Scout Azlan

University of Colorado Boulder - 2017

Equity for lgbtqia+ community and education through video game mediums.

Project: Equity for lgbtqia+ community and education through video game mediums. From insurance to interactions with healthcare providers to disparate connections to proper resources, the LGBTQIA+ community experiences many setbacks specific to their community within the healthcare industry. While this issue could be tackled a myriad of ways, I believe that ignorance due to lack of education towards the LGBTQIA+ community is a major barrier in solving this disconnect. By creating the foundation for safe zone training catered specifically to health care providers and even medical schools, I hope to start creating a more conducive environment for those within the LGBTQIA+ community to get the proper healthcare they deserve.

Inspiration: When I realized that I was pansexual at 12 years old, I didn’t feel any inner conflict towards this identity of mine– it just was. But a major part of my struggle can be defined by external disagreement about my own social identities that I was perfectly fine with. Having been invested in not only the LGBTQIA+ community but also in my identity as a person of color and being raised a muslim, the hatred and fear that others can create towards others will always baffle me. What has helped in trying to understand those who fail to understand that, for example, being gay will never be a choice– just as being straight isn’t– is that what most likely underlies these xenophobic systems is a lack of education. A failure to understand what it means to be a part of these communities and identities. I hope to be able to address ignorance through educating. We can continue to fight against opposing parties that stand in the way of equity by telling the how incorrect they are, but I want my work to approach ignorance by breaking down problematic belief systems by helping people come to these terms in their own way.

Future Plans for Project: Beyond getting those within the LGBTQIA+ community connected with proper healthcare and educated providers, I hope to sustain safe zone training not just within the healthcare field but in all the places we spend our daily lives in, from schools to the workplace. I hope that my work will be able to branch out into a student organization, built with the purpose of developing safe zone curricula catered to different environments and people. Overall, I want to be able to communicate the value in approaching problematic beliefs through proper education and purposeful dialogues.