Highlights from the 2022 LGBTQ and Allies Caucus Interim Meeting

The LGBTQ Allies & Caucus held its 2022 interim meeting on Friday, November 11, 2022. The local Honolulu nonprofit organization, Hawai’i Health and Harm Reduction Center, offered attendees a phenomenal educational program titled: “LGB & T Cultural Humility – Knowing Our Place”.

Participants in this session gained: a better understanding of Western concepts of LGB&T identities; increased knowledge of the culture, history and role of the native Hawaiian mahu; a better 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.

Speakers included:

Kunane Dreier: The Director of Training and Program Development at the Hawaii Health & Harm Reduction Center is a leader within the LGTBQI community. Dreier has worked in the field for over 19 years providing HIV and HCV testing and prevention services, quitting smoking, and more recently working with homeless people. Dreier also provides capacity building and training with a focus on risk reduction in Hawai’i and U.S.-affiliated Pacific Islands. Dreier graduated from the University of Hawaii at West Oahu with a bachelor’s degree in public administration and received the Pacific Business News 2019 Business of Pride Award. Dreier continues to build and foster community relationships in his professional and personal life.

Kekoa Kealoha is a medical case manager for HIV at 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 Kanaka Maoli and LGBTQIA+ communities, of which he is a part. Kealoha’s background is in sociology and public health from the University of Hawaii at Mānoa, though her advocacy and activism work comes from her own lived experience. He has served on statewide and national task forces, as a panelist for numerous events, and has presented at numerous local and national conferences. Kealoha works to end the HIV epidemic and social ills that disproportionately affect the 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 HOD’s 2022 interim meeting, AMA President Jack Resneck spoke about efforts in some states to criminalize gender-affirming care.

“Physicians understand the evidence that this, along with reducing stigma and discrimination in the community, reduces depression and suicide risk in transgender or non-binary adolescents,” Dr. Resneck said.

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