Let’s Celebrate Pride!

DBT Center of Orange County is a safe space that welcomes everyone, including folks of all genders and sexual orientations. We are happy to be celebrating LGBTQIA+ Pride Month and recognize this extends far beyond wearing our rainbow gear, although that’s an important facet of representation. It’s a time to celebrate our queer identities in safe spaces, increase advocacy/awareness, and continue fighting for equal LGBTQIA rights. I’d like to take a moment to recognize the origins of PRIDE, especially in today’s political climate, which is not necessarily safe for all LGBTQIA+ folks depending on which state you currently live in. 

It is noteworthy to mention that the gay rights movement officially began in the 1920’s at which point multiple organizations were formed to protect the rights of LGBTQIA+ folks. However, the movement ramped up extensively after the Stonewall riots in NYC. The city was not safe for LGBTQIA+ folks during the 60’s and decades prior, as holding hands, kissing or dancing with someone of the same sex was still illegal in NYC. So queer folks would use gay bars as the safe haven to express themselves freely without judgment from cisgender/heterosexuals and law enforcement who would regularly harass them. On June 28th,1969 in Greenwich Village, the Stonewall riots occurred after the police raided the Stonewall Inn bar, which was a safe haven for queer individuals. This violent police raid led to 6 days of protests, mostly led by queer and trans people of color, and “served as the catalyst for the gay rights movement in the US and around the world.” The fight for queer rights is unfortunately not over, as there are currently around 500 anti-LGBTQ bills in the US. Trans rights and access to affirming care are being criminalized in many states, such as Florida. Nonbinary/trans kids are also now legally able to be removed from their families in many states, including Texas and Florida. There are several anti-drag bills that would prevent and criminalize drag performances and self-expression. Additionally, the proposed “don’t say gay” bill would prevent teachers from educating students about sexual orientation/gender identity. This is the time to stand up and advocate and help our queer community while also immersing ourselves and taking up space celebrating our identities in pride festivities. 

The iconic rainbow flag is the symbol of pride for the LGBTQIA community and deserves space to be recognized and understood. The flag has had multiple revamps and alterations to include gender diversity (including trans people of color) and specific queer populations. However, the first original rainbow flag was designed by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker in 1978 at the request of Gay rights activist Harvey Milk to replace the upside down triangle the Nazi’s used to identify queer folks. The goal was to create a symbol of liberation. The 8 colors on this beautiful original flag hold symbolism I would like to share with you all now:Pink=Sex, Red=Life, Orange=Healing, Yellow=Sunlight, Green=Nature, Turquoise=Magic, Blue=Serenity, and Purple=Spirit.     

DBT Center of OC encourages you to celebrate pride and advocate in many different ways. Here are a few suggestions.

Ways to celebrate:

1.) Attend pride events or create your own 

2.) Be an Ally/Advocate – also include safe space signs/flags in your place of work if appropriate

3.) Donate – especially to LGBTQIA folks who live in unaccepting /unsafe spaces that are denying accessible care and rights in government and law right now 

4.) Consume LGBTQIA media and art/support LGBTQIA artists

5.) Educate yourself on LGBTQIA history 

6.) Facilitate discussions and provide psychoeducation if safe to do so 

 

Happy Pride month, everyone-celebrate being you!!

 

Written By: Dr. Krystal Lopez Psy.D

 

References:

https://gilbertbaker.com/rainbow-flag-color-meanings/

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Gay-Pride 

https://www.history.com/topics/gay-rights/the-stonewall-riots 

Image: Getty Images

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