Gene de Haan
Point Scholar 2010—2014
Gene grew up in a small farming community outside of Salem, Oregon. Beginning in middle school, Gene learned to deal with homophobia on a daily basis. At age 14, Gene was the only “out” queer in a high school of over 2,000 students. Determined to escape Salem’s conservative community, Gene graduated in three years, as a valedictorian. Gene left Salem to study English at Reed College in Portland, Oregon.
While at Reed, Gene was very active in the Queer Alliance and the Feminist Student Union. In 2004, she helped mobilize Reed students against a statewide amendment banning gay marriage. After graduating from Reed in 2005, Gene accepted an internship at the Trans/Identity Resource Center where she facilitated gender-based support groups, staffed a hormone-needle exchange, and worked with the ID Project assisting trans clients as they legally changed their names and sex designations. Gene later served as the Coordinator for Portland’s newly-established LGBTQ community center (Q Center). Gene developed five core programs: Arts and Culture, Youth, Seniors, Families, and Health and Wellness. While developing the Health and Wellness Program, Gene witnessed countless testimonials regarding barriers to healthcare facing LGBTQ communities.
After organizing a conference geared at educating healthcare providers about the needs of LGBTQ patients, Gene began the prerequisites for medical school. In 2009, Gene received a B.S. in biology from Portland State University. She recieved a dual MD/MPH through the Program in Medical Education for the Urban Underserved and plans to practice Family Medicine and conduct clinical research focusing on the specific needs of LGBTQ communities.