LGBTQ+ Pride Month
While LGBTQ+ Pride Month may be coming to an end, Pride can and should also be a year round thing! Whether it’s being a stronger support to the community, amplifying queer and gender non-conforming voices, or other forms of activism, here are some helpful ways to keep Pride going.
According to the most recent research done by The Trevor Project (LGBTQ+ activism and suicide prevention resource), released in spring of this year, “LGBTQ young people [ages 13-24] who had access to affirming homes, schools, community events, and online spaces reported lower rates of attempting suicide compared to those who did not.” Step one to creating an affirming space is to educate yourself on LGBTQ+ topics, such as the ones listed in the chart.
Another way is to be respectful and accepting of pronouns and gender identities or expressions. I can’t stress enough that this is literal suicide prevention, which is also demonstrated in the abovementioned survey: “Affirming gender identity among transgender and nonbinary young people is consistently associated with lower rates of attempting suicide.” And yes, this does include they/them pronouns, regardless of how you may personally feel about their grammatical validity.
The best way to amplify voices is by allowing space for members of the community to speak their truth while actively listening. This especially includes when at protests or rallies. You can also use any privilege you may have to call out aggressions and microaggressions based on what you hear from listening. And when you’re not sure, keep listening.
We can’t forget the Activism portion either. Because of the political climate of our country currently, the environment itself is enough to tank the mental health of those affected. We have a responsibility to call our senators, sign petitions, volunteer, and advocate in any way possible: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/advocacy/.
And, If you can afford to, put your money where your mouth is. Don’t get me wrong, all the rainbows and celebrations are and have been great! However, I invite you to take a moment to remember the main reason LGBTQ+ Pride exists in the first place: revolution.
Kim Johnson, LMHC, MT-BC, is a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC) and board certified music therapist (MT-BC) who graduated with her master’s from Lesley University in 2017. She has experience with adults and adolescents in group private practice and community mental health settings. The levels of care she has worked in are outpatient, with both individual and group therapy and in partial hospital programs for mental health and substance use disorders. Additionally, she has had intensive training in dialectical behavioral therapy and cognitive processing therapy for PTSD.
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