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As many of you may know, the month of June is pride month. It’s a month where we take time to celebrate the LGBTQ2S+ community all across Canada and the world. There are parades, events, concerts, shows, and gatherings.
Pride month is about more than just pride, however, for the majority of people. It’s about increasing awareness, educating the public, and reminding the world that the LGBTQ2S+ community is out there. It’s also often about activism and moving towards equal rights for the community, as there are still many ways in which the community is discriminated against.
While many are excited to participate in the pride events taking place this month, I think it is important to recognize those individuals who cannot participate this year. There are many in the LGBTQ2S+ community who have not yet come out for fear of backlash, or even violence, from the people around them. During this month, while we celebrate how times have changed and champion for even more change, I’d like to also take some time to quietly and respectfully recognize those who cannot celebrate with us. To those of you who have not and cannot come out right now, know that we are here to support you, we love you, and you are not alone. Know that when it is safe for you to come out, we will be here to support you, as we recognize that everyone’s journey is different.
For those of you living in silence and in fear, know that there is hope, and there are people who care about you and love you as you truly are. Should you ever need someone to talk to, keep in mind that as a therapist, I am bound confidentiality, and will not reveal your information to anyone around you. You can talk to me, or another therapist, without fear of your secret getting out. You can click here to see a list of support centres, hotlines, and other resources if you need to talk to someone.
As someone who does not identify as a member of the LGBTQ2S+ community, I am on a journey to being the best ally that I can be. I identify as a cisgender female, and my goal is to provide a safe and open environment for individuals from all walks of life to express themselves and get the help that they need. I also try my best to be an advocate for the LGBTQ2S+ community, by educating the public in any way I can, whether that’s simply being a supportive presence online and in the community, or calling out prejudice when I see it.
The difficulty in being an ally, I find, is that I often find I am lacking knowledge. I’ve attended workshops and training related to the process of transitioning, including learning how individuals can get HRT and surgery if they’re transitioning, and how to provide a safe space for the LGBTQ2S+ community. I have this knowledge, yet I’m left wondering what it is the LGBTQ2S+ community really needs and wants from me as a therapist.
My goal in the next year is to become more involved in the community by attending and participating in events, volunteering, and possibly becoming a member of the pride committee in my home town. I want to provide the community with resources, information, and support that they don’t have, and in order to do that, I need to learn first hand what it is that they’re missing. I’m hoping over the next year, I can meet more individuals in the community, get to know you, and begin to implement more resources that you find useful.
If you’d like to provide me with feedback, I’d love to hear any ideas you may have. Please call, text, or email me:
Or, CLICK HERE to take a short survey to give feedback on the services in your community!
Happy pride everyone!