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5 Impactful Ways to Support the LGBTQ+ Community During Pride Month

Learn how to become a better ally and strengthen community bonds during PRIDE month. Simple steps towards educating yourself, attending events, supporting LGBTQ+ businesses, advocating for rights, using inclusive language, and promoting mental health resources go a long way.

Ashley Laderer By Ashley Laderer
Lesbian couple has their photo taken.

Updated on Jun 05, 2024

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Pride month, held every June, is a chance to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, honor queer history, and advocate equality for all.

This month-long celebration is not only a festive acknowledgment of the progress we’ve made but also an important reminder of the struggles that LGBTQ+ community still faces today. Although we’ve come a long way, we still have a long way to go.

Here’s what to know about the origins of Pride Month, how to show support as an ally, and the link between the LGBTQ+ community and mental health.

Understanding the History of Pride Month

The origins of Pride Month date back to June of 1969, when the Stonewall Uprising took place. Police raided the Stonewall Inn, which is a popular gay bar in New York City. This raid led to a monumental uprising, which ended up playing a huge role in the LGBTQIA+ rights movement. The gay community and allies were pushing for change, demanding equal rights, justice, and the opportunity to simply be their true selves.

The next summer, in June 1970, the first Pride March was held in New York on the anniversary of the pivotal Stonewall Uprising. Since then, the month of June has become a time of celebration, remembrance, and advocacy.

Ways to Show Support as an Ally

There are countless ways to show your allyship this Pride Month (and all year round). Here are some ideas.

Educate Yourself and Others

If you are cis-gendered and heterosexual, you may not have experienced discrimination or bullying due to your gender identity or sexual identity. Consequently, you may not be aware of the challenges and injustices that LGBTQ+ individuals face in their day-to-day lives.

“Learn about LGBTQ+ and mental health issues, such as how being LGBTQ+ has impacted them,” says Jane Miller, a licensed independent social worker with Grow Therapy, who is also a member of the LGBTQ+ community. “They may have faced discrimination, bullying, isolation, stigma, abandonment from unsupportive family members, or growing up being unsupported by religious beliefs.”

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation has excellent information about allyship as well as many other learning resources available. Here’s a brief reading list of some books you can check out:

If you prefer to watch documentaries, here are a few recommendations:

Attend Pride Events

Of course, attending Pride celebrations is one of the most fun parts of Pride Month. Here are some ideas:

Advocate for LGBTQ+ Rights

Pride Month isn’t just about celebrating – it’s also about using your voice to advocate and push for what’s right. Here are a few ways to do this:

Use Inclusive Language and Pronouns

Regardless of whether or not it’s Pride Month, you should always use respectful, inclusive language. It’s crucial to respect people’s gender identities and pronouns. If you’re unsure what someone’s pronouns are, politely and respectfully ask which pronouns they use.

You can gently correct people who use inappropriate terms or slurs and explain to them why inclusivity is so important. Words matter, and your words can make a huge difference in whether someone feels accepted or alienated.

Build Safe Spaces and Celebrate Diversity

Aim to make people of all sexual orientations and gender identities feel welcome. Set a positive example of allyship by encouraging and celebrating diversity, standing up for what’s right, pushing for equality, and using inclusive language.

You can also work with local LGBTQ+ community centers to get involved there and ask for advice on how to make your work, school, or home a safer space. Consider attending events or fundraisers celebrating different cultures and identities related to LGBTQ+ intersectionality.

Offer Emotional and Practical Support

“Listen actively and with compassion, building a sense of safety and trust,” says Miller. Being a listening ear can make a huge difference in helping someone feel validated and less alone. Try to put yourself in their shoes and avoid judgment.

You can also provide them with resources for coming out or transitioning, such as handbooks from The Trevor Project or information from the Human Rights Campaign. If they’re struggling with their mental health and looking for the right therapist, you can help them in their search.

Therapy and Mental Health Support for the LGBTQ+ Community

Sadly, many mental health conditions are more prevalent in the LGBTQIA+ community than in the general population due to discrimination, bullying, and more. Research has found that LGBTQ+ individuals are more likely to experience:

The numbers surrounding LGBTQ+ youth are especially worrisome. Here are some statistics from The Trevor Project:

We can’t underestimate intersectionality. People who belong to multiple marginalized groups, such as people of color, often face discrimination on multiple fronts. Intersectional oppression increases the risk of mental health struggles compared to their white LGBTQIA+ community members.

How Therapy Can Help

Don’t wait to get help. Therapy from an LGBTQ+-affirming therapist can make a huge difference. Miller says therapy can help queer people:

These skills are truly invaluable for an LGBTQ+ person struggling with their mental health. In many cases, affirming care can truly be life-saving.

Therapy for the LGBTQ+ community

If you or a loved one is struggling to find an LGBTQ+ affirming therapist, Grow Therapy is here to help.

Working with a therapist who truly understands the unique struggles of this community is key to healing. People often feel more comfortable working with someone else who shares their identity, whether that’s trans, gay, lesbian, non-binary, bisexual, or something else. An unspoken sense of understanding and solidarity can make a huge difference.

On our site, you can use our filters to search for therapists in your state who accept your insurance and specialize in working with LGBTQ+ clients. Get started today.

FAQs

  • There are many ways to support and promote LGBTQ+ pride, including: 1)Educating yourself and others. 2) Attending Pride events. 3) Advocating for LGTBQ+ rights. 4) Using inclusive language and respecting pronouns. 5) Building safe spaces. 6) Celebrating diversity. 7) Offering emotional support.

  • You can be more inclusive by using respectful language (including correct pronouns), educating yourself about LGBTQ+ issues, listening to and amplifying LGBTQ+ voices, and advocating for inclusive anti-discrimination policies in your community, school, workplace, and beyond.

  • You can support LGBTQ+ mental health by: 1) Promoting the importance of LGBTQ+-affirming therapy. 2) Helping people connect with the right LGBTQ+-affirming for them. 4) Volunteering with organizations or nonprofits that support LGBTQ+ mental health. 5) Sharing educational information or therapy resources on social media.

  • If you’re a teacher, you can: 1) Provide your students with LGBTQ+ resources. 2) Offer to moderate LGBTQ+-friendly after-school clubs. 3) Ensure that all school staff is trained on inclusivity practices. 4) Recognize the signs of discrimination or bullying, and act accordingly. If you’re a student, you can: 1) Make an active effort to stand up for what’s right. 2) Notice when bullying is happening and step in to support, or report to an adult. 3) Join LGBTQ+-friendly clubs. 4) Organize fundraisers. 5) Educate your peers.

About the author
Ashley Laderer Ashley Laderer

Ashley Laderer has been a mental health advocate since 2016, when she first publicly wrote about her own battle with anxiety and depression. After hearing how others were impacted by her story, she decided to continue writing about anything and everything mental health. Since then, she’s been published in Teen Vogue, SELF, Refinery29, NYLON, VICE, Healthline, Insider, and more.

This article is not meant to be a replacement for medical advice. We recommend speaking with a therapist for personalized information about your mental health. If you don’t currently have a therapist, we can connect you with one who can offer support and address any questions or concerns. If you or your child is experiencing a medical emergency, is considering harming themselves or others, or is otherwise in imminent danger, you should dial 9-1-1 and/or go to the nearest emergency room.

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