Written by Katie Mitchell, M.A., Certified Sex Therapist
HAPPY PRIDE MONTH Y’ALL!! Around the world, June is Pride Month for LGBT+ community. I hope that you’ve had the chance to celebrate yourself or loved ones everyday this year, but also hope that you have the time to do so publicly this month with all the Pride Celebrations that are taking place! Many of the quintessential Pride events are taking place next week(end), including the Houston Pride Parade. More information can be found here on the Houston Pride Parade. Be sure to take a look at the official Houston Pride calendar of events here for information on all other Pride events.
If you are unable to make it to any of the pride events, there are many other ways to celebrate your own LGBTQIA pride or be a proud ally to those around you! To begin with, there are many other days that highlight and celebrate the LGBT+ community throughout the year. This is definitely something to honor more than just one day in June or throughout the month of June. ALGBTICAL, the Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues in Counseling of Alabama, has several great resources that discusses the important days of celebration for the LGBT+ community (link).
If you are a person who would like to celebrate your own LGBTQIA experience and/or support those around you who identify with this community, but disagree with the way large corporations have sponsored and/or change Pride celebrations, there are other ways of acknowledging and showing support to the LGBT+ community. One example is to buy products from companies who support the LGBT+ community. Here are some amazing options for sex companies who pride themselves on truly supporting the LGBTQIA community. This article includes information on different companies who strive to support and campion for the LGBT+ community. Other ways of showing support is by volunteering with local organizations. For Houstonians, the following link leads to the Montrose Center Volunteer page where you can submit a volunteer application! Plus, here is another article that provides information on the different social organizations and volunteer opportunities that support the local LGBT+ community in Houston.
Another way to celebrate yourself or those around you in the LGBT+ community is to be educated on matters of LGBT rights. The American Civil Liberties Union has an incredible website with lots of information regarding LGBT rights. Be educated on your rights as a person of the LGBT+ community or help to support those around you in better understanding and being aware of their rights. Another major piece of showing support for the LGBTQIA community, is gaining a better understanding of intersectionality. There are a lot of individuals who would identify as being a part of the LGBT+ community, but who do not feel welcomed into the community because of other aspects of their identity (race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc). The following blogs do an excellent job at describing how the LGBT+ movement can prioritize experiences for specific individuals over others (link and link) and help to provide a basic education for those who are wanting to better understand intersectionality.
At some point this month, I hope that you are able to take some time to celebrate Pride in Houston! If you identify with the LGBT+ community, I hope you have a safe and spectacular time authentically celebrating your own experience. If you are attending any Pride festivities as a proud ally this month, I hope you take some time to support those who you know (and don’t) within the LGBT+ community by potentially stepping back and prioritizing their celebration of experience; here are some helpful ways to do so.