June, the first fully warm month of the year, is a month of connection, joy, and understanding. Its gift of a comforting and thriving environment amplifies these qualities in humanity and serves as its guide to growth and happiness.
June is also Pride Month, chosen because of the Stonewall Riots of June 1969 which set off the active struggle for LGBTQ equality that exists to this day. While the rights and acceptance of LGBTQ people throughout the world has recently increased in some places, there is still endless work to be done to reverse the centuries-long rejection, oppression, harassment, and violence.
The Trevor Project, an organization dedicated to providing support to youth that identify as LGBTQ, found that “LGBTQ youth are more than four time as likely to attempt suicide than their peers… and at lease one attempts suicide every 45 seconds.” And, those who identify as minority groups are even more likely to attempt suicide (Community Psychology). To clarify, these grave statistics aren’t due to the gender identities/minorities themselves, but to the way society continues to mistreat and stigmatize these individuals. Perhaps June can lend its loving hand to lift humanity past hate and ignorance, and up to love and acceptance.
This may not seem like the usual “self-care” article. Rather, it’s more about using the fruits you have cultivated through self-care to make the world a better, happier, and more embracing place. We share important topics like these with our community because we know that your commitment to self-love gives you the emboldened ability to be an agent of love and kindness.
How Can You Help?
The most important answer to this question is to fully accept and love every person exactly as they are, and as they want to be seen and understood. If everyone took these words to heart, there would be no need for this article.
Next, make sure you are fully educated. This is crucial to be the best LGTBQ ally possible, and to avoid unnecessary harm. For example, telling a transgender person that they “don’t look trans” may seem like a compliment, but may be very hurtful to them.
Understanding the difference between gender and sex is a good first step in educating yourself. To delve more deeply, read through this guide from the Human Rights Campaign on how to be an ally to LGBTQ people.
After you’ve made the commitment to being an LGTBQ ally, take action. Speak up against efforts to dehumanize LGTBQ people, get involved in protests, or simply volunteer. By doing so, you’ll help combat LGTBQ stigmatization and oppression, showing the world the power of love.