Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

L/G Veterinary Medical Assn. marks 20 years
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times
2013-07-23

This article shared 11352 times since Tue Jul 23, 2013
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


The Lesbian and Gay Veterinary Medical Association (LGVMA) commemorated 20 years of service and advocacy during the American Veterinary Medical Association's (AVMA) annual convention at the McCormick Place West July 19-23.

The AVMA, which has its headquarters in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg, is also celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.

The LGVMA is, according to its website, "the professional organization that fosters acceptance, inclusivity and leadership for veterinarians, veterinary technicians, veterinary students, of all sexual orientations and gender identities and their allies, through community development, professional advocacy, and personal empowerment."

Founded by two San Francisco-based veterinarians, Diana Phillips and Ken Gorczyca, as the International Membership of Gay and Lesbian Animal Doctors (I'M GLAD); the organization evolved into the LGVMA at its first annual meeting during the 1993 AVMA convention in Minneapolis.

Since then, the LGVMA has grown to about 200 members mostly in the United States and Canada.

Gorczyca—who also co-founded PAWS (Pets are Wonderful Support), a non-profit organization in San Francisco for pet owners with HIV—currently serves as the organization's executive secretary.

"When I was in veterinary school I felt very isolated as a gay person, so I felt that an organization to help with networking and creating a community was important. That's one of the main reasons why the LGVMA got started," said Gorczyca. "On an individual level most veterinarians are open and accepting. The profession, like society, has taken decades to be become more inclusive and accepting. In 2013, the LGVMA and AVMA are celebrating a diversity that makes the profession stronger and better prepared to serve all people, families and animals."

"I wasn't out professionally when I first started practicing in 1984 in San Francisco. When I later took a job near the Castro district, the fact that I'm gay wasn't an issue, but rather an asset to the clients that I served," said Gorczyca who is now retired from practice.

"In the early days of the LGVMA, the AIDS pandemic was still ravaging the LGBT community. So, LGBT veterinarians got involved to correct misconceptions about whether people with AIDS should keep pets or not. Many physicians mistakenly told their patients with AIDS to give up their pets, at a time that animal companionship sometimes was the only reason for some to want to continue living.

We advocated that the human-animal bond was beneficial for peoples health, especially our clients and friends who were dying of AIDS,so we made an effort to educate the profession as a whole," said Gorczyca.

LGVMA President Dr. Sandy Hazanow—who is also the liaison between the LGVMA and national groups such as the AVMA and the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC)—runs a practice with two other veterinarians called the Seven Hills Veterinarian Hospital in the Diamond Heights neighborhood of San Francisco.

Hazanow shared that the organization establishes lots of connections with veterinary colleges. They also discuss diversity and inclusiveness issues with the colleges to make them aware of issues and concerns that might crop up among LGBT veterinary students.

The LGVMA advocates on behalf of its members with the AVMA and also serves as a safe haven for members who can't come out in the communities where they work, noted Hazanow. Hazanow explained that the organization also helps members with networking, resources and events as well as supporting veterinarians who are just now coming out of the closet.

"In founding the LGVMA, Ken helped to create an environment where I'm very lucky that I don't have to be closeted," said Hazanow. 'Our mission continues to help individuals that do not have the privilege to live in inclusive environments like San Francisco."

According to Gorczyca, a study was done recently that showed seven percent of veterinary students self-identify as LGBT, whereas only three and a half percent of the general population self-identifies as LGBT. The profession has also gone from predominately male to predominately female, noted Gorczyca. This paradigm shift, along with societal changes,has helped to create a more inclusive educational and working environment within the veterinary profession.

Local LGVMA member Dr. Al Glater—who works at McKillip Animal Hospital in the Lakeview neighborhood—has been practicing veterinary medicine for 32 years and has been out at work since the late 1980s.

"I thought it was important to join the LGVMA so I could facilitate change through educating people that there are LGBT vets and they are just people. In urban environments things are better but that isn't the case everywhere," said Glater. "During the March on Washington in 1993, I saw a flier inviting LGBT vets to a meet-up so I went to that gathering and decided to join right away."

Another local LGVMA member Dr. Diane Dodin—who is in the process of buying an existing practice called Prospect Animal Hospital in Arlington Heights—has been practicing veterinary medicine for 10 years and has always been out at all of her jobs.

"I saw posters about the LGVMA while I was going to school at Ross University Veterinary School on the island of St. Kitts in the Caribbean. I decided to check it out and found a great group of people that I had something in common with,which was great for me because St. Kitts isn't very LGBT friendly," said Dodin.

Hazanow shared that veterinary medicine—which encompasses many disciplines including agriculture, industry, research, government and companion animal care—is a very conservative profession overall, due in part because of its agricultural roots. In some areas it is still difficult for many members of the profession to embrace LGBT diversity, said Hazanow.

"Over the past 20 years we've been in an uphill battle and right now we are reaching the crest of a wave where there are windows of opportunity for us as an organization because of the general climate in the country around LGBT issues. I think that it's a really great place to be with a lot of opportunities that we can take advantage of to see if we can push that window open so that everyone else can follow," said Hazanow.

See www.lgvma.org for more information.


This article shared 11352 times since Tue Jul 23, 2013
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Sky lose historic game; Cubs fall; White Sox split
2022-08-10
In what was openly lesbian WNBA legend Sue Bird's final regular-season game against the Chicago Sky (25-9), things certainly were memorable for her and the Seattle Storm (21-13). The Storm defeated the Sky 111-100 at Wintrust ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Trailblazing lesbian activist Pat Norman dies
2022-08-09
Pat Norman, a trailblazing lesbian in San Francisco who became a "first" in some important city appointments, died Aug. 5 at an assisted living facility in Las Vegas, according to The Bay Area Reporter. Norman, born ...


Gay News

WCT co-founder Tracy Baim stepping down from The Chicago Reader
2022-08-09
The board of directors of the Reader Institute for Community Journalism (RICJ), publishers of the Chicago Reader, announced that Tracy Baim (who co-founded Windy City Times in 1985) is stepping down as president and publisher at ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Lesbian writer/activist Elana Dykewomon dies at 72
2022-08-08
Tributes have poured in following the death of Oakland-based esteemed lesbian writer/activist Elana Dykewomon, who passed away Aug. 7 at age 72, according to EuroWeekly. She received the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction in 1998 ...


Gay News

Brittney Griner found guilty, sentenced to nine years
2022-08-04
On Aug. 4, a Russian court found out WNBA star Brittney Griner guilty of drug smuggling and possession charges—and sentenced her to nine years in prison. The widely expected verdict came after a monthlong trial ...


Gay News

Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame Announces 2022 Inductees
2022-08-03
--From a press release - The Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame, the only city-sanctioned LGBT Hall of Fame in the world, was founded in 1991 to honor Chicago's people and entities, nominated by the community, who have made significant contributions to ...


Gay News

HRC commends White House Monkeypox (MPV) Coordinator appointments; calls for greater federal response
2022-08-02
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, commended the Biden Administration for appointing Robert Fenton and ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Janan Lindley, wife of longtime activist/former bar owner Marge Summit
2022-08-01
Janan Lindley died in hospice at home with her wife, Marge Summit, by her side July 29 of cancer. She was 82. Lindley was born June 20, 1940 and was raised in New Orleans. She studied at Loop College and from ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Lesbian activist dies, school report, Robin Roberts, Joe Rogan
2022-07-31
Rita Addessa—a civil-rights activist and the first executive director of the Philadelphia Lesbian and Gay Task Force (PLGTF, later the Pennsylvania Lesbian and Gay Task Force)—passed away July 9 at Penn Hospice in Philadelphia at age ...


Gay News

Lesbian fighter Amanda Nunes recaptures UFC title
2022-07-31
On July 30, Amanda Nunes—a Brazilian lesbian who's considered one of the best mixed martial-arts fighters of all time—recaptured the UFC women's bantamweight title from Julianna Pena in a match in Dallas' American Airlines Center, ES ...


Gay News

Biden reportedly offers arms dealer in exchange for Griner, Whelan
2022-07-27
After months of internal debate, the Biden administration has offered to exchange Viktor Bout, a convicted Russian arms trafficker serving a 25-year prison sentence in Illinois, as part of a potential deal ...


Gay News

NCLR applauds Biden administration's restoration of key civil rights protections in health care regulations
2022-07-27
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON, DC — The National Center for Lesbian Rights applauds today's issuance of new proposed federal regulations that will restore essential nondiscrimination protections in health care, as required by federal ...


Gay News

HRC commends World Health Organization for declaring Monkeypox a global health emergency
2022-07-24
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON—Today, The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, commended the World Health Organization (WHO) for taking the step to ...


Gay News

TELEVISION In the kitchen with Kristen Kish, newest host of 'Iron Chef'
2022-07-22
Iron Chef premiered on Japanese television in October 1993. This over-the-top culinary competition took the world by storm. Over the course of seven seasons and 309 episodes, viewers were wowed by renowned chefs facing off against ...


Gay News

Pro Russian woman tennis player says she's in same-sex relationship
2022-07-18
Russia's highest-ranked women's tennis player, Daria Kasatkina, said in a video interview released July 18 that she is dating a woman, according to ESPN. The 25-year-old French Open semifinalist's comments come as the Russian parliament discus ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 

Sponsor


Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.