Swope Health Celebrates LGBTQ+ Pride Month!

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer + (LGBTQ+) Pride Month is celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan.

The Stonewall Uprising was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. Celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts.  Memorials are held during this month for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS.

The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally. Swope Health is proud to support LGBTQ+ individuals in June – and every day.

Ryan StokesDr. Ryan Stokes, Clinic Director at Swope Health Belton, provides care for patients with gender dysphoria, which is when a patient’s sex at birth doesn’t match the gender to which they identify. Dr. Stokes works with his patients on hormone therapy, which helps move his patients toward a comfortable level where they feel they can present as their true self.

“The transgender community is definitely marginalized, and it can be difficult for them to find care,” Dr. Stokes said. “With the revocation of transgender healthcare protections, they can be actively turned away for being a transgender patient. As a person of color, I know how difficult it can be to face discriminations like these.  Anything we can do as providers to normalize the LGBTQ+ journey is the compassionate choice.”

Swope Health Supports Inclusivity

In an effort to demonstrate Swope Health’s dedication to inclusivity, pronoun buttons will be available to Swope Health doctors, clinicians and associates. These buttons designate the wearer’s preferred identity, and more importantly, signal awareness and respect for the preferences of others.

A pronoun is as much a part of a person’s identity as their name. And since pronouns should not be assumed based on appearance, many organizations now use pronoun buttons to help people identify themselves. These pins help members of the LGBTQ+ community feel comfortable and help make a conversation around pronouns feel normal.

“Even if you don’t need to wear a pronoun button for people to correctly guess your preference, having the pronouns visible shows our community and patients that they can feel comfortable telling us theirs,” said Dr. Rachel Melson, Director of Provider Engagement.

Learn more

All are invited to attend a webinar featuring Dr. Christy Hutton, a BRITE educator with The Center Project, on Wednesday, June 23 at 12 p.m.


The free event is held on Zoom:


Passcode: 3801

BRITE (Building Respect and Inclusion through Training and Education) is an inclusivity program that focuses on rethinking misconceptions around gender and sexuality, increasing understanding of the LGBTQ+ community and experience, and helping groups identify and develop inclusive practices in their work.

The Center Project is a grassroots nonprofit organization and Mid-Missouri’s only community center focused on the needs of LGBTQ individuals and communities. Designed as a safe and open space, TCP supports the under-served sexuality and gender-based groups within the region, including youth, families, and those living in rural communities.

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