Pride Month – Allies in Action: Fatima

Southcoast Health celebrates Pride Month this June

As Southcoast Health celebrates Pride Month this June, Fatima shares her experience as a parent and ally to three children who are all members of the LGBTQ community. 

Fatima Melendez is an Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) at Southcoast Health’s Visiting Nurse Association (VNA).

Fatima views Pride Month as a time to celebrate and educate others about the LGBTQ community as a whole. “During this month, we celebrate the ability to be more visible, to be heard and to be proud,” she says. “It allows us to be around others just like us without fear or criticism.” 

One of her favorite parts of Pride Month is being introduced to families just like her own. “It fills my heart and helps carry me through to keep fighting for equality,” she says. 

To Fatima, Pride Month also provides an opportunity to help educate others. “Education is the key to opening people’s hearts,” she says. “This is especially true for parents and families of our LGBTQ youth who need their family’s love and support to feel validated.” 

Fatima hopes that education will help people see that regardless of romantic preference and gender identity, we are all humans who deserve love and acceptance. 

Dedicated to Advocating for Transgender Rights

A cause Fatima is particularly dedicated to is advocating for transgender rights. As a parent, she knows how important it is for these individuals to have as many allies and advocates as possible.

“I have seen firsthand how confusing and scary it can be for someone to come out to their friends and family as trans and all the misconceptions that can follow,” she says. “I fiercely believe we need to protect Trans Kids and fight for their right to inclusion.”

Southcoast Heath’s main goal is always to provide equitable care and support for all our patients, their families, our community, and each other.

At work, Fatima is a member of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council and part of the 3 P’s workgroup (Pronouns, Preferred Names and Policies) that focuses on the support of the LGBTQ community. “I am proud of all the steps Southcoast has made to make our community one of inclusion, not only for our employees and family but also for our patients,” she says.