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Celebrating Pride

For standing ground, embracing one another through each of our own experiences, we still have to embrace our own fears as well.


It’s June 2021, and we have made it through a very tough last year. It has truly impacted everyone on various levels, and I watched that Brené Brown did an interview on the Kelly Clarkson show during the midst of this global crisis. She was pointing to how, as human beings, we are not meant to withstand this level of “social” distancing when it comes to our relationships. Proximity is a primal factor to connection with other human beings. She noted how the pandemic is a trauma that has significantly impacted how we start to connect with others in our lives.

Last year, Pride was a “cancelled” season for much of the LGBTQ+ community celebrating the road that has been paved for us. It was difficult, and in various areas of life, other important events and situations were altered or completely halted because of the pandemic (i.e. birthdays, graduations, newborns, etc.). In light of this though, we can start to see why these events have such a huge impact on who we are and why we apply such value to their existence.

In this post, I’m speaking to my experience within the LGBTQ+ community, as it applies to PRIDE as a celebration. One of the major events that stirred up the historical indifferences that those in the community have faced were the Stonewall Riots. Various members of the queer community faced backlash for their need for safety and inclusivity within secure places. Like within my role as a counselor, I know there is such value to cultivating safe spaces for those within the LGBTQ+ community. While it wasn’t the only event that stirred up controversy and pandemonium, the Stonewall Riots erupted a cascade of inhumane treatment within the Gay Rights Movement.

While I didn’t endure a time where there was a diagnosable label for those who were within the community, I have seen in my life, the various levels of bashing and cruel punishment that effect the community as whole, and those within it. Many are labeled “disgusting” or “broken,” conveyed as immoral by religion, or denied access to opportunities, living, or employment. The community I’ve grown to love more and more each year at this time has taught me the true value of empathy in these experiences.

I can sit, with open ears, and embrace what has shaped someone within the community and its effect on their trust or safety with others. Many individuals are scrutinized for taking a stance, and at times, we lose sight of the fear and shame that comes with standing ground in this way for human rights. When Martha Shelley, only 25 at the time of the Stonewall Riots, stood ground on top of a fountain in the park, she sent a message to our community to “walk in the sunshine,” to embrace yourself. The same human being who was in Harlem when Martin Luther King Jr. was shot knew that, for standing ground as she did, she could face a similar fate, later expressing that fear herself. And every day, throughout the globe, various religious, governmental, or societal factors influence the bashing, denial, disrespect, or even death of those within our community.

For standing ground, embracing one another through each of our own experiences, we still have to embrace our own fears as well.

Because of the events that have continued to rock the boat, we have provided, and commit to, providing a space for those within the community to feel cared for and appreciated while working through the experiences in their own lives. Many others are living on the intersection of embracing their identities and other levels of minority backlash as well. In various ways, a multiple minority system of oppression has led to the deaths of, and continued depressive and anxious symptoms, for those who are queer and within the BIPOC (black, indigenous, and people of color) community.

Like building secure attachments take continued work and ‘bouncing back’ quickly through emotional struggles, those within our community may still be struggling and still experience fear or anxiety about standing ground and embracing themselves. Taking that first big step can be met with shame about who one is, in addition to continued bias or stereotypes that are placed on minority groups as a whole.

Within our practice, we want to continue celebrating PRIDE, especially in a way that still embraces others experiences and meets them where they’re at. Pressure is a significant component of the world around us, and empathy plays a key role in building safety for those that have not felt embraced or are continuing to face backlash for who they are.

In the month of June, we want to start off by expressing our great love for the LGBTQ+ community and the empathy that has helped guide us to this safety. We want to open our doors to those who need comfort and stability in their lives, and we commit to valuing your experiences and opening our ears to what you may need from a therapist to feel safe moving through these very tough or emotional struggles.

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