Celebrated annually every June, Pride Month is a month-long celebration by the LGBTQ+ community, advocates, and allies. It is celebrated each June as a tribute to those individuals who were involved in the Stonewall Riots (also known as the Stonewall Uprising), a series of spontaneous demonstrations by members of the LGBT community that began on June 28, 1969 in New York City as a response to a police raid at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village.
Throughout the month of June, LGBTQ+ community members, advocates, and allies will participate in parties, parades, and other celebratory activities. However, Pride Month is also a time for education, for awareness, and to further the fight for LGBTQ+ rights in America. LGBTQ+ members will celebrate who they are, who they love, and fight for equality on a national stage. LGBTQ+ stands for
- Queer (or Questioning)
Extremely important during Pride Month is the need to recognize how mental health and addiction impact members of the LGBTQ+ community. 52% of LGBTQ+ individuals report that they regularly experience depression. Around 30% of LGBTQ+ individuals abuse or misuse substances throughout their lifetime, compared to 9-15% of the general population. LGBTQ+ members are 9x more likely to attempt suicide than individuals in the general population. LGBTQ+ adults are 56% more likely to develop alcoholism than individuals in the general population. One in three members of the LGBTQ+ community experience a mental illness, which is 60% more than heterosexuals, and members in the LGBTQ+ community are almost 3x as likely to develop an addiction or substance use disorder.
As members of the LGBTQ+ community celebrate who they are and who they love during Pride Month in 2021, it is vital to recognize the discrimination, prejudice, and hatred that they face in their lives, and the inherent risks they face related to mental health and addiction struggles. It is important that, like everyone else in society, members of the LGBTQ+ community are given the respect, dignity, and love deserving of all people, and that they are offered the support and help when they are in need.
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