Pride month celebrates the LGBTQ+ community and is now marked by pride marches, parties, and gatherings all over the world. It is used to commemorate the start of a movement, a series of protests that began in the United States in the 1970s to acknowledge these communities' rights. It helps people communicate with those who have similar experiences to them and reduces isolation which is linked to positive mental health.
How to support someone from the LQBTQ+ community
People who identify as LGBTQ+ are more likely to suffer from mental illness. Because the LGBTQ+ group is stigmatized, they may be hesitant to get help from a mental health professional. However, you could support them by creating a safe space, talking to them, and actively listening to them. Here are a few ways you can support them.
- Identify yourself as an ally- An ally is someone who supports and stands up for those around them. The most crucial step is to do your homework, learn as much as you can, and talk to those who have already gone through it. It will help you better comprehend their situation.
- Language matters- The subconscious doesn't know the difference between truth and jokes. We may have internalized homophobia as a result of growing up in a heteronormative society. When we use words like “different”, people may get the impression that they aren't normal and that something is wrong with them. Be attentive to what you're saying and who is around.
- Realize that being LGBTQ is not a trend or a phase that a person goes through.
- During adolescence, children are often pushing against the boundaries and are trying to understand who they are. Talk to your child and let them know it is a safe space and they will be accepted no matter what.
- Be respectful- Know your limits and remember that if they've opened up to you, it's because they trust you and feel safe and secure in your presence. Allow them to open out to others in the way and at the time that they desire. It's vital to give them space and let them come out on their own terms.
- Show up for pride marches and uplift the LGBTQ community- Use your voice to stand up for those who are misrepresented and underprivileged in society. If you see discrimination or someone using slurs, speak up and educate them.
Books to educate yourself
Hidden from History: Reclaiming the Gay and Lesbian Past-It's a must-read book that puts together important new scholarly research on gay and lesbian history. It's a collection of essays that looks at homosexuality in many cultures and sheds light on gay and lesbian lives.
- Coming Out, Coming Home- Helping Families Adjust To A Gay Or Lesbian Child- Coming out is a challenging process, but this book discusses effective interventions to assist families with this process through multicultural studies of students and parents. Michael C. LaSala formulates an approach for people who hope to establish family intimacy and stronger bonds after someone comes out, enabling adjustment through a variety of scenarios.
- Same-Sex Love in India- This book brings to light the long, incontestable history of same-sex love and India and challenges our notion about same-sex love being a foreign concept. It contains essays, poems, and stories from 2000 years of Indian literature which defies the Indian stereotype and opens us to a new world of history.
- The Truth About Me: A Hijra Life Story- This is an autobiography of a Hijra who talks about the violence and ridicule she faced both within her home and outside of it. This is a book about Revathi, who was born a boy but felt and behaved like a girl and ultimately ran away to Delhi to be true to herself and join the house of Hijra. This book gives us an insight into what it is to be different from others and find a place in society, and is a compelling read.
LGBTQ+ podcasts that you need to listen to, right now!
Queering desi - This is a south Asian podcast that celebrates the LGBTQ+ community and places their narrative at the forefront. This podcast is hosted by Priya Arora who is a queer, non-binary community activist, writer, and editor.
Episode 12 of Season 1- Mental Wellbeing with Dr. Riddhi Sandil specifically talks about how allies can support mental well-being, the difficulties of not having representation growing up, the stigmas around mental health in the community, and also the myths about therapy.
Queery- This podcast hosted by stand-up comedian Cameron Esposito explores individual stories of identity, personality, and the shifting cultural matrix around gender, sexuality, and civil rights.
Check out our post "How to be a better ally- @sociallysouled" on instagram to learn how to support the community better!