2022 LGBTQ & Allies Caucus Interim Meeting highlights
The LGBTQ Allies & Caucus held its 2022 Interim Meeting on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022. The local Honolulu non-profit, Hawai’i Health and Harm Reduction Center, provided attendees with a phenomenal education program titled: “LGB and T Cultural Humility–Knowing our Place.”
Attendees of this session gained: Increased understanding of western concepts of LGB&T identities; increased knowledge about the culture, history and role of native Hawaiian Mahu; increased understanding of the impacts of colonialism on our native Hawaiian Mahu community; and increased confidence to provide culturally appropriate services to Native Hawaiian LGB&T communities.
The speakers included:
Kunane Dreier: Director of Training & Program Development at the Hawaii Health & Harm Reduction Center is a leader within the LGTBQI community. Dreier has worked in the field for 19+ years providing HIV and HCV testing and prevention services, smoking cessation and most recently, working with individuals experiencing houselessness. Dreier also provides capacity building and training with a focus on harm reduction throughout Hawai’i and the U.S. affiliated Pacific Islands. Dreier is a graduate of the University of Hawaii at West Oahu with a bachelor’s in public administration and is a recipient of the Pacific Business News 2019 Business of Pride award. Dreier continues to build and foster community relationships in both his professional and personal life.
Kekoa Kealoha is an HIV medical case manager with the Hawaiʻi Health & Harm Reduction Center. Working in HIV care and prevention for over seven years, Kealoha is passionate about creating equitable opportunities for his clients and the broader Kanaka Maoli and LGBTQIA+ communities, of which he is a part. Kealoha’s educational background is in sociology and public health from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, though his work in advocacy and activism comes from his own lived experience. He has served on statewide and national working groups, as a panelist for many events, and presented at many local and national conferences. Kealoha works to end the HIV epidemic and the social ailments that disproportionately impact LGBTQIA+ community, communities of color, and all marginalized and disenfranchised people
Donate to the Hawai’i Health and Harm Reduction Center.
During his speech at the opening session of the 2022 Interim Meeting of the HOD, AMA President Jack Resneck spoke about efforts in some states to criminalize gender-affirming care.
“Physicians understand the evidence that it, along with lessening stigma and discrimination in the community, reduces depression and suicide risk among transgender or nonbinary adolescents,” said Dr. Resneck.