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Pride Year Round! Acceptance, Equality, Belonging and Connectedness.



By Katie Volante

July 1, 2024


As the calendar flips to July and the rainbow flags start coming down, it feels like a good time to

talk about Pride Month and what it means for our LGBTQIA+ loved ones. At its core, Pride is so

much more than just colorful celebrations (though who doesn't love a good Pride parade?!) – it's

an honoring of diversity and a poignant reminder of the ongoing journey toward true acceptance

and equality. For many of us in the queer community, Pride Month offers a sense of visibility,

belonging, and connectedness that can be crucial for mental health. But here's the thing: that

feeling of acceptance and support is vital year-round, not just in June. So, as we move into a new

month, what better time than now to reflect together on what we can do to keep the spirit of Pride and allyship going strong for ourselves and our LGBTQIA+ loved ones?

First, remember that being an ally isn't always about grand gestures. Often, it's the small,

consistent actions that make the biggest impact. It's about showing up, day after day, in ways that say, "I see you, I accept you, and I've got your back."

Do your best to stay informed about LGBTQIA+ issues and the unique mental health challenges

the community faces. This knowledge can help you better understand and empathize with your

loved one's experiences. You might worry about saying the wrong thing or not knowing enough.

That's okay. The key is to keep learning. Trust me, your efforts to understand and adapt won't go

unnoticed.

Keep the lines of communication open. Provide a safe space for your loved ones to express

themselves freely and share their journey. This could be as simple as asking, "How are you

doing?" and listening without interruption or judgment. It might also mean making consistent,

heartfelt efforts to use your loved one's preferred name or pronouns, even when they're not

around.

Recognize that coming out and exploring one’s identity isn't a one-time event. For many, it’s a

lifelong process. Be patient and let your loved one set the pace. In the meantime, you can do

things like make your home a safe haven. Consider displaying LGBTQIA+ affirming art or

books. Celebrate important days in LGBTQIA+ history. These actions show that queerness is

welcome and celebrated in your world and can help ease some of your loved one's anxiety

around the act of disclosure.

Extend your advocacy beyond the home. This could mean challenging homophobic or

transphobic comments at work, supporting LGBTQIA+-inclusive policies in your community,

participating in LGBTQIA+-focused events and fundraisers throughout the year, or simply

sharing LGBTQIA+ positive news or media. Showing your pride in them and their community

can help your loved ones in their journey toward self-acceptance and self-love.

Consider joining your local PFLAG chapter or another support group for family members and

allies of LGBTQIA+ individuals. This can provide you with additional resources and strategies

to be a successful ally for your loved one. At the same time, remember to tend to your own

mental health and emotional needs. It's okay to need time to process your feelings or seek

support. Maintaining your personal wellness isn't selfish— it's necessary.


So, whether you're a parent, friend, ally, or part of the queer community yourself, remember that

we're all learning and growing together. There will be missteps along the way, and that's okay.

What matters is that we all keep showing up for one another, keep listening, and keep loving.

Most importantly, let’s all remember that pride isn’t seasonal and doesn’t have to be confined to

a single month– it’s more of an everyday kind of thing.

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