June is Pride Month—a month where we celebrate people in the LGBTQ+ community, their identities, and their contributions to society. Even though Pride is often now a celebration and a time for, well, pride, there are many different ways to celebrate, express yourself, and take care of yourself. It’s okay if your Pride looks different than someone else’s.
There’s no one right way to celebrate Pride. It’s okay if it feels a little confusing to celebrate at all times, or if your emotions are conflicting. For instance, you can celebrate the Supreme Court’s decision that LGBTQ+ people are protected from discrimination under Title VII while also being angry—or sad, or lost, or any other valid emotion—about the order to revoke healthcare protections from people in the trans community. You can celebrate Marsha P. Johnson and other Black trans women who were foundational at the Stonewall riots while also acknowledging and fighting against the systemic inequalities facing Black trans women today. Pride can be a time for all of these things.
With so much happening—so much joy, so much history, and, unfortunately, so much pain—it is vital to take care of yourself during Pride Month. You are important and valid and your mental health matters.
It’s okay if you aren’t able to attend parades, whether it’s due to health or safety concerns or even just because those events aren’t your thing. Pride is still for you. There are other ways to celebrate, there are other ways to support LGBTQ+ people and the movement, and there are other ways to express your identity.
It’s okay if you’re still questioning your identity, or if you’re not always sure how you identify. Pride is still for you. Don’t stress if you don’t have everything figured out, and don’t be ashamed if you thought you knew how you identify but something changes or you become unsure of that identity. You don’t need to have everything figured out. You’re still valid.
It’s okay if you’re out to some people in your life but not others, regardless of why. Pride is still for you. You and your identity are valid even if you’re unable to fully be yourself around some of the people in your life.
It’s okay if you aren’t out to anyone, regardless of why. You can still be proud of your identity. Pride is still for you. You can celebrate yourself in whatever ways make you comfortable. You and your identity are valid even if you’re unable to fully show yourself to the world around you.
If you’re an ally, recognize that different people may want to be supported in different ways—and not just during Pride, but at all times. Different people have different needs, even if they have similar identities. Take care of your own mental health while also ensuring you respect the varying boundaries of your friends in the LGBTQ+ community.
Above all, remember to check in with yourself and your mental health constantly. Know your own boundaries so you can share them with others. Don’t feel pressured to celebrate Pride one way just because someone else is. Don’t celebrate in any way you aren’t comfortable with, even if others love to celebrate that way. Don’t sacrifice your boundaries or your personal needs to celebrate in a popular way. There are so many different ways to celebrate Pride. You deserve to have your identity celebrated and recognized, but not at the expense of your mental health.
Pride Month is filled with many emotions as well as countless ways to celebrate everyone’s valid identities. Celebrate yourself and your loved ones while also taking care of yourself. You can have an amazing Pride Month full of pride, even if your Pride doesn’t look like anyone else’s.