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LGBTQ+ Awareness: What is Pride Month?

June 6th, 2024


Many people have participated in the celebratory events that occur during the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ+) Pride Month, but many are unaware of the origin of how this month came to be. Keep reading to have a quick history lesson on how this much needed month of celebration, love, acceptance, and appreciation began!

What is Pride Month?

Pride Month is celebrated every June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, a pivotal event that marked the beginning of the movement to outlaw discriminatory laws and practices against LGBTQ+ individuals. The Stonewall Uprising was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States.

The Stonewall uprising was a series of violent confrontations that began between police and gay rights activists outside the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in the Greenwich Village section of New York City. As the riots progressed, an international gay rights movement was born.

Today, pride month is both a joyful celebration of visibility and a time of reflection on the struggles and victories of the LGBTQ+ community. Throughout the month, events such as parades, parties, concerts, and workshops are held worldwide to recognize the influence LGBTQ+ people have had around the globe.

It's a time to celebrate diversity, promote dignity, and increase the visibility of the LGBTQ+ community through a message of acceptance and equality.

Statue of justice symbol of law and justice with lgbt flag in rainbow colours. Lgbt rights and law

What Does LGBTQ+ Mean?

LGBTQ+ is an acronym that stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer, with the "+" symbolizing the inclusivity of other sexual identities, orientations, and gender expressions that are not specifically covered by these five letters. Each term represents a specific community:

  • Lesbian: Women who are attracted to other women.
  • Gay: Typically refers to men attracted to other men but can be used to describe anyone attracted to the same sex.
  • Bisexual: Individuals who are attracted to both their own gender and other genders.
  • Transgender: People whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth.
  • Queer: A term used by some to express a spectrum of identities and sexual orientations that are not exclusively heterosexual or cisgender.

The "+" acknowledges the diversity within the community, including those identifying as pansexual, asexual, intersex, and other orientations and identities, ensuring that all are recognized and included. The term "LGBTQ+" emphasizes the community's acceptance and celebration of diverse sexual and gender identities.

What Does The Pride Flag Represent?

The Pride flag, widely recognized as a symbol of the LGBTQ+ community, stands for diversity, inclusion, and the spectrum of human identities and experiences. Originally designed by Gilbert Baker in 1978, the flag featured a rainbow of colors, each with its own meaning:

  • Red: Represents life and vitality.
  • Orange: Symbolizes healing and recovery.
  • Yellow: Stands for sunlight and a reminder to stay bright.
  • Green: Reflects nature and the need to stay grounded.
  • Blue: Signifies serenity and harmony.
  • Violet: Conveys spirit and the vibrancy of the community.

Over the years, variations of the flag have been created to include more members of the community, such as the addition of black and brown stripes to represent people of color, and the inclusion of pink, light blue, and white to represent the transgender community.

Each version of the Pride flag continues to be a powerful emblem of the ongoing struggle for equal rights, as well as a visible celebration of the achievements and identity of the LGBTQ+ community.


How To Celebrate Pride Month

You can celebrate pride month many different ways. June is always filled with activities that both honor the history of the LGBTQ+ rights movement and embrace the diversity of the community. Here are some ways to participate and celebrate:

  • Attend Pride Events: Join parades, festivals, and gatherings that take place in your city. These events are a powerful way to connect with the community and support equality.
  • Educate Yourself and Others: Use this month as an opportunity to learn more about the history of the LGBTQ+ community and the issues it currently faces. Share this knowledge to help raise awareness and foster inclusivity.
  • Support LGBTQ+ Businesses: Purchase from businesses owned by LGBTQ+ individuals or those that actively support the LGBTQ+ community, contributing economically to their success and visibility.
  • Show Your Colors: Display the Pride flag or wear clothing and accessories that reflect the spirit of the month. This not only shows your support but also helps to increase visibility.
  • Volunteer: Give your time to LGBTQ+ organizations that need support. Volunteering is a direct way to contribute to the community’s well-being and help the organizations that make a difference.
  • Create Inclusive Spaces: Whether at work, home, or in social settings, strive to create environments that are inclusive and welcoming to people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.
  • Celebrate Virtually: Participate in online events and social media campaigns if you cannot attend in-person events. Many organizations host webinars, virtual meet-ups, and discussions you can join.

There are several purposes for this commemorative month. It is an opportunity for the community to come together and give praise and recognition to the advances and setbacks that have been made. It provides moments to shed light on the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally. It is a time to truly celebrate in a festive, safe, and affirming atmosphere.

LGBTQ+ Mental Health & Support

At Clarity Clinic, we understand the unique challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community and are committed to providing specialized LGBTQ+ mental health support that respects and addresses these needs. Our inclusive environment and expert staff are here to ensure that every individual receives the compassionate care they deserve.

  • Tailored Therapy: We offer therapy sessions that are specifically designed to address issues prevalent within the LGBTQ+ community, such as identity acceptance, discrimination, and relationship dynamics.
  • Experienced Professionals: Our team of therapists and psychiatrists are not only experts in their fields but are also trained in LGBTQ+ specific mental health issues. They provide supportive and effective care tailored to your personal experiences and challenges.
  • Safe and Welcoming Space: We pride ourselves on creating a safe, confidential, and welcoming environment for all our clients, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Holistic Approach: Understanding that mental health is influenced by various factors, we provide a holistic approach that includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being.

Your mental health is important, and you deserve a space where you are fully seen and supported. Book an appointment today in one of our mental health clinic locations throughout Chicago (Loop, River North, Lakeview Broadway, Lakeview Belmont, Evanston, Mokena, Arlington Heights) or use our online therapy services.

Let us be a part of your support system, helping you navigate and celebrate your true self. Clarity offers the best mental health services near you!

Related Readings:

Pride Month: Commonly Asked Questions

Related Blog Posts

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Understanding Anxiety and Depression for LGBTQIA+ People
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Trans Youth and the Importance of Sharing Transgender-Affirming Resources on Social Media
November 21, 2022
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