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PRIDE: More than a Month – Make it a Lifestyle

Woman holding a PRIDE flag in a green meadow, representing how PRIDE is more than a month—a lifestyle.

Although PRIDE month is coming to an end, it is necessary to recap on the importance of PRIDE month and ensure that its purpose and mission stay on the forefront of our minds.

PRIDE month occurs during the month of June to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and help advocate for the rights of those who identify somewhere under the LGBTQ+ umbrella. The celebration of PRIDE began after the Stonewall Riots, which took place in 1969 after a police raid at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar located in Manhattan, NY. Following the Stonewall riots and the first PRIDE marches, the PRIDE movement has spread rapidly and now PRIDE marches take place throughout the United States in several major cities / areas nationwide.

Although the PRIDE movement and support for the LGBTQ+ community have come a long way from where the movement began, setbacks throughout the United States have occurred, and there is still much that can be done to better support the LGBTQ+ community. Support for the LGBTQ+ community differs depending on the group within the LGBTQ+ community that is being discussed. For example, recent research has noted that public attitudes towards transgender people are much more negative than those toward lesbians and gay men (Lewis et al. 2017, Norton & Herek 2013).

Additionally, NBC news highlighted in a news article from March 2022, that the annual number of anti-LGBTQ+ bills filed has substantially increased over the past several years – from 41 bills filed in 2018 to 238 bills filed in the first three months of 2022. Similarly, MAP’s Under Fire: The War on LGBTQ People in America report from February 2023, reported that last year (2022) there were 315 anti-LGBTQ bills introduced into state legislatures. It also stated that so far in 2023, the number of anti-LGBTQ bills has exceeded that number from 2022; the report highlighted that as of February 2023, only two months into the 2023 calendar year, the number of anti-LGBTQ bills introduced is more than that in all of 2012, 2013, and 2014 combined. Furthermore, the report noted that states are seeking to ban parents and schools from supporting transgender youth when they socially transition, school censorship is increasing with “Don’t Say Gay” bills - bills to censor what schools can say about the LGBTQ+ community, which are prevalent in every state, and there are bans on gender-affirming care and certain healthcare procedures for transgender youth. Taking all of this into account, it is evident that the current climate is creating increasing challenges for LGBTQ+ individuals, and that so much more needs to be done to better support this community.

What Societal Steps Can Help?


One of the steps members of society can do to help support the LGBTQ+ community is to educate themselves. Learn about the LGBTQ+ community, from factual sources, and better understand what it is like to be LGBTQ+ in our current climate:

  • Be aware of the political climate and stay up to date with what is happening around the US / your area.

  • Learn about the LGBTQ+ community – do not assume, and if you do not know, ask someone and/or find out from a reliable source.

  • Be aware of LGBTQ+ terminology. Appropriate terminology can often change over time as we learn more about the community, so it is important to stay up-to-date with the most appropriate terminology. The Human Rights Campaign and PFLAG are great resources to stay up to date with LGBTQ+ terminology.

Education is associated with more supportive attitudes of the LGBTQ+ community

Understanding the Importance of the Media:

Media plays a major role in how we view ourselves and others. LGBTQ+ individuals, couples, and families are often not portrayed in major media – TV shows, movies, and commercials. When they are portrayed in major media, they are often presented in a singular, stereotypical light. It is important for the media to not only portray LGBTQ+ individuals but to portray the breadth and depth of this community. This is essential so that society comes to realize that there is not one look for a gay man, a lesbian woman, a trans man, a trans woman, etc. Do not judge others by how they look, dress, or present themselves (gender expression), and realize that one’s gender expression does not necessarily correlate with one’s sexual orientation (who they are romantically attracted to).

An increase in positive media visibility of LGBTQ+ individuals will help LGBTQ+ individuals feel represented in society and validate who they are

Make Connections

  • Expand your social circle

Knowing someone who is gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender has been shown to help engender a more supportive attitude toward the LGBTQ+ community.

Lesbian women and LGBTQ allies walking in PRIDE Parade with sign that reads "Love is love."

Break Down Traditional, Rigid, Gender Roles

The more we break down society’s traditional, rigid, gender roles, the more we are able to break down the normalization of our heteronormative society. This is critically important in understanding how diverse our society is and helps to normalize this diversity. The more we come to normalize diversity, the more accepting society will become, and hopefully, the more likely it is that society will support and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.

With all this in mind, what now??

It is critical to remember how far the LGBTQ+ movement and community has come, and to acknowledge that despite these setbacks or any future setbacks that may occur – the LGBTQ+ community is a STRONG, POWERFUL, and RESILIENT community that can handle whatever the future holds and will never stop fighting for the rights of its community members.

If you are a part of the LGBTQ+ community in some way, shape, or form, remember, you are not alone, you are loved, and find the people and places where you can be your unique and authentic self! You DESERVE to be happy and live a fulfilling life! If you are struggling or are looking for more support, finding an affirming therapist may be helpful. Coastal Light Counseling has an experienced LGBTQ+ supportive clinician who would be more than happy to help you in your journey to discover your true authentic self.

Shot underneath pier with rainbow colored pillars in Virginia Beach.

Some resources that may be of help / assistance this Pride month:

If you are an ally of the LGBTQ+ community, use your power as a heterosexual in this heteronormative world to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. Your support is critically important in this fight for LGBTQ+ rights, and your voice is louder than you know.

Coastal Light Counseling has an experienced LGBTQ+ supportive clinician, Dr. Courtney Cross, who would be more than happy to help you in your journey to discover your true authentic self.

Blog by: Dr. Courtney Cross, PsyD, NCSP

Licensed Psychologist and Coastal Light Clinician

Therapy in Florida & North Carolina


Adamczyk, A., & Liao, Y.C. (2019). Examining public opinion about LGBTQ-related issues in the United States and across multiple nations. Annual Review of Sociology, 45(1), 401–423.

Movement Advancement Project. (2023, February). Under fire series: The War on LGBTQ people in America. Movement Advancement Project.

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