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Why is Pride important to the LBGTQ+ community?

Why is Pride important to the LBGTQ+ community?

This article was written by Courtney Washington, PsyD, Parkview Behavioral Health Institute.

While Pride Month is celebrated around the world in June, we have a local parade and festivities in July to fit in with the busy downtown Fort Wayne summer calendar. It’s common for people to wonder why Pride Month is so important to this community. Many believe it’s an excuse to dress up in costumes and participate in party culture. While Pride Month can instill fear, anxiety, or judgment for some, for those of us who are part of the community, these events have a very specific history and purpose. In these meaningful moments of connection, we feel visible and that the community supports our presence.

If you want to learn more about the LGBTQ+ community, check out this article.

History of Pride

To better understand the importance of LGBTQ pride, we must first understand the history of oppression against this community. Pride is celebrated in June to commemorate LGBTQ history. Stonewall Uprising The incident occurred in New York in 1969.

The LGBTQ+ community had reached a turning point and was beginning to backpedal as they faced constant targeting, violence, and oppression. This came at a time when social revolution, civil rights movements, women’s rights movements, and disability rights movements were rampant. During this time, mistreatment of the LGBTQ+ community, especially people of color, was rampant.

The first march was held on the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall riots, in memory of the harmful events that took place against that community. It is now widely considered the first gay pride march. There are currently approximately 105 pride events each year around the world.

Why is pride important?

Despite LGBTQ+ rights being human rights, unfortunately, oppression, violence, and harmful legislation against this group of people are still prevalent in the United States and around the world. In America alone, there are 23 states that provide little to no protection for LGTBQ+ individuals. Furthermore, over the past few years, we have seen countless anti-LGBTQ+ legislation proposed at the state and national levels.

Due to systemic oppression across the U.S., LGBTQ+ youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their peers of the same age, and more than 41% of these youth seriously consider suicide. These rates are higher for Black and Latino youth. The risk of suicide for LGBTQ+ adults is three to six times higher than for their peers of the same age. LGBTQ+ adults are more likely to struggle with mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, and are at higher risk for substance use disorders.

These increases in difficulty are a direct byproduct of rejection and discrimination from the dominant culture. For many LGBTQ+ people, the community is their family, as nearly half of people are estranged from at least one biological family member and a third report feeling unsure of their family’s acceptance if they come out. This is why “mom and dad hugs” offered by strangers are so common at Pride events.

Here are the reasons why Pride Month is so important to many LGBTQ+ identities (among others). It’s an opportunity to express joy, love, connection, and support for each other and the community that accepts them despite the rejection of others. It’s a time to celebrate and be seen as the beautiful individuals that they are; a time to feel safe and accepted for who they are.

I want help?

The Parkview Behavioral Health Institute Helpline is a central entry point for people seeking behavioral health services or experiencing a crisis. Call the PBHI Helpline any time, 24 hours a day, at 260-471-9440 or toll-free at 800-284-8439. Our experienced professionals can answer your questions, provide advice, and help you arrange care.

You can reach the National 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by calling or texting 988 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

If you are having difficulties and need someone to talk to, CareLIVE offers anonymous chat with trained “SoulMedics” 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Just visit RemedyLIVE home page and click the “Chat Now” button at the top of the page or send a message to 494949.

Mental Health in America (MHA), a community-based, nonprofit mental health services provider, can help you identify concerns and recommend services. If you are in crisis, call 800-273-TALK.