co-chairing a distinguished committee of renowned experts representative of wide-ranging topic areas in LGBTQI+ health, with particular attention to transgender, bisexual and intersex populations and to expertise in the intersections of racism and sexual and gender diverse populations. Sponsors of the report include: Gilead Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, TAWANI Foundation and Tegan and Sara Foundation.
The full report is available for free download at: https://www.nap.edu/read/25877/chapter/1.
Urvashi Vaid, JD
Urvashi Vaid, JD has contributed to the LGBTQ movement in a remarkable variety of roles throughout her lifetime of work to promote social justice and secure LGBTQ equality. She has been an advocate, organizer, funder, researcher, lobbyist, strategist, agitator, activist, author, and a leader who has held true to her principles and convictions and put them into action for lasting change. For so many LGBTQ leaders of color, Urvashi Vaid has been an inspiration and role model in their own pursuits of social justice.
Urvashi Vaid is President of The Vaid Group, a social innovation consulting firm. Previous roles include Executive Director of the Arcus Foundation; Deputy Director of Governance and Civil Society Unit at the Ford Foundation; Director of the Engaging Tradition Project at the Center for Gender & Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School; Senior Fellow at the CUNY Graduate Center Department of Sociology; Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force; and Staff Attorney with the National Prison Project at the ACLU. Her research includes: A survey of HIV/AIDS policies in US prisons (1984); Black Pride Survey (2000); A Roadmap for Change: Public Policy Issues Affecting the Criminalization of LGBTQ People and People Living with HIV (2014); The Apparitional Donor: Understanding & Engaging High Net Worth Donors of Color (2017); Intersecting Injustice: Addressing LGBTQ Poverty and Economic Justice for All (2018); the National LGBTQ+ Women*s Community Survey (2021). She is author of Irresistible Revolution: Confronting Race, Class and The Assumptions of LGBT Politics (2012); and Virtual Equality: The Mainstreaming of Gay & Lesbian Liberation (1996). Vaid is co-founder of Donors of Color Network; LPAC, National LGBTQ Anti-Poverty Action Network, LGBT/HIV Criminal Justice Working Group, National Religious Leadership Roundtable, and Creating Change Conference. Read more about Vaid on The Vaid Group's website.
In view of Florida's recently passed anti-trans law prohibiting trans girls from participating in school sports, and ongoing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, GLMA's leadership has made the decision that the 39th Annual Conference on LGBTQ Health will be held virtually. The conference was originally planned to be held in-person in Florida. Read our full announcement here.