We join together every June to celebrate the experiences, narratives, and lives of the LGBTQIA+ community. But this celebration shouldn’t be limited to one month in the year.
LGBTQIA+ people experience alarmingly high rates of mental health concerns. These issues are largely due to societal stigma, discrimination and biases. For these reasons it’s crucial for us to understand more about the LGBTQIA+ community and how to respond, fit in and/or support the community. This article is a tiny step towards being queer-informed.
I am confused/curious about my gender/sexual orientation - what can I do?
It is absolutely natural to question your sexual and/or gender orientation. It can become quite stressful when going through these thoughts and feelings. Here are some things that you can do:
Learn as much as you can by reading and listening to people from the community.
Be patient with yourself. There are no right or wrong feelings. It can be upsetting to feel and think differently but it is also important to love yourself and take care of yourself as well.
Talk to a trusted friend, family member, or professional.
How can I be an ally for the LGBTQIA+ community?
It’s understandable to have questions or be confused. But, it’s never too late to be informed and learn about the community. Here are a few pointers:
Take out time to educate yourself about the community, the language, their struggles and their accomplishments.
When LGBTQIA+ topics come up, talk about them, share your beliefs, don’t avoid them.
Remember that part of your goal as an ally is to build bridges across differences and promote equality and inclusion for the community.
Get familiar with these verified mental health resources for LGBTQIA+ people and share them with your loved ones.
In April 2014, the Supreme Court of India ruled that the rights and freedoms of transgender people in India were protected under the Constitution. More recently in September 2018, under Section 377, the Supreme Court also decriminalized adult consensual same-sex relationships. While these are important landmarks in India, it is still a long road ahead to tackle equal rights for the LBGTQIA+ community.
Let us pause here and remind ourselves that each one of us has the right to feel and be accepted. Let us also remind one another of the need for compassion and kindness, encourage a holistic acceptance of the LGBTQIA+ community, and take a stand for their rights.
Happy Pride! :)