Bodies and Barriers: Raising up the voices of LGBT health consumers to remove barriers to care

Friday, June 26th 2020

1:00 PM - 2:30 PM


In this workshop, participants will hear from three queer health activists about how patient-centered narratives from LGBT healthcare consumers can be lifted up to remove barriers to healthcare for the LGBT patient population, particularly when LGBT community members are seeking HIV treatment and / or HIV prevention services or COVID-19 treatment. The healthcare system is not working for LGBTQ people, but sharing our stories about the experiences we have had trying to access quality care can change the system and make it work for our queer bodies. The panelists include the editor and contributing authors to the new anthology Bodies and Barriers: Queer Activists on Health


  1. identify barriers to care that prevent that LGBT patient population from seeking prevention and treatment services,
  2. express the importance of patient narratives for recommending clinical changes and
  3. recommend clinical changes that will improve access to care for the LGBT patient population


Adrian Shanker

Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center

Adrian Shanker is editor of the critically acclaimed anthology Bodies and Barriers: Queer Activists on Health and the executive director of Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center in Allentown, PA. A specialist in LGBT health policy, he developed leading-edge health promotion campaigns to advance health equity through behavioral, clinical, and policy changes. Adrian administered data collection for the 2015, 2018, and 2020 Pennsylvania LGBT Health Needs Assessments. He co-authored “Queer and Quitting: Addressing Tobacco Use as an LGBTQ Issue”, in The Routledge Handbook for LGBTQIA Administration and Policy. Adrian serves as Commissioner and health committee co-chair on the Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs. Previously, he served on the Office of Health Equity Advisory Board at Pennsylvania Department of Health. Named a “Healthcare Hero” by Lehigh Valley Business and twice named ‘Person of the Year’ by Philadelphia Gay News, Adrian earned a Graduate Certificate in LGBT Health Policy & Practice from George Washington University.


Emmett Patterson

Emmett Patterson is a queer health activist, a writer, and The Global Health Projects Manager at Grindr for Equality. He studied Public Health and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at American University and completed a graduate certificate in LGBT Health Policy and Practice at George Washington University. His work focuses on transmasculine sexual health and trauma. He is the cofounder of Not Your Average Sex Talk, a peer-to-peer sex education activist training program that prepares young queer and trans activists to create their own spaces for sexual health and wellness programming. At Grindr, he oversees health programs, projects, and campaigns for LGBT users worldwide.


Sean Strub

Sean Strub is a longtime activist and writer who has been HIV positive for more than thirty-three years. He is the founder of POZ magazine, the leading independent global source of information about HIV, and served as its publisher and executive editor from 1994 to 2004. He presently serves as the executive director of the Sero Project, a network of people with HIV fighting for freedom from stigma and injustice. Strub was active with the People with AIDS Coalition/New York in the mid-eighties, cochaired the fundraising committee for ACT UP/New York in the late eighties, and in 1990 became the first openly HIV positive person to run for the U.S. Congress. He is the author of Body Counts: A Memoir of Politics, Sex, AIDS, and Survival.


Location Details


Spotlight On

Karam Mounzer, MD

Dr. Mounzer identified two major gaps in the care of patients with HIV/hepatitis C (HCV) co-infection, and the complexity of multidrug-resistant HIV treatment. He is involved with many clinical trials focusing on drug development and better understanding of HIV immunopathogenesis with the Wistar Institute. He is involved in teaching and mentoring.

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Dr. Karam Mounzer

Dr. Mario Cruz

Dr. Mario CruzDr. Cruz is a board certified pediatrician who serves as the Medical Director for our Pediatrics and Adolescent Health Center. He has presented and/or published in the fields of community violence and domestic violence prevention, quality improvement, behavioral health, curriculum development and mentorship. In 2019 he received the Greater Philadelphia Social Innovation Award for Innovations in Healthcare.

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