We at LGBTQ Nation want to know who your Hometown Hero is as we try to honor LGBTQ people making a difference in their communities this past year.
Who is inspiring you to do better? Who is making your community better? Who is changing the world?
LGBTQ Nation Heroes – our annual awards program to honor the heroes we write about regularly – is going to start soon. Nominations have opened for Hometown Hero for this year. We want to know about an LGBTQ person who is doing more than is asked of them to make your community a better place.
Every year, our editors nominate LGBTQ people and close allies who made us proud this past year with their achievements, activism, art, and their hard work. We will be nominating dozens of people in several categories and you – the people of the LGBTQ Nation – can vote for who you think best embodied the characteristics of a hero.
But we can only see so much, and so many heroes aren’t making headlines. That’s why we need your help to find a Hometown Hero.
To nominate a Hometown Hero, fill out this form to tell us about them. We want to know what their work is, how they helped your community, and how they inspired you this past year (from August 1, 2020 to July 31, 2021).
Nominations will close on August 31, 2021. Voting on the other categories will start on September 1 and go through the end of the month. We’ll announce winners and the Hometown Hero – as well as some honorable mentions – after voting closes.
Last year, LGBTQ Nation was proud to honor Dr. Julian L. Watkins, M.D., a doctor in New York City who directs patient care and operations at the Riverside Sexual Health Clinic in order to fight STIs like HIV.
He worked as a contact tracer early in the coronavirus pandemic and later took on the role off Lead Equity Officer for the trace component of New York City’s COVID-19 Test and Trace program. Dr. Watkins helped keep people in his city safe from COVID-19 and assured that LGBTQ people and people of color had “friends in high places.”
If you’re at a loss for words, here is what nurse Carlotta Starks told LGBTQ Nation last year when she nominated Dr. Watkins.
“[Julian] is a talented medical provider who has a gift engaging patients through open and honest conversation — in both English and Spanish,” Starks wrote. “Patients of all backgrounds and identities always commented on how wonderful he is to speak with, and he communicates in ways to always uplift and inspire others.”
“Julian is constantly reflecting on how best he can serve the queer and POC community. I have never met a provider so committed to his values that brings his love for humanity into everything he does both professionally and personally,” she continued.
“I have seen patients, and individuals leave an interaction with him, different and changed for the better. I think he takes the time to show each individual patient that they matter and that he cares. That can change a patient’s outcome and change a patient life.”