Pride Month: LGBTQ Ally – Mija
Mija is an LGBTQ ally and has demonstrated her commitment to providing equitable care for this community many times throughout her career.
Mija Bresloff-Almeida is a Registered Nurse at the Southcoast Health Pulmonary Care Center in Fall River. Before taking on this role in 2018, she had many years of experience working at the Southcoast Health Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) as a hospice nurse.
“Being an ally dates back to my college years in Boston during the beginning of the AIDS epidemic,” she says. “I became active with the AIDS Action Committee as an ally to people living with HIV/AIDS. I also worked as a CNA caring for people hospitalized with HIV-related infections. I then went on to become a hospice nurse at the Hospice at Mission Hill, which was the first federally funded hospice solely for people dying from complications of HIV/AIDS.”
Southcoast Health celebrates Pride Month this June
As Southcoast Health celebrates Pride Month this June, Mija shares her experience as an ally not only in her professional role, but also as a parent to a young adult child, Kaz, who is a member of the LGBTQ community. Mija believes that her career experience has helped her be a better parent to an LGBTQ child, as she knew the many obstacles members of this community face both publicly and privately.
“Pride Month, to me, is a time to celebrate the wonderful diversity of who we are as humans,” she says. “My being an ally is important to me as one of the ways I demonstrate to my child that they matter, they count and that I will do whatever I have to do to make this world a just and equitable place for them to live in.”
Learn from your children – be their LGBTQ Ally
Giving advice to other parents with children who are members of the LGBTQ community, Mija stresses the importance of education and support. She encourages parents to learn from their children and know that this is about their child, who may still be figuring out where they fit on the LGBTQ spectrum. She acknowledges that some of the conversations can be awkward, but it is good to talk through them and gain a better understanding.
“It is OK to make mistakes, like using the wrong pronoun or to ‘dead name’ (if one has changed their name, legally or not); just acknowledge the mistake and correct it,” she says. “The main thing an LGBTQ child or young adult needs from their parents is their love, support and to know that mom or dad are in their corner and will fight for them always.”
Southcoast Health is committed to embracing and fostering a diverse and welcoming environment for all. We strive for a culture of health that recognizes, respects, and celebrates the rich diversity of one another and the communities we serve. Learn more about our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council.