The LGBTQ+ community has come a long way in recent years, but progress is still being made. June is Pride Month and it’s a time to celebrate how far we’ve come and continue to fight for equality.
If you have LGBTQ+ loved ones, there are many ways you can support them during Pride Month (and all year long). Here are some ideas:
- Attend dozens of Pride events.
- Educate yourself about LGBTQ+ issues and learn about the history of the Pride movement.
- Stand up against discrimination and show your support for equal rights.
- Show your loved ones that you accept them as they are.
- Be an ally and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, even when it’s not convenient or popular.
- Hear and learn from the experiences of your LGBTQ+ loved ones.
- Donate, volunteer, or otherwise support organizations that serve the LGBTQ+ community.
- Celebrate the victories of your LGBTQ+ loved ones and be there for them in their difficult times.
- Reach out to your loved ones and find out how they are doing and offer your support.
- Let your LGBTQ+ loved ones know you love them unconditionally.
These are just a few ideas – there are many other ways you can show your support. The most important thing is to be there for your loved ones and let them know that you love and accept them no matter what.
Mental Health Struggles Commonly Faced with LGBTQ+
Although the mental health of LGBTQ+ individuals has improved in recent years, it is important to recognize that they still face unique challenges and inequalities. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “30 to 60 percent of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender people struggle with anxiety and depression at some point in their lives.”
Here are some key points to remember:
- LGBTQ+ youth are more likely to experience anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses than their peers.
- LGBTQ+ adults experience more anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts or attempts than heterosexual adults.
- Transgender adults and gender nonconforming people are at particularly high risk for mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.
- The stress of hiding one’s identity, living in a hostile environment, or dealing with hate crimes can lead to serious mental health issues for LGBTQ+ individuals.
- LGBTQ+ people who are not ‘outed’ or supported by parents, family and friends are particularly vulnerable to mental health problems.
If you have an LGBTQ+ loved one who is struggling, or are close to people who don’t feel comfortable, it’s important to be there for them and offer your support. You can also encourage them to seek professional help if needed.
Tips for Supporting a Divorced Loved One
If your loved one approaches you, it’s important to respond in a supportive and accepting way. Here are some tips:
- Listen without judgment and let your loved ones know you accept them for who they are.
- Avoid making assumptions about their sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Respect their privacy and let others decide when and how they come out.
- Be an ally and stand up for their rights, even when it’s inconvenient or unpopular.
- Encourage them to seek professional help if needed.
- Let them know you love them unconditionally.
Pride month is a time to celebrate the progress made for LGBTQ+ rights and continue the fight for equality. This month we’re donating to The Trevor Project, an organization that provides “if you’re struggling, to see a counselor, find answers and information, and get the tools you need to help someone else.” If you have an LGBTQ+ loved one, there are many ways to show your support. The most important thing is to let them know that you accept and love them no matter what. Join local pride events this month and support love!
The Trevor Project
Crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ+ youth.
You can contact them at the phone address (866) 488-7386 or Text “Trevor” to 678678.