4 Essential Tools for Overcoming Pride Month Struggles
David Stahler, BS
It’s that time of the year when New York City is flooded with sunshine and rainbow flags, signaling the arrival of Pride month. For many, this is an exhilarating time—a month of celebration, embracing our true selves, and living authentically. However, it’s important to recognize that Pride month can evoke a range of emotions for different individuals. Some may find themselves confronted with feelings of shame, loneliness, and sadness amidst the festivities.
While Pride month serves as an opportunity for our community to commemorate the progress we have made, the rights we have secured, and the personal journeys we have endured, it can also prompt us to reflect on the challenges we still face, whether on a communal, political, or personal level.
The journey towards self-acceptance and wellbeing is ongoing, so here are four ways you can support yourself if you’re struggling with issues related to Pride month:
1. Seek Supportive Communities: The best antidote to feeling alone is to find a community that can support you. For some people, that may be friends and family. For others, that may be finding a LGBTQ+ organization, support group, or online forum. The key is finding a place where you can share experiences, seek advice, and find a sense of belonging.
2. Practice Self-Compassion: It’s important to be gentle with yourself during times of emotional turmoil. Engage in self-compassion practices such as talking kindly to yourself, mindfulness, and self-care activities that help you nurture and prioritize your wellbeing. Think about how you would talk to and treat a friend who was struggling. Then be that friend to yourself.
3. Connect with Mental Health Professionals: Consulting a mental health professional who specializes in LGBTQ+ issues can offer a safe space to explore your emotions, address concerns, and develop strategies for managing stress. Check out Collaborative’s team of professionals who are dedicated to supporting LGBTQ+ individuals no matter where they are on their journey.
4. Educate Yourself: Expanding your knowledge about LGBTQ+ history, rights, and experiences can help foster understanding and empower you as an individual. Explore books (fiction, non-fiction), documentaries, and podcasts that delve into LGBTQ+ topics.
As Pride month unfolds, remember that it encompasses a spectrum of emotions and experiences. While it serves as a time for celebration and self-expression, it can also bring forth complex challenges. By seeking supportive communities, practicing self-compassion, connecting with mental health professionals, and educating ourselves, we can navigate these struggles with resilience and grace.
Remember that your journey towards self-acceptance and well-being is unique, and it deserves the utmost care and attention. Embrace the opportunities for growth and connection that Pride month presents, and may you continue to shine as your authentic self long after the rainbow flags come down on every retail store in New York.