Pride Month is celebrated annually in June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising, where individuals fought tirelessly for equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community. Parties, parades, and concerts are hosted to provide platforms for honoring those who paved the way to equality, validating and accepting diversity, and loving the authentic self.
But, Pride month is so much more than parties.
Pride is a time to remember how important it is to support every single person trying to live life happily as their true self. Pride is one month, but we need to support people on their coming out journey all year.
Coming out to family, friends or co-workers has never in history been an easy thing to do. But during this year’s LGBTQ+ Pride Month, we give sincere support to all those who are coming out or are already out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community – whether we are part of it ourselves or not.
Getting LGBTQ+ Support
The decision to come out, whether as gay, trans, or queer, can be challenging and filled with a lot of fear — fear of being rejected, fear of being abandoned, or fear of being abused.
It is normal for us and our loved ones to go through a process of grief once we come out, and part of that process is cycling through denial, depression, anger, and bargaining before reaching acceptance. Grief is a natural process for any significant loss, and this can include a loss of an identity or dreams. It is important to note that abuse should never be tolerated even if someone is grieving, and we can set appropriate boundaries and surround ourselves with loving, safe people.
Remember that there is light at the end of the tunnel! Coming out and living our most authentic self can be filled with much excitement.
There is a lot of joy that comes from the freedom to be who we truly are and in surrounding ourselves with others who share the same core values.
When we live in alignment with our true self, our self-worth rises, confidence increases, and mood improves. So whether you’re buried deep in the closet or out and about, know that you are valid, accepted, and loved.
We see you, and we are here for you.
If you have yet to come out to the people in your life, you might not know how to start. Here are some important reminders and suggestions.
- Start with your closest loved ones. The people you trust most, and know will love you no matter what. They will be your support system as you begin to tell others you’re less certain about.
- Know you’re not alone. There’s an entire community of people out there who have gone through the same struggle, and they want to help you. They want to see you live happily, and are happy to help you do it.
- Know your bravery inspires others. When you have the courage to come out, others in your situation will see that they can do it too. Show them that they can.
If you are in need of immediate support, reach out to a support line like The Trevor Project. Their line is open 24/7 when you call 1-866-488-7386.
Giving LGBTQ+ Support
If you’re part of the LGBT community or have friends, family or loved ones who are, your help is every bit as important in the coming out process. Seeking help can be scary, so we have to make sure it’s offered, readily and openly to anyone we think might need it.
- Show Pride support. Let people know what you stand for, be vocal and visible so that people who are struggling know they can talk to you safely and comfortably.
- Volunteer your time. Tampa has Balance Tampa Bay, and across the U.S., The Trevor Project has opportunities available for anyone to literally save lives in the LGBT community. You have no idea how great an impact small actions like answering a text message can have on someone else’s life.
- Spread the word. Information is key, not everyone knows where to find the resources they need. Even if you don’t march or volunteer yourself, you can share links and phone numbers for support groups online.
Whether you are here in Florida, in other states, or other countries, we support your search for happiness. If you or a loved one is ever in need of comfort, direction, or safety, contact us. We will help you find the help you need.
We Stand with the LGBTQ+ Community
On behalf of the Loving Life Today team, we are sending love to everyone celebrating this month. We see you. We stand with you. And, we are here to support you during every step of your journey.
Loving Life Today welcomes all members of the LGBTQ+ community to find a safe space at Loving Life Today. We are experienced in working with the LGBTQ+ community and here to offer support at every step in your journey.
Don’t ever feel like you have to go through this on your own. We are here for you during Pride Month AND every other day of the year.
Call us at 813-609-6946 or schedule an appointment today if you are in need of counseling for you or your and your loved ones as you come out and come into your more authentic life.
Happy Pride Month.