Public Health Research

Jonathan Garcia on health disparities and LGBTQ+ well-being 

College of Health researcher fights for health equity in LGBTQ+ communities

Jonathan Garcia in front of a Pride flag

Associate Professor Jonathan Garcia works globally and domestically on health disparities that emerge at the intersection of sexuality, gender and race.

His work has focused on devising community-led approaches to social inclusion, HIV prevention and Hepatitis C treatment access, especially among Latine and LGBTQ+ people.

What inspired you to study this area?

My research, teaching and service are driven by my lived experience as a queer Colombian immigrant and as the first person in my family to attend college. As queer people, so much of what we have done to transform society has had positive impact on bringing down walls, binaries and power structures.

This is what celebrating pride is all about — appreciating our communities for their strength and struggle.

How has your work impacted the health and well-being of LGTBQ+ people?

Our work has impacted how queer and Latine people connect with each other. For example, in the Engaging the Next Latinx Allies for Change and Equity project, we addressed social isolation among queer Latine youth by training Latine peers in the context of 4-H to become empathic listeners and to see how we are all affected by systems of oppression.

What message would you like to share for Pride Month?

Jonathan Garcia singing with Eugene Gay Men's Chorus

I would like to invite everyone to support Pride Month by donating and/or attending the upcoming Eugene Gay Men’s Chorus concert, “Love Yourself!”

Since joining the chorus in September, I have found a beautiful community of people of all genders transforming society through song. The chorus performs in Eugene on June 15 at 7:30 p.m. and in Corvallis at 5 p.m. on June 16. Tickets are available online or at the door.

Our chorus is heading to Minneapolis for the 2024 GALA Choruses Festival, where we’ll be performing with 7,000 singers from across the country! To help some members make this exciting trip possible, we’re seeking donations. Please consider giving.