Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) is celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan.
This blog was updated on June 1, 2022 (original post: 2018)
To read about the full story: https://www.loc.gov/lgbt-pride-month/about/
Every year the LGBTQ+ community is faced with difficult questions and comments, such as:
- “Why don’t we have a heterosexual Pride Month?”
- “Why is this even a thing?”
- “Why do I always have to see this stuff?”
- “This is ruining social media and television.”
- “Why do they have to remind me of this every year?”
- “These people are annoying…”
“Why don’t we have a heterosexual Pride Month?”
Although everyone has the right to ask questions and express their opinions, it is still important to think before asking or commenting. Due to the increasing vulnerability of LGBTQ+ people, in recent years, we have witnessed tragic stories of them ending their lives because of relentless bullying or family rejection. Ohio’s LGBTQ+ population is approximately 462,000, constituting the twentieth-largest population of LGBTQ+ people in the United States.
As someone who works in the mental health industry with a particular focus on high-risk populations, a man, a father, a husband, a human, an ally, and someone who values fundamental human rights, supporting LGBTQ+ rights is extremely important. Therefore, I am a proud member and supporter of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and The Trevor Project.
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) community uses the rainbow flag, commonly known as the gay flag or pride flag, which has different colors to represent the community’s diversity.
Here are a few examples:
LGBTQ+ Pride Month is about the celebration of people loving other people. Even if you don’t believe in this due to religious or personal beliefs, it doesn’t matter because everything can’t always be about you. There are 7 billion unique people on this planet, and it would be a tragedy if we were all the same.
What can you do to help?
- Be aware of how casual language, such as saying, “that’s so gay,” can hurt others. We never use heterosexual terms to describe a situation, so why should we make an exception for the LGBTQ+ community?
- Let LGBTQ+ people know that you’re a friend and ally. Don’t let their sexual orientation be a barrier to why they can’t talk to you about suicidal ideations and their overall mental health.
- Be respectful when an LGBTQ+ person shares their sexual orientation with you. Don’t minimize their mental health concerns by telling them, “I know exactly how you feel,” especially when you identify as heterosexual. Instead, respond with an empowering statement such as, “Thank you for having the courage to share this information with me.”
- Educate yourself on LGBTQ+ issues.
- Remember that being LGBTQ+ is just one part of a person’s complex identity and life.
- If you feel safe doing so, speak up when other people are homophobic or transphobic, such as making offensive jokes or harassing someone because of their sexual orientation and identity. Remember, some people don’t know that their language is insensitive.
Seeing people happy or in love, regardless if they’re heterosexual or LGBTQ+, should bring a smile to your face. That is what life is all about. No, it is not teaching children something terrible. Judging, labeling, or even committing a hate crime because you disagree with someone’s sexual orientation is what’s teaching children bad things. I would prefer having my children grow up in an environment where everyone is happy in their unique way than growing up in an environment filled with hate or the fear of them self-identifying as LGBTQ+. To me, this world has no place for that.
- GLAAD: https://www.glaad.org/sites/default/files/GLAAD-Social-Share.jpg
- Lambda Legal: https://www.lambdalegal.org/
- The Advocate: https://www.advocate.com/
- American Civil Liberties: https://www.aclu.org/
- Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation – Resources: https://www.ohiospf.org/resources/