Hines VA Hospital to hold Pride flag raising ceremony on June 1

Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital will raise a rainbow Pride flag on June 1, 2023, at 11 a.m. to show support for the LGBTQ+ community as part of Pride Month.

Community members are welcome to the small flag-raising ceremony. James Doelling, director of Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital, will deliver remarks during the event. Hines VA's Service and PRIDE! support group, and Transgender Support Group will also attend.

"Every Veteran raised their hand and pledged to defend this country," said Doelling. "Regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity, Hines VA serves all who served."

The flag will be displayed throughout June alongside military service flags near the hospital's main entrance.

About Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital

Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital, located 12 miles west of downtown Chicago on a 147-acre campus, offers primary, extended and specialty care to veteran patients in the Chicago area. Hines VA is the largest VA in the state of Illinois, where more than a million Veterans reside. The hospital treats Veterans from World War II through the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Following the ceremony, Hines staff will host an information booth regarding LGBTQ+ support through Hines VA and the Department of Veterans Affairs. The booth will be open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Building One's F Lobby.

U.S. Army Veteran Gilbert Baker created the rainbow Pride flag in 1978. Navy Veteran Monica Helms designed the transgender Pride flag in 1999.

Hines VA will display an intersex progress Pride flag, which includes the traditional rainbow design, along with white, pink, blue, black and brown triangular stripes to promote transgender and racial equity. A circle will be displayed for intersex persons.

Hines VA began one of VA's first LGBTQ+ support groups in 2014. The hospital offers hormone therapy, gender-affirming communication treatment, gender-affirming prosthetics and other LGBTQ+-focused Veteran health care.

"Hines has a long tradition of showing support for our LGBTQ+ Veterans, staff, volunteers, and visitors and holding events to celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride month," said Lorry Luscri, Hines VA LGBTQ+ Veteran care coordinator. "We will start our recognition and celebration of Pride month by raising the Pride flag. Flying this flag during June is a way we can remind this community that we welcome everyone, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity."

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