Getting my first Covid-19 vaccine shot turned out to be an emotional experience, but not for the reason you’d imagine. While getting the first dose last week and the second in a few weeks time will relieve me of some worry about Covid-19, that wasn’t the reason. And while getting the shots might eventually get me out of my quarantine and allow me to see friends and family again, that also was not the reason.
My shot was administered by a program especially designed to assure that the LGBT community, and especially LGBT seniors, get vaccinated. Members of an LGBT medical clinic and the LGBT community center worked together to have a professionally and safely conducted vaccine drive in an LGBT-friendly senior affordable living building. Note that every aspect of that vaccine experience has an LGBT attached to it.
Allow me to be dramatic here. Never did I expect, 52 years ago standing outside the Stonewall, that we could build a community that had all the components to take care of its own. That was our dream, to build a community as robust, educated, and empathetic, a community that looked out for each other.
After all, back then there were no LGBT medical clinics in the nation. There were no LGBT community centers, There weren’t any LGBT senior living buildings and there certainly was no city in the nation that would create a medical system to meet the specific needs of the LGBT community.
So getting that shot means more to me then simple protection from Covid-19. It represents pride in our community; a community we built which can take care of its own and has the clout to get the resources it needs to do so.
For me, that shot represents pride. After five decades of activism, it’s a dream come true.