In the United States, June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month and this year’s theme is “The Future is Ours.”
The history of Pride Month dates back to 1970, when the first Pride march was held in New York City to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.
Since then, the Pride movement has grown exponentially, and now Pride celebrations are held in cities all around the world. This year’s Pride Month is especially significant as it marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.
The challenges LGBTQ individuals face:
For many LGBTQ individuals, Pride is a time to celebrate progress made and to advocate for further change. It’s also a time to reflect on the unique challenges that LGBTQ individuals face. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), LGBTQ individuals are more likely than their heterosexual and cisgender counterparts to experience mental health issues.
Some of the factors that contribute to this increased risk include:
- Minority stress: LGBTQ individuals experience unique stressors due to their minority status. This can include discrimination, violence, and exclusion.
- Internalized homophobia: This is when an LGBTQ individual adopts negative attitudes towards their own sexuality or gender identity.
- Lack of social support: LGBTQ individuals often have smaller social networks and are less likely to have supportive relationships with family and friends.
Tips to improve your mental health:
If you’re an LGBTQ individual, it’s important to be aware of these risk factors and to take steps to protect your mental health. Here are some tips:
- Connect with other LGBTQ individuals: There are many LGBTQ-friendly organizations and groups that can provide support and community.
- Seek out mental health professionals who are LGBTQ-friendly: It’s important to find a therapist or counselor who is understanding and supportive of your unique experiences.
- Take care of your physical health: Eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep are all important for maintaining good mental health.
Get the help you need:
If you’re experiencing mental health issues, there are resources available to help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7 support for people in crisis.You can also call the Trevor Project Lifeline at 866-488-7386 for 24/7 support from trained counselors, or contact L&B Counseling to make an appointment with one of our therapists’ that specialize in working with LGBTQ+ individuals.
Pride Month is a time to celebrate the progress made by the LGBTQ community and to advocate for further change. It’s also a time to remember that everyone has a role to play in supporting the mental health of LGBTQ individuals.