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October 12, 2020

The Doctor Is Out—Reflections on Being a Black, Queer Physician

Author Affiliations
  • 1Boston Combined Residency Program, Department of Pediatrics, Boston Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Boston Combined Residency Program, Department of Pediatrics, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Pediatr. Published online October 12, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.3607

Chants of “love wins” ricocheted from the concrete streets of New York City up to my window. On June 26, 2015, the US Supreme Court narrowly ruled in Obergefell v Hodges that the Fourteenth Amendment requires all states to grant same-sex marriage licenses. With my identity tucked safely under the guise of an ally, I went out to the streets to celebrate, surrounded by posters, glitter, hope, and pride. I was handed a newspaper with the front page featuring the day’s slogan printed over a rainbow-filled crowd. I took 2. I purposely saved a copy to take with me back to Michigan, where I was not yet out to my medical school or family. But that landmark decision helped me decide that my time in the closet was up and that it was time to throw out cloaks of isolation, fear, and resentment. My eyes welled—love could look like me.

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