LGBTQ+ essential workers honored for their dedication during the pandemic

June is Pride Month, and even though there was no Pride parade with Grand Marshals this year, LA Pride honored some outstanding members of the community: our LGBTQ+ essential workers.

Grocery worker Sammy Choza shared, "I've been working here at the West Hollywood Pavilions for four years. During the pandemic, I think we all did our part to keep our spirits high."

"But there were days where I would go up to my car after my shift, and I would just sit there for 20-30 minutes because it was...it was such a day."

"I feel honored that we're being recognized as essential workers during LA Pride. There's a lot of us, you know, essential workers that identify as LGBTQ+, so it's good that we're recognized."

Farmworker Eduarda Sosa Olivera told us in Spanish: "I've worked in the cilantro harvest since I arrived in the United States."

She continued, "When the pandemic began, it has a big impact on us farmworkers. We ran the risk of being infected with COVID-19."

"In part, we felt like heroes, as some say. But at the same time, we really had no choice but to work."

Jennifer Lettsome, nurse practitioner at APLA Health added, "I grew up around this community in South L.A. We do care for everybody, but we do see a lot of Black and Brown LGBT patients."

"Healthcare doesn't take a break here. So, I'm thankful to be a healthcare worker and provide care for the patients here."

"I've been on with the fire department and serving the citizens of Los Angeles for the last 32 years," said firefighter Elena Mattox.

"Since the last year we've been serving the citizens of Lincoln Heights going through this pandemic, originally with the PCR testing. Now, we've been doing vaccinations."

"It's been such a reward...the joy, the feeling to see those people once they get vaccinated. And then you see them getting their vaccination card and they're so happy."
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