LGBTQIA+ History Month is held each October in observance of the history of people who identify as LGBTQIA+, and of the history of the fight for gay rights.
June is recognized each year as Pride Month, a recognition and celebration of the dignity, equality, and increased visibility of people who are LGBTQIA+. June also commemorates the Stonewall riots, which occurred in June of 1969, and the impact that LGBTQIA+ people have had on the world.
While there is some overlap, LGBTQIA+ History Month focuses more on the impact made throughout history by people who are LGBTQIA+. It also celebrates the advancements that have been made in the fight for equal rights for LGBTQIA+ people, while recognizing the fight is not over.
Equality Forum (the organization which coordinates LGBTQIA+ History Month) recognizes a different LGBTQIA+ historical figure and the contributions they made each day in October. You can read about these people – including suffragist Susan B. Anthony, composer Frédéric Chopin, and Althea Garrison, the first elected transgender state legislator in the U.S. – on Equality Forum’s LGBT History Month website.
This October, we’re talking to several of our teammates who identify as LGBTQIA+ about the progress that has been made toward equal rights for people who are LGBTQIA+, the work that still needs to be done, and the best ways we can all support the LGBTQIA+ adults and youth we know.
Our second interview is with Sarah (Sa) Wicklund, Patient Care Coordinator at our Duluth/Hermantown, Minnesota Green Goods location.
Tell us a little about yourself. What is your name? Where are you from? What are your preferred pronouns?
Hi! I’m Sarah (Sa) from Duluth/Hermantown, and I prefer they/them or she/her.
When did you start at Goodness Growth/Green Goods, and what is your location and job title?
I started with Vireo November 2020 as a Patient Care Coordinator (PCC) and helped to open up our Duluth/Hermantown Cannabis Patient Care Center (CPC)!
Tell us a little about your role at Vireo.
I have enjoyed being a PCC and genuinely love helping our patients. I am thankful for my coworkers and feel lucky to be part of this team.
What made you interested in joining the cannabis industry?
I worked in mental health for over a decade, and have always been interested in more natural/ holistic medications. I started studying cannabis as medication five years ago and am happy for the opportunity to work and continue learning in this field.
What do you like about working at Goodness Growth?
When I first started here, I was pleasantly surprised at how welcoming and warm people were to me. I felt validated as a human and it was appreciated.
What are some challenges of working in the cannabis industry?
It has been so rewarding helping our patients; I wish cannabis would be descheduled so that we can study it more, and maybe someday have insurance help our patients with the cost.
What does LGBTQIA+ History Month mean to you?
It reminds me to not take for granted the freedoms that I do have; to never forget the struggle that was endured for people in the LGBTQIA+ community to be equal. I know there is still a long way to go, but am thankful I got to see marriage be legalized in USA for LGBTQIA+ people in my lifetime!
Any suggestions for how people can help support their LGBTQIA+ friends and family?
Just being an open minded person is golden. Hearing and listening to others (validating others as people) is especially important, as it can feel isolating and lonely sometimes.
Any family, friends, or co-workers that you want to shout out?
I am lucky to be part of the Hermantown team and am so thankful for my coworkers there!!
Thank you, Sa, for sharing your story with us!