How Families Can Be More Supportive of LGBTQ+ Loved Ones During Pride Month

June is Pride Month, and while the LGBTQ+ community has come a long way, many still suffer from mental health and substance abuse problems. Did you know that there are safe, high-quality treatment programs tailored to meet the needs of LGBTQ+ individuals? Here’s what you need to know about Pride Month and how you can support your loved one’s journey.

The Origins of Pride Month

Pride Month (or just “Pride”) originally came about to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, New York, a pivotal moment in the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States.

Pride Month started as one day out of the year but has since expanded to festivities across the entire month of June in recognition of family members and friends that are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ).

Cities host parades, and loved ones get together at picnics, parties, and concerts. There are also workshops and other events that the public can attend and memorials for those who have lost loved ones within the community.

How Many People Are LGBTQ+?

According to a Gallup poll conducted in February 2022, about 1% of U.S. adults are lesbian, 1.5% are gay, 4% are bisexual, and 0.7% are transgender. About 0.3% identified as “other.” Approximately 7.1% of the U.S. adult population identifies as something other than heterosexual and not transgender.

Prevalence of Mental Health Disorders

Although the LGBTQ+ community may not be the majority of the total population, they face serious challenges, like rejection and stigma, that can harm their mental and physical well-being.

The National Alliance on Mental Health reports that lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals have mental health disorders at twice the rate of heterosexuals. Transgender individuals experience mental health disorders at four times the rate of those who are not transgender.

Members of the LGBTQ+ community are at especially high risk for:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • Suicide
  • Addiction
  • Homelessness

You Can Help Support Them

There is a good chance your loved one will be taking time to recognize or attend the many Pride celebrations this month. Mentally, they may be reflecting on their journey. Your family member may be filled with mixed emotions depending on what they’ve been through and what they face today.

Consider These Tips

It’s important to recognize that even though Pride Month may not be your priority, making it so is beneficial to everyone, especially your loved one. You can show your support in some pretty simple ways.

  • Ask questions: You know the saying, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it”? That applies here. If you don’t understand something related to being an LGBTQ+ person or want to know more, ask them honest and genuine questions.
  • Avoid stereotypes: Everyone has preconceived ideas of what particular groups of people look and act like. However, not everyone fits the general pattern[s]. Be aware that not everyone will meet your expectations, and that’s okay. The idea is to stay mindful and accepting.
  • Do research: Topics surrounding LGBTQ+ individuals can be controversial and complex. If you are interested, do your research on the scientific literature and first-hand accounts to gain a deeper understanding.
  • Don’t dismiss: Avoid responding in ways that could invalidate your loved one’s experiences.
  • Listen: Practice active listening and respect for differing opinions and perspectives. Others can tell when you are listening versus waiting for an opportunity to share your opinion. Listening also shows your interest in their life.

The Importance of Pride Month

The United States is a melting pot of cultural, religious, and political orientations. Although June is the set time for celebrations, we should prioritize being accepting and supportive all 12 months of the year.

While you may be looking for ways to go the extra mile this month out of care, concern, or love, take these lessons with you forever. Although joyous, these celebrations are also a time to reflect on the history of persecution in the LGBTQ+ community.

Pride month did not always exist and was not always celebrated how it is now. With all the progress made, there is still a long way to go for the community to gain equal rights and respect. This can have a big impact on long-term mental and physical health.

Use this month as a special time to support your loved one and the community. Find ways to donate your time to the community this month. Speak out in support on social media, and then continue these practices throughout the year.

Support should not be limited to Pride Month, so show your loved ones you care and support them by taking that time and putting in that effort all year round.

Every year, Americans gather to march in the Pride Parade and attend parties in celebration of Pride Month. June is a time to celebrate and a time to recognize the mental health and substance abuse risks LGBTQ+ persons face. Vanity Wellness Center is an outpatient treatment facility nationally accredited by the Joint Commission. We are located in Woodland Hills, CA. Our facility is LGBTQ+ inclusive, meaning we respect and treat LGBTQ+ individuals with the same quality care and respect as any other clients. It also means that our clinical team has a deep understanding of LGBTQ+ risks and barriers to treatment. We provide a safe and welcoming environment for all people. With the understanding that many clients come from backgrounds that share a common bond and experiences, we provide focused therapy designed for LGBTQ+ persons. Call us at 866-587-1737 for more information. 

Categories: Vanity NewsTags: , By Published On: May 29th, 2022

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