Episode 9: The Importance of the Pin ft. Cassidy Bommer, M4, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

Queer History Lesson of the Day

Why are rainbow colors arguably the most recognizable LGBTQI and nonbinary symbol? This stems from the original rainbow flag which was created by Gilbert Baker in 1978. Baker was a gay rights activist, army veteran, and writer, who made the flag for the Gay Freedom Pride Parade upon the request of Harvey Milk.

The original flag had eight colors: pink, red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, blue, and violet.

The following year, pink and turquoise were removed leaving six colors as the staple for decades. There were variations over the years, however, the most recent influential change was the addition of brown and black for racial inclusivity. This flag was unveiled at Philadelphia’s pride parade in 2017 and was the first time a major institution had ever modified the flag as a way to highlight racial diversity within it.


Have you ever contemplated coming out to your provider because of fear or stigma? Are you sick of being asked “Do you have sex with men, women, or both?” Do colleagues ask you about your engagement ring and assume your partner’s gender? These are scenarios that LGBTQI and nonbinary individuals deal with on a regular basis both as patients, providers, and medical trainees. Today, we speak to Cassidy Bommer, a fourth year medical student and the founder of Kaleidoscope Health Alliance (KHA). KHA is invested in improving both the visibility and competency of LGBTQ healthcare allies and growing the LGBTQ-identified healthcare workforce by providing a pin to be worn on daily attire, white coats, or ID badges. The rainbow caduceus pin is a way for healthcare professionals to easily share their ally status. Healthcare professionals and students who wear this pin commit to providing compassionate care to the LGBTQ community. Seeing this subtle symbol could allow a transgender teen or elderly lesbian to feel truly comfortable with their healthcare provider for the first time.


Show Notes

Support Kaleidoscope Health Alliance

Purchase a pin here

If you are an individual or organization with limited funds and are interested in applying for full or partial sponsorship for your pin request, please apply here prior to placing your order.

Donate or sponsor organizations, medical programs, or institutions by contacting KHA

Congratulations to Cassidy Bommer on her acceptance to OB/GYN residency at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, CA

Special thanks to Kaleidoscope Health Alliance