Pride month is officially here! This month it is important to recognize the love, strength and courage of those in the LGBTQ+ community. Although this month is full of celebrations, parades and a sense of togetherness, many of those in the community can still experience feelings of isolation and sadness. Whether you are in the community yourself, or have a loved one who is, here are a few ways to show your support this pride month.
#1 Join a local support group.
Rochester offers many different groups and resources designed to support a variety of people. By joining a support group, as an ally or member of the community, you can be part of an atmosphere that cultivates support and love. For many, a support group can help to eliminate feelings of isolation and loneliness that can occur in many LGBTQ+ people and families.
The Rochester Public Library is an amazing resource for those looking to find a local support group. They have many events related to LGBTQ+ authors, books and community-building. This would be a great way to meet others in the local community and immerse yourself in media created by and for LGBTQ+ folks!
There are a variety of local resources in southeast Minnesota for families with LGBTQ+ children, such as Transforming Families, a community where transgender and gender non-conforming children and families can come together to support each other in a safe, supportive and welcoming group.
More resources include:
#2 Educate yourself.
Expand your knowledge about the LGBTQ+ movement and community! To be a great ally to your loved one, try to do some research into the history of the LGBTQ+ movement. It could be as easy as watching this short video that explains the history of the movement since the 1800s! There are also many amazing LGBTQ+ books, movies, TV shows and articles that you can read or watch for Pride month. One of my personal favorites is the TV show “Heartstopper” on Netflix!
#3 Attend a Pride parade or event.
There are tons of opportunities in Rochester for fun pride month events and events that run through the whole year. Go with a friend or go alone and make new ones!
#4 Respect their identity.
The Institute of Medicine recently concluded that LGBTQ+ youth are more at risk for poor mental health and physical health than heterosexual and cisgender youth, which is why respecting your child or loved one’s identity is really important. If you are curious or struggling to understand, consider asking them polite questions and have open-minded conversations with one another. Respect could be as simple as calling someone by the correct pronouns or name. NPR created a guide to gender identity terms that is really helpful if you need some tips!