Pride in Dermatology

September 15, 2021

Homeward NYC was honored to be selected by La Roche-Posay, a dermatologist-recommended skin care brand, as a benefitting organization for their June 30 Pride in Dermatology celebration. (Our team was fully vaccinated, and the event took place before the emergence of the delta variant of COVID-19.)

CEO Jeannette Ruffins with Oscar, a supportive housing resident from our West Harlem site

CEO Jeannette Ruffins described our work then read a prepared statement from Oscar—a formerly homeless LGBTQ supportive housing resident—while a supportive crowd cheered.

Oscar was excited to share his story but nervous about public speaking and wrote:

“At Homeward NYC, I gained resilience by receiving support from my life skills manager and my clinician. I have dealt with my mental health and substance use. Now I can hold a job and contribute to society. I’m becoming the person I always imagined myself to be. I have never felt so empowered to set and obtain my goals with the support I have received. Goals that seemed impossible to achieve before are now within my reach.”

Then Tyler Steele, Vice-President for Medical & Media Relations at La Roche-Posay, presented Homeward NYC with a check. Check out this cell phone video:

The event was emceed by activist and entertainer Peppermint from RuPaul’s Drag Race, Tyler Steele, and dermatologist Dr. Karan Lal. Music was provided by DJ Cazwell and a live performance from Adam Lambert.

La Roche-Posay’s #PrideinDerm night celebrated the LGBTQ community, diversity, inclusivity, friends and allies, and skin health… and supported Homeward NYC and OutCare Health.

Tyler Steele was familiar with our work providing LGBTQ young adult supportive housing and introduced us to La Roche-Posay. Steele noted both he and the company were interested in issues of equity, access, mentorship, and visibility for LGBTQ folks and persons of color as both providers and users of dermatology care.

The night’s program also included video messages of support for the LGBTQ community from Boy George, Melissa Etheridge, Lance Bass, Lea Delaria, Alyssa Edwards, Daniel Franzese, Amanda Lepore, Danell Leyva, Shane McAnally and Katie Sowers courtesy of Cameo.

Photos from the event are available on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Thank you, La Roche-Posay, for including us in your Pride Month celebration and for your generous donation to our LGBTQ young adult supportive housing!