Pride Month 2022 – Being Ourselves
“Be yourself, everyone else is taken.”
Although we’re not exactly sure who said this first, and while it might sound a little jokey, it’s true.
Being yourself is also easier than trying to be someone that we’re not. Or, at least it should be easier.
That’s not always the case, though. Because of prejudice and hate, people in the LGBTQ community have sometimes hidden who they are.
Why are some LGBTQIA people scared?
Members of the LGBTQIA have kept their true identities hidden because they’re afraid their parents and other relatives will kick them out of their homes and stop talking to them entirely.
Some are afraid they’ll be banned from their religious communities or harassed at their jobs.
While legal protections and other advancements have occurred, LGBTQIA people still sometimes face grief over who they love and who they are.
What do some LGBTQIA people do?
Because they’re facing prejudice, harassment, or violence, some LGBTQIA people turn to alcohol or drugs to try to numb their pain. Some do other things to distract themselves, even if those things hurt them.
Some try to bury their identities because they feel it’s easier than living with ostracism, emotional and financial strain, and other challenges.
This denial can contribute to or worsen depression or other mental health problems. Mental health problems can also contribute to physical problems and vice versa. Basically, denial can be hazardous to our health.
How can we help LGBTQIA people?
Pride Month (June) helps us acknowledge members of the LGBTQIA community, the contributions they’ve made, and the contributions they continue to make.
It’s also a good time to remind us that we’re all people just trying to be ourselves. Denying people the opportunity to be themselves hurts them emotionally, mentally, and physically.
Denying people’s true identities also hurts us. We’re not witnessing their actual selves and their true potentials.
So, we might as well be ourselves and let others do the same. It certainly sounds better than the alternative.
washingtonpost.com – Homeless Rates for LGBT Teens Are Alarming, but Parents Can Make a Difference
sunshinebehavioralhealth.com – A Guide to the Other Identities of the LGBTQ Spectrum: What You Need to Know
whitehouse.gov – A Proclamation on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Pride Month, 2021
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