In a joint letter sent last week to the University of Minnesota School of Public Health community, Dean John Finnegan and Professor Simon Rosser approached the Orlando tragedy as a massacre motivated by hate and made possible by easy access to an automatic weapon. They also recognized homonegativity as an overlooked public health crisis.
At Minnesota, for more than a decade we have been extensively researching homonegativity and the health risks, including HIV/AIDS, for men who have sex with men. We recently launched a dedicated fund to promote LGBT health research. Although gun violence is not part of Minnesota’s research portfolio, the school has been exploring gun violence as a public health challenge through thought pieces, a student-led forum in March 2016, and an invited talk in June 2016 by Harvard Professor and national gun violence prevention expert David Hemenway.