Pride Month

By: Kim Cecil, LCSW 


Happy Pride! June is the month of rainbows and parades, and a season of joy for many and confusing for others. A loving person once asked me, “why do you have to broadcast that, when it’s not the most important thing about you?” It’s a way to find one another, in a world where we queer people often blend in to the background, doing our normal jobs and caring for our families in our normal houses next door. I’m using queer as an umbrella term for the whole spectrum of LGBTQIA people. Rainbows mark us as family, and help us see the connection with others

-who may have a similar path,

-who may have felt the rejection of family,

-who may have lost friends or loved ones.

-who may have had their queerness erased for the comfort of others,

because of our identity, because of who we love. That connection feels like a lifeline in some seasons of life – especially for our youth, whose rejection can cause trauma, homelessness, and lead to all sorts of difficulties in life. They are the most at risk, as they have not yet built a safety net of other people to sustain them if their own families decide they do not belong.


This is not to say that happy, accepting families are not common! I am grateful for loving acceptance myself, and I acknowledge that the road to this place was sometimes rocky and upsetting. But, I have friends whose family members stopped speaking with them immediately and have no contact after decades. There are “don’t ask, don’t tell” families, and families still struggling to get the pronouns correct for their transgender family members. It’s often complicated and takes time and willingness to move into a welcoming place, and we share a deep sadness for those whose families never find a way to co-exist, tolerate, or celebrate our queer peers.

So PRIDE is when you get to be your full self and not filter your self-expression. PRIDE is when it’s just fine to be queer, different, and/or stand out. PRIDE is when we can hold hands without fear of harsh looks or violence. PROUD is often the opposite of what queer folks are asked to be—quiet, blend in, ashamed of themselves. That is the reason that people want to wear rainbows and parade around scantily clad in public, to shake off all of the limits and restrictions imposed upon us at other times. It’s a time to be free and accepted no matter what.

I remember being confused by why people wanted to dance in g-strings on floats in Chicago. But over the years, as I have heard the stories of pain and rejection that many of our LGBTQIA sibs have experienced, I see why they want a day to parade their identity to its extremes. Plus, it wouldn’t be that interesting to watch a parade of just normal people walking down the street.

So, try to open your minds and appreciate the whimsy of PRIDE. Make space for people who have hushed up at work about their partner due to fear that they would face judgment. Smile and nod at the rainbow-haired youth who are making sure that we know ‘they’re here, they’re queer, and they’re NOT going away.’ The rainbow of diversity is truly beautiful.


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