I love seeing all of the celebratory social media posts recognizing June as Pride Month. I live just around the corner from The Mix, one of Tacoma’s busiest gay bars, and I look forward to the annual Pride festival they host. Like everything else, I’m sure it will be different this year, but hopefully it will still accomplish what I see as it’s main purpose: a celebration of Love.
I am a straight woman, married to my best friend, Scott, for almost 30 years now. Growing up in Billings, Montana, and leading what I’ve come to realize has been a fairly sheltered (narrow?) life, I’ve had few gay friends or family. I would describe myself as open and tolerant of others, but I also am learning that even I have biases that shape who I befriend, how I engage with others, and what I think. That indicates a lot of work that I have to do as an individual, to be not only aware of my biases, but to go even further to engage with, celebrate, and lift up people who are different from me. I’m a work in progress. What I can say with absolute certainty, though, is that no one should be able to tell me who I can love. Scott’s my person, and has been since we were teenagers in college. I chose him, he chose me, and no one else did (or should ever) have a say in that. Pride is about that…celebrating everyone’s right to love whomever they choose.
Pride is also about loving yourself, no matter your gender identity. We’ve come a long way as a society to celebrate our differences, but there are still biases and harmful behavior we need to mitigate. Our LGBTQIA+ youth in particular face lots of bias, so I’m happy to share again this valuable list of resources that Kid’s Mental Health of Pierce County has developed for your reference and use. Please check out and amplify the resources below.
- The Trevor Project
- TrevorLifeline/Chat/Text: 24/7 support via phone, text, or online instant messaging
- TrevorLifeline: 1-866-488-7386, 24/7, call only
- TrevorChat: go to website and click on TrevorChat to begin
- TrevorText: Text “START” to 678-678, 24/7
- National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network: healing justice org committed to transforming mental health for queer & trans people of color (QTPoC)
- Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN): national network of educators, students, and local chapters working to give students a safe, supportive, and LGBTQ+ inclusive education
- Human Rights Campaign: America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve LGBTQ equality. Their website has a wealth of information and resources for the LGBTQ+ community and their allies
- Resources (organized by topic– includes content on individual identities, communities of color, workplace, and more.
- QTBIPOC Mental Health and Well-Being
- Coming Out: Living Authentically as Black LGBTQ People
- Bi+ Coming Out Guide
- Coming Out: Living Authentically as LGBTQ Asian and Pacific Islander Americans
- Coming Out: Living Authentically as LGBTQ Latinx Americans
- Guide for LGBTQ Youth: This guide from HRC and the Child Mind Institute offers specific tips for LGBTQ youth about the importance of mental health, how to help a friend struggling with mental health issues, and how to find an LGBTQ-affirmative therapist.
- Tip Sheet for School Counselors: This checklist from HRC and the American School Counseling Association provides resources for school counselors working with LGBTQ youth during COVID-19.
- Checklist for Educators: This checklist from HRC and the National Education Association offers resources for educators working with LGBTQ youth during distance learning
- Checklist for School Social Workers: This new tip sheet produced by HRC and Project THRIVE partner the School Social Work Association of America guides school social workers on supporting LGBTQ students during distance learning.
Happy Pride Month, friends!
With Love and Pride,