“As we close out this extremely tough year, I am grateful for my twenty-eight years of life. Focusing on our health as a community has never been a higher priority. I am hoping we all enter 2021 with a continued desire to protect ourselves by advocating for ourselves. One significant test all people with a cervix should ask for is a Pap smear. It is a routine procedure that is critical in the early detection of cervical cancer. Since their introduction in the United States, Pap smears have saved thousands of lives. January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. I would like to encourage anyone reading this post to take the time today to book those annual appointments to ensure your standard physical checks are done & your health concerns are addressed. I just completed a visit to my gynecologist this week, so I can admit I was putting mine off as the year came to a close. My Pap smear was quick & easy. My doctor patiently answered all of my questions. Knowing this appointment is done has made me feel more in control of my health in the year ahead! Access to information about our health is key. Request a Pap smear for yourself. Encourage your friends & your family to do the same. For the remainder of my 20s, I am hoping to spend a lot of time with the people I love. I imagine that feeling of relief as we move freely again in the world together – swimming in lakes or pools, dancing in gay bars, & traveling to celebrate the big milestones. We can continue to show up for each other by taking care of our personal health along the way. Cheers to a healthy & happy New Year for each of you.”