LGBTQ+ Pride: What’s changed from Gen X to Millenials?

MHA Admin

Thu, 06/22/2023 – 12:33

Photo credit: Rhododendrites

This Pride Month we decided to take a look at two different but intersected perspectives on what this month means in our current environment. The first is from Mental Health America’s President and CEO Schroeder Stribling, and the second is from Mental Health America Director of Public Awareness and Education Em Skehill.

Gen X: Schroeder Stribling

The joy in Pride Month is indisputable. Millions of LGBTQ+ individuals and communities and supporters come together in waves of colorful celebration, and after all these years it’s still thrilling to call out “Happy Pride!” to a friend across the way.

My own lifetime has spanned the years from Stonewall to legalized same-sex marriage. Along the way, the mental health field tossed out pathologizing definitions of LGBTQ+ folks.

Remembering our proud history of struggle and progress will power our resolve and sharpen our wisdom. From Harvey Milk and Marsha P. Johnson, to the extravagant balls in “Paris is Burning” and the black-and-pink T-shirts of Act Up proclaiming Silence=Death, to Don’t Ask Don’t Tell to Obergefell – we should remember it all this Pride Month.

But now in my 50s, I worry that our progress is eroding. We have seen the introduction of numerous anti-LGBTQ+ legislation at the state level, specifically anti-trans legislation, and threats to drag events this year have been rampant.

In my mind, the black-and-white image of drag queens being shoved into a paddy wagon is juxtaposed with the colorful Barbie lawn display I saw in Washington, D.C.: sparkly, decked-out dolls with a sign that read “Drag Is Not a Crime.” It seems the clock is ticking backwards.

I worry for the queer youth of today. I worry about the mental and emotional toll on LBGTQ+ students in schools where pronoun recognition or queer-positive library books are being debated. I worry for trans adults in states where their access to ongoing medical treatment is threatened. I worry especially for Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) youth and young people of all intersectional identities who are at risk of exclusion and discrimination on several fronts.

This Pride Month, we commit ourselves to understanding the lived experience of LGBTQ+ youth, being responsive to their needs, and following their leadership.

Millennial: Em Skehill

The joy in Pride Month is indisputable. While we love our queerness all year, June is a time when we get to see, experience, and celebrate ourselves even more loudly. The sense of community and love among LGBTQ+ folks often feels stronger and deeper, and it’s a time I feel more connected than ever to our queer ancestors across the globe. Those positive feelings aren’t gone this year, but they are certainly complicated by current events. In 2023, it feels like we have gone backwards after coming so far – trans rights are being stripped away, and in many areas it isn’t safe to celebrate, or even visibly identify as queer.

Within the queer community there’s an unspoken understanding that this year, Pride is scary. With the increase in mass violence – especially toward identity groups, and even more so toward the trans community – Pride celebrations feel like an obvious target. Multiple far-right extremist groups are planning to escalate attacks on our community this month. While we hope these plans are thwarted, many feel like there’s no way to guarantee both our safety and our pride.

On a less threatening, but still hurtful, level, we see our month watered down by rainbow capitalism – corporations using Pride Month as a performative business strategy without actually supporting the LGBTQ+ community. It turns the focus of Pride away from LGBTQ+ protests, rights, and freedom and toward mainstream companies – many of which, sadly, drop their support come July 1. This year, we’ve felt that allyship taken away from us before June even began with a number of businesses deciding to cancel planned events or merchandise releases related to Pride.

You may have seen this tweet circulating recently: “For pride month this year, can straight people focus less on ‘love is love’ and more on ‘queer and trans people are in danger.’” Many people consider themselves an ally in that they support LGBTQ+ rights and join in Pride celebrations, but it hurts when they don’t show up in the ways that we need them.

We’re challenged this month with holding our love for Pride and everything it means, while enduring an onslaught of identity-based discrimination, hate, and trauma. We’re experiencing multiple feelings at once that really run the gamut – from joy to sadness to fear.

Pride Month grew out of the 1969 Stonewall Riots. This month isn’t rooted in celebration, but in resistance, human rights, and reclaiming our narratives from people who hate or deny our existence. Part of that does include celebrating us. Joy is a form of resistance.

Whether you identify as LGBTQ+, are questioning your identity, an ally, or simply curious to learn more, we hope everyone takes some time this month to consider how the current environment is affecting your mind or those around you. Learn more with our resources. Mental Health America will continue standing with the LGBTQ+ community and working to make our country safe for all, no matter how they identify.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Capital City Emergency “Level II” Trauma & Wellness Center will house a “state of the art” Outreach Community Resource Center, that will provide case management, mental health community advocacy, and oversight from the M.I. Mother’s Keeper mental health advocates. 
 
The Capital City Emergency “Level II” Trauma & Wellness Center will offer patrons access to immediate coverage by general surgeons as well as coverage by the specialties of orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology and critical care.
 
Our goal is to help people in the best way possible in an effort to preserve and to save more lives in the Nation’s Capital and beyond.

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Emergency

Code Red
Gunshot Victim
Life Threatening Wounds
Physical Assault Victim
Severely Injured Auto Accident Victim
Burn Victim
Epilepsy/Seizures
Cardiovascular
Choking & Breathing Obstructions
and more…

trauma

Child Sex Assault Victim
Domestic Violence Victim
Drug Overdose
Rape/Sex Crime Victim
Suicide Watch
Trafficking Victim
Nervous Breakdown
and more…

Mental Health

At Capital City Emergency Trauma & Wellness Center patrons with mental health emergencies that include life threatening situations in which an individual is imminently threatening harm to self or others, severely disoriented or out of touch with reality, has a severe inability to function or is otherwise distraught and out of control, will have access to quality and psychiatric emergency services and referrals.

Physical Health

Whether your life threatening medical emergency involves excessive or uncontrollable bleeding, head injury. difficulty with breathing, severe pain, heart attack, vision impairments, stroke, physically collapsing, or seizure related, rest assured that our professionals will properly assess and evaluate the level of response that will be most needed to help provide stabilized care solutions and minimize complications as well as reduce early mortality.

Holistic Healthcare

We offer healthcare solutions that will support the whole person which includes their physical, psychological, emotional, social, & spiritual wellbeing. Research supports that because your mental state can affect your overall health we support and offer the inclusion of complimentary and alternative medicine(CAM) practitioners and naturopathic doctor recommendations and referrals as a part of our Outreach Community Resource Center’s care regimen and support.

Rehabilitative

Emergency care can typically result in traumatic injuries for which rehabilitation becomes an essential component of care in trying to achieve the best long-term outcomes for the patient. In addition to speeding up recovery times and helping to prevent further complications, rehabilitative care also helps to support a patient’s self-managed recovery once discharged from our facility. Our Outreach Community Resource Center works closely with our trauma center’s discharge department to assure that patrons requiring these services are linked with qualified professionals who will be accountable to the standard of care required to help the patron be successful in their recovery.

Social Services

Our “state of the art” Outreach Community Resource Center intends to promote “expansive” beneficial community enriching services, programs, case management, & linkage to “approved” partner resources and supports in all of the following intended areas and more:

Social Services

  • Clothing
  • Food Pantry
  • Housing/Shelter
  • I.D. Credentials
  • Senior Wellness Check
  • Toiletries
  • Transportation
  • Etc.

Extended Family Services

  • Child Care
  • Credit Counseling
  • Family Court Services
  • Legal Aide

Career Training

  • Apprenticeship programs
  • Computer/Graphics Training
  • Culinary Program  
  • GED Courses
  • Hospitality Training
  • Job Etiquette & Grooming
  • Resume’ Prep
  • Sales Training
  • Software/Technology workshops
  • Small Business Training

Return Citizen
Program Partner
(Bridging the Gap)

  • Case Management
  • Temporary Boarding/Housing
  • Transitional Program Registration

Prevention/Intervention Outreach,
Workshops, & Programs

  • After-school Behavioral Health Program
  • Civic Engagement / Volunteer Sign-up
  • Fatherhood Rites of Passage
  • Gun Violence Town Hall Forum
  • Life Coaching & Coping Strategies
  • Marriage Counseling Workshops
  • Medicare Informational Workshops
  • Mentorship Training
  • Parental Classes
  • Support Groups
  • Town Hall Discussions
  • Violence De-Escalation Training
  • Voter Registration

Nutritional Outreach

  • Cooking Demonstrations
  • Dietary Programs
  • Exercise Classes
  • Recipe Sharing Workshops
  • Meal Prep

Community Outreach

The Healthy DC & Me Leadership Coalition is partnering with the M.I. Mother’s Keeper Mental Health advocacy organization to provide outreach services on the community level as an aid in reducing the existent health inequities that many District citizens are facing as a direct result of the presence of debilitating social determinants and the lack of culturally appropriate care choices and realities for community members residing in marginalized and lower-income communities.

It is the vision and intentions of the M.I. Mother’s Keeper Mental Health Advocates organization to help improve the quality of living for citizens living in our Nation’s Capital and beyond by overseeing the delicate linkage to services and by maintaining higher standards of care accountability for deserving citizens of the Nation’s Capital.

For more information or to enroll as one of our service providers, please email us at:
info@healthydcandme.org