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CONCORD, NH - On Wednesday, June 30, the last day of Pride Month, over 50 Granite Staters joined New Futures, New Hampshire’s leading health policy and advocacy organization, for a conversation on LGBTQ+ health equity. The full conversation can be viewed here.

The conversation was led by esteemed LGBTQ+ leaders and activists from across New Hampshire, including, state Rep. Gerri Cannon, of Somersworth; former state Rep. Ed Butler, of Hart’s Location; Alyssa Antman, Public Affairs Organizer for Planned Parenthood Northern New England; Carlos Cardona, Laconia Community Leader; and Finnley Allen, LGBTQ Youth Advocate.  The discussion was moderated by Michele Merritt, New Futures’ President and CEO. 

The panelists discussed their lived experiences as members of the LGBTQ+ community, their advocacy efforts, and what can be done year-round to support health equity in the Granite State.

When asked about the biggest barriers to LGBTQ+ health equity, Rep. Gerri Cannon responded, “Finding health care providers in general that are knowledgeable about our community. As a transgendered woman, when I first came out and was trying to find an endocrinologist that could help me here in New Hampshire, I experienced overwhelming challenges, and in the process, I educated three doctors myself on what my own care should be. While care is getting a little better, the health care system is not meeting the needs of our community.”

All panelists mentioned access to culturally competent and affordable clinical health and mental care as a main barrier to their health and wellbeing in New Hampshire. “Access to culturally competent affordable health care for LGBTQ+ is one of the biggest issues right now because we are seeing such a massive underfunding of family planning programs and public health across the state,” said Alyssa Antman, a Public Affairs Organizer for Planned Parenthood Northern New England. “There have been major attacks on health care and reproductive rights, especially in the state budget passed this last Friday. We have 11,000 patients that rely on critical access to care that will be negatively impacted by this budget and especially hitting our LGBTQ+ communities even harder. We need to see more people that are us in elected positions and leadership roles. Especially for younger folks, to have role models and people that are paving the way and centering LGBTQ+ voices in advocacy and make sure to partner with LGBTQ+ individuals in this work because we know what our communities need.”

While Pride Month has come to a close, New Futures will continue to prioritize health equity and uplift the voices of impacted communities. To learn more about New Futures, please visit https://new-futures.org/become-an-advocate and discover how to use your voice to speak up for New Hampshire's health and wellness.

Contact information for panelists:

Gerri Cannon (she/her) gerri.cannon@leg.state.nh.us

Ed Butler (he/him) edofthenotch@gmail.com

Carlos Cardona (he/him) ccardona2012@me.com

Alyssa Antman (she/her) alyssa.antman@ppnne.org 

Finnley Allen (he/him/they/them) kapabear5@gmail.com

More from the New Futures' Pride Month series:

ABOUT NEW FUTURES

New Futures is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that advocates, educates and collaborates to improve the health and wellness of all New Hampshire residents through policy change. Learn more at www.new-futures.org.

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Advocacy