June is pride month, marking the 51st anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which broke out when police raided the Stonewall Inn in 1969. At the forefront of these protests and riots were two trans women of color, Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P Johnson. These riots started a major transformation in the LGBT community and opened up the doors to conversations about gender, race, sexuality, love, acceptance, and pride.
Pride month should be a reminder that real change comes from building the foundation of our community on love and acceptance. It is our responsibility to not just create a safe space for the LGBT community, but to intertwine love, acceptance, and pride with our culture and in everything that we do. It is about being proud of who you are and who you love and being proud of other people for the same reason. This starts when we love and accept ourselves, which will trickle down to our words and actions. Until we learn how to be kind to ourselves, how can we possibly be kind to other people?
Change also starts when we educate our community about how loving and accepting people just as they are builds a strong and healthy foundation for the future. Now is not the time to allow people to be hateful to others based on their sexuality, gender identity, race, etc. In spite of the inner and outer work that still needs to be done, pride month is a celebration about love, and to show how far the LGBT community has come.
One of Integrative Counsel’s core values is to provide culturally competent services. We respect the uniqueness of every person including, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, class, and religious affiliation. We are a creative organization and are here to help create change for the better. We want to see strong communities come together and aim to help facilitate this growth. Equal treatment of all humans is essential in this process! We ask that you join us in co-creating an inclusive community – for all!
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Alli is our office manager and writer who is passionate about connecting people through words. Alli studied English at Arizona State University, just recently moved to St. Pete and is enjoying paradise. Her interests include painting, nature, and learning about other people.