Keeping the LGBTQ+ Community Front and Center Beyond June
Blog post written by,
Dr. Bhritanie Jardine, Psy.D.
Now that it is July and companies are slowly turning their rainbow-colored icons and logos back to their original colors, its up to all of us to embody pride month for the rest of the year. For people identifying on the LGBTQ+ spectrum, pride month may feel like the only time of the year that they can openly celebrate who they are and feel a sense of solidarity. And for allies, it can be a time to reflect on what it must be like to have to wait for a specific month in the year to feel included, and non-judgmentally open their eyes to different lived experiences. But why wait till next June?
I have had the distinct pleasure of participating in Pride celebrations both domestic and international and I am always struck by the juxtaposition in what I see. Anyone who has been to Pride would describe it as joyous, lively, light-hearted, yet the reality for many LGBTQ+ people across the globe is characterized by the need to hide, invisibility or denial of their identities, and a near constant fear of potential reactions to being open about who they are. This June I went to Pride in Madrid Spain and it was incredible! People from all walks of life gathered with open arms, sang in the streets, and smiled and laughed throughout the day. Yet just the next morning, a 24 year old named Samuel Luiz was beaten to death in a suspected homophobia attack.
As a straight cis woman, I believe it is my responsibility to put in the effort to educate myself about experiences different than my own. I also think it is imperative as a person and a psychologist to seek out different experiences and intentionally observe and challenge my learned beliefs and judgments attached to those differences. And this is work for allies that can and should be done throughout the year, not just in June. We can also continue to learn and support by remaining connected to communities and organizations that serve this population. In South Florida, Sunserve is a great organization committed to validating and assisting the LGBTQ population. However, there are thousands of organizations throughout the world that you could contact and ask how to donate, volunteer, or otherwise help their cause. Whatever you choose to do, I hope you take a moment to recognize that any one step is a step towards reducing the juxtaposition between Pride month and reality.
Bhritanie Jardine, Psy.D.
BHRITANIE JARDINE, PSYD
Eating Disorders, Grief and Loss and Trauma Expert
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