Happy Pride!

June is  LGBT Pride Month! Forty-nine years ago the famous Stonewall Riots , spanning a 3 day period, occurred in New York City’s Greenwich Village.  Those riots are credited as the birth of the modern gay liberation movement.  They were a prominent moment in history, when LGBT people resisted the police discrimination they endured routinely!

The first Pride March occurred a year later  in NYC.  It was a political demonstration, demanding equal rights and protections for the LGBT community.  Pride parades and events grew and spread across the U.S. during the AIDS epidemic, while the Reagan administration turned a blind eye to the people, mostly Gay men,  dying of this strange new disease labeled as the “Gay Plague.”    PFLAG and ACT UP and other groups protested and fought to bring awareness to the public about the crisis at hand and demand adequate compassionate healthcare and research for their community.

Harvey Milk, called on LGBT people to “come out” of the closet and be visible! Pride is an opportunity to do that!  It is easy to hate the “other,”  but when people you love  and who love you, realize that you are gay they often  change their perceptions about “gayness.”  Milk was correct!  We have seen a shift in the general population to a more accepting climate.

Today, Pride Month is  a celebration of sexual diversity and a celebration of queer life,  in addition to the social and political demonstrations of it’s genesis.  While we still have a long way to go in gaining equality and protections for LGBT people, pride is now celebrated around the world.  It is important for us to take a moment to remember  those who fought for equality and suffered greatly before us!

Since the last Presidential election cycle in the U.S. we have seen a backlash of sorts.  Hate crimes have gone up and minorities of all stripes, including immigrants, people of color, and the LGBT population have all been impacted by this hate that has been “normalized” by the political rhetoric.  It is important for us to remember that the work is not done!  We still do not have equality or  adequate protections!

Pride Month is a great time to renew your commitment to support organizations that support your community!  Organizations like Affirmations, the ACLU,  SPLC, the HRC, Equality Michigan, and more are doing work to stop the hate and help the people being affected by it! Please support them in any way you can: volunteer hours, monetary donations, and in-kind donations, all help them do the work to help you and those you love!

Also, on a personal level, if you find that you need help or support around issues of “coming out,” sexual attraction, or gender identity…  I specialize in that area.  You can contact me from the form on my site to get the help and support you are looking for!   I have offices in Midtown Detroit and also Ann Arbor and I am currently taking new clients.  Take care of yourself!  Being closeted is stressful!  You can find the freedom and support to live your authentic life!  In the words of Oscar Wilde- “Be who you are.  Everyone else is taken!”


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