BY: Neighbors’ Consejo|
June is widely recognized as Pride Month, a time dedicated to celebrating the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and other gender, and sexual minority (LGBTQ+) communities around the world. Beyond the vibrant parades and colorful festivities, Pride Month serves as an important platform to raise awareness about the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals and promote their emotional wellbeing.
According to Mental Health America, “4.5% of the U.S. population identifies as lesbian, gay, or bisexual, that is nearly 5.8 million of people, more than the entire population of Kentucky  .” Additionally, “48% of transgender adults report that they have considered suicide in the last year, compared to 4% of the overall US population.”
In a different light, the National Alliance on Mental Illness  consider that “LGB adults are more than twice as likely as heterosexual adults to experience a mental health condition. Transgender individuals are nearly four times as likely as cisgender individuals (people whose gender identity corresponds with their birth sex) to experience a mental health condition. In conclusion, “they are 2.5 times more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and substance misuse compared with heterosexual individuals  .”
What can you do to support the mental health of LGBTQ+ loved ones? “Respect their identity; learn about the early signs of mental illness; create and teach awareness; support them in accessing mental health resources and listen and be compassionate  .” As Ronan Farrow states, “LGBT people are some of the bravest and most potent change agents and leaders I have encountered, and the most forceful defenders of the vulnerable and voiceless, because they know what it is like to be there  .”
In conclusion, we want to highlight the importance LGBTQ+ Pride Month in promoting emotional wellbeing. By celebrating diversity, embracing acceptance, and advocating for equality, Pride Month fosters an environment where individuals can feel affirmed and supported in their identities. And of course, if you are part of this LGBTQ+ community in Washington DC., and need help with your emotional wellbeing, remember that you can contact Neighbors’ Consejo  , all services are free.