Taking Care of Yourself During Pride Month

Taking Care of Yourself During Pride Month

We’re halfway into Pride Month. Hopefully, that means you’ve spent some time celebrating the LGBTQ+ community, whether you’re part of it yourself or an ally. The fact that we get a whole month to commemorate and honor this community shows just how far we’ve come!

But the work isn’t over. And people who identify as LGBTQ+ know that all too well. From targeted state laws to the prevalence of hate speech, things are still tough out there. 

That’s why we wanted to take a pause. Pride Month can be a really fun, festive time. But it’s also important to remember what we’re celebrating: that you deserve to feel proud of who you are. Born out of a movement for LGBTQ+ equality, Pride might shake up some feelings in you, and that’s okay. 

Practicing self-care in June and beyond

Pride Month should be just that: a time to be proud. But if you’re not quite feeling it, you’re not alone. 

Mental Health America (MHA) has a pretty interesting infographic. It essentially says that nearly one in 20 people living in the U.S. identify as LGBTQ+. That’s good news, right? You’re not alone, not by a long shot. 

But the infographic doesn’t stop there. It says that 39% of LGBTQ+-identifying people report living with a mental illness (e.g., depression, anxiety). That makes up 5.8 million people, more than the population of Kentucky. 

In other words, mental health challenges are more likely to come into your life if you identify as gay, lesbian, two-spirit, trans, bisexual, queer, intersex, or anything else that bucks historical societal norms. And it’s no surprise. We’ve made progress, certainly. But you’ve probably felt the burden of not fitting into the prescribed mold. 

So, what do we do? During Pride Month, it’s a chance to be proud of all we are — and that includes our mental health hurdles. Don’t stuff parts of yourself into the closet. If you’re struggling, talk to a friend, a therapist, or a kind person at the next Pride event you attend. We’re all in this together.  

Some suggestions 

To help you build some self-care into your Pride Month — and your life in general — we have a few tips: 

  • Find your community. You’re not alone. And fortunately, finding both members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies is getting easier. From social media groups to real-life meetups, you’ve got options. The internet is your friend here, so don’t be afraid to look up groups in your area. And if you’ve already got a supportive network around you, take some time to foster and appreciate those relationships. Heck, you might even pay it forward by looking for others who need some support. 
  • Keep yourself safe. If you’re not out yet to some or all of the people in your life, know that’s okay. Pride Month can feel particularly challenging if you’re still living a closeted life. You don’t need to be out to be valid. Keep sharing what you want with who you want on the timeline that feels safe to you. 
  • Get support. There are a lot of resources out there to help you thrive: 
    • An LGBTQ+-affirming therapist in your area can help you develop a toolbox to deal with stigma and difficult people (for help finding a good fit, you can explore the referral system from the Association of LGBTQ+ Psychiatrists)
    • You can text (313) 662-8209 with “THRIVE” to begin your conversation with the LGBTQ+-supporting THRIVE Lifeline
    • The Trevor Project runs the 24/7 phone/text/online messaging TrevorLifeline
    • The Human Rights Campaign has a robust lineup of resources 
    • The Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) works to make education more LGBTQ+-inclusive, and they have resources for educators and students 
    • The LGBT National Resource Center runs several helplines: one for adults at (888) 843-4564, one for youths at (800) 246-7743, one for seniors at (888) 234-7243, and one for people exploring coming out at (888) 688-5428 (888-OUT-LGBT)
    • The Trans Lifeline provides peer support for the trans community and is available at  (877) 565-8860
    • If you identify as a woman or are a non-binary individual who identifies with women’s communities and you’ve struggled with substance misuse, trauma, and/or mental health challenges, the team at SHE RECOVERS can help (in fact, we believe in them so much that we give a portion of every sale to them)
  • Educate yourself and step up if you’re an ally. As an ally, Pride Month can feel like a time to step aside. And yes, it’s absolutely not your time to be in the spotlight. But, be willing to step into the center of things if you see someone from the LGBTQ+ community experiencing harm. Use your voice. From microaggressions to intentional displays of gender-based hate, as an informed, compassionate ally, it’s your job to speak up if you see or hear something that could hurt someone who identifies as LGBTQ+. It’s 2023, and it’s time for every human to learn that we all deserve to love who we love and identify as our true selves. 

Here at Doughp, we’re celebrating alongside you during Pride Month. We encourage you to celebrate however it feels right, whether that’s marching in a Pride parade or taking a nurturing moment to check in with your mental wellness, reading affirming stories from others in the LGBTQ+ community or reaching out to someone who has earned the right to hear your story. You are worthy of love and belonging, always.

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