Opinion: LGBTQ+ Pride and community visibility can save lives

FILE - A family walks by an LGBTQ pride mural in downtown Raleigh, N.C., just a few blocks away from the Legislative Building, on Nov. 16, 2022. Senate Republicans in North Carolina advanced legislation Tuesday, April 18, 2023, that would prohibit transgender girls from participating in sports that correspond with their gender identity. (AP Photo/Hannah Schoenbaum, File)

By Andrea Woodin

June 3, 2024

We celebrate important days, weeks, and months for various topics in our country. Military Appreciation Month is in May, Breast Cancer Awareness Month is in October, and National Hobby Month is in January. Often we have months to celebrate people who have undergone a significant struggle for equality in America. February is Black History Month, November is Native American Heritage Month, and July is Disability Pride Month.

In June, we celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride Month. We find ourselves at a time in our nation when the rights and freedoms of the queer community are at risk. Pride is not just a time for parties and parades, it’s a time for activism. Pride is the reminder of what we are fighting for and the visibility that comes around in June can save lives.

More than 1 in 10 LGBTQ+ youth have attempted suicide in the past year and 90% of LGBTQ+ young people said their well-being was negatively impacted due to recent politics, according to a recent survey from the Trevor Project. LGBTQ+ youth who reported living in very accepting communities attempted suicide at less than half the rate of those who reported living in very unaccepting communities.

All statistics aside, supporting others in your community is basic human decency. When you live as an openly out queer person, you show bigots that hate will not win but most importantly, you show other queer people, some who may be in the closet, that they are not alone.

Visibility saves lives. It can’t be said enough. You can simply wear a pin or a shirt out in public as an ally. You can speak out on social media when you see hate speech or even start a local support group. Think about what it means to a person with no community, no support in their family, and no friends to talk with.

The absolute joy I feel when I see anyone supporting the LGBTQ+ community can not be put into words, I can only imagine how it feels for the younger generations. Pride should always be celebrated, especially in a year when the political climate is as dangerous as it is right now. The anti-gay hate speech is loud but we can be louder.

Author

  • Andrea Woodin

    Andrea Woodin is a mother, a wife, and a small business owner. She lives with her family and six pets in Franklin County NC.

CATEGORIES: LGBTQ

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