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Celebrating Pride During a Pandemic
June is LGBTQ2S+ #Pride month, and even a pandemic can't stop that! These tips are all about supporting yourself and feeling pride during these atypical times.
In order to feel pride for the communities we belong to, it's important to learn the history behind them. The LGBTQ2S+ community wouldn't be where it is without the #Black trans women who head started the #StonewallRiots 51 years ago, Stonewall Inn - June 28, 1969: Where Pride Festivals Started.
Take a look at the people and activities you surround yourself with and re-evaluate what they bring to your life. You don't need to make space for people or things that don't support and embrace your sexuality or gender identity (or the sexuality and gender identity of others).
Do you feel alone, wrong or "unnatural" for your sexuality or gender identity? Nature is actually full of all kinds of sexualities and gender identities — there's nothing unnatural about being LGBTQ2S+. Check out this TEDx talk to learn more.
Unfollow any social media or news outlets that may be toxic or harmful. Instead, follow outlets that celebrate self-expression and the LGBTQ+ community. Examples; @them, @xtramagazine, @pinknews, etc.
Live in Ontario and want to build your circle with some professional supports? RainbowHealthOn has a service provider directory of those who are dedicated to providing inclusive and competent services for members of the LGBTQ2S+ community.
An important part of your #pride is making sure you're getting proper info about your sexual health. @Scarleteen, @PPofTO and Teen Health Souce are great youth resources that allow you to ask questions directly to trained volunteers.
Spend some time researching the history of the LGBTQ2S+ community and pick 3 of your favourite fun or inspiring facts about it to share with your loved ones or on social media.
Write down 1 thing each day that you like about yourself or a strength/positive trait you have. Continue for the rest of the month, then read the list you've compiled at the end. It can be hard to see at times, but there's so much of yourself to be proud about!
It can be draining to feel like you're constantly hiding who you are. Find people and places (online) that encourage and support you in being your genuine self — rainbow and all! Those people and places do exist, and you deserve to experience them.
Being a member of the LGBTQ2S+ community doesn't mean you're immune to having homophobic, biphobic or transphobic beliefs. It's so ingrained in our society that sometimes we have internalized prejudices. Take some time to reflect and work on any you may have!
Even if you'll be by yourself all day, try expressing yourself through your appearance! Wear what makes you feel comfortable and confident — whether it's a certain colour, style, or supposedly for a particular gender. If you like makeup, play around with that too!
Are you questioning your sexuality or thinking about coming out? Check out one young person's advice based on her experience with navigating her sexuality and coming out last year.
The words that we use or hear can truly have harmful impacts. Play this interactive game, Aerin the Ally, to feel the #Pride that comes with transforming hurtful messages into inclusive and positive ones!
While professional support can play a vital role, sometimes peer support can be what we need too! @LGBTYouthLine is a Canada-wide peer support service for LGBTQ2S+ youth that offers chat, text and email from 4-9:30ET daily, youthline.ca.
Sometimes immersing yourself in a healthy dose of fantasy can be a neat way to engage in self care and escape for a bit. Click through this awesome Queer Trans Mentally Ill Power Fantasy for an empowering example!
Being around people (even virtually) who share similar identities or feelings can help us to feel less alone. Are there any LGBTQ+ youth groups in your community you could join online? If not, think about starting your own!
Create a mantra that highlights the things you love about yourself — if self-love feels too far away, try a mantra that offers self-compassion or empowerment. Repeat it to your reflection each morning or any time you need a pick-me-up throughout the day.
Are you getting your daily dose of laughter? Try seeking out queer inclusive comedy to live out your #pride while having a laugh e.g.; Wanda Sykes, Jes Tom, Dewayne Perkins, Jay Jurden, Hannah Gadsby, or show's like Netflix's Sex Education, Feel Good, and so many more!
When highlighting #BlackLGBTQ role models and perspectives, read a blog on mindyourmind that reflects on how revolutionary it felt when Frank Ocean shared his #comingout letter with the world. Find more inspiration in empowering stories of #Pride like these!
Taking care of our sexual health is so important for overall health, whether you're LGBTQ+ or heterosexual! It's even more important to be safe and responsible right now with #COVID19. @SOGCorg's Sex and U website shared a helpful guide.
Feel proud of your identity and others' on the #LGBTQ2S+ rainbow by practicing gender-inclusive language. Our words can have a powerful impact! @egalecanada provided Inclusive and Affirming Language Tips.
When you're trans or non-binary, it can be tough to feel #pride if you're struggling with #genderdysphoria. Look towards others with similar struggles to see what helps them, like this great blog posted on @RadicalBodyLove's site.
Poetry and creative writing can be a great way to express yourself and your #pride. Some may not appeal to you, but finding poetry that does speak to you can be life-affirming! Maybe even write a few of your thoughts down and create your own poem.
June is normally a big one for #pride festivals, but luckily there will still be lots of virtual festivities taking place, like the world's biggest pride celebration hosted by @GlobalPride2020.
When coming to terms with your sexuality or gender identity, you may feel lost, ashamed, or other difficult emotions, but try not to let yourself sit in them. Look towards others' stories, Derek, to help you process yours and feel less alone in it.
For a database of all kinds of youth LGBTQ2S+ resources and supports (everything from advocacy, to social and health services, to food and housing, and lots in between) from 40+ countries, check out itgetsbetter.org.
Now more than ever it is important to keep finding ways to express and build up your #pride. "I am slowly replacing the voices in my head, those voices of the bullies and harassers, with voices that celebrate what makes me unique, different and, well, me." ~ @lavernecox
Even though June ends today, #pride doesn't stop here! Keep pride in your life by including it in the media you consume; watch/listen/read media with authentic and inclusive LGBTQ2S+ perspectives. Here are some of our recommendations, LGBTQ2S+ Media Examples with Inclusive Representation.
These tips were originally posted on our Twitter account under the hashtag #mymTips with a different topic each month. Follow us on Twitter to see a new tip each day, or visit the wellness section on our website next month to see the set posted in full.