June is Pride Month for the LGBTQIA+ community. While it’s good to remember why we celebrate Pride, Pride is often an intensely personal celebration that doesn’t come without its challenges. One community in particular that feels this challenge is those who are not yet out.

First and foremost, I want to affirm that it’s okay not to be out during Pride Month. There are many reasons someone might not be out yet, including concerns about personal safety, job security, and rejection from loved ones. However, just because you aren’t out doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate Pride! Here are a few ideas for honoring Pride Month for those who aren’t out.  

Immerse yourself in LGBTQIA+ media:

Representation in media is incredibly important for self-esteem and pride. During June, many streaming services offer a category specifically for Pride Month. Whether it’s a warm and fuzzy romance like Heartstopper on Netflix or a stirring documentary, just taking the time to engage in LGBTQIA+ culture through media can help your personal celebration of Pride!

Plan an at-home pride party with supportive friends/family:

If you have had the opportunity to come out to a few supportive friends or family members, plan a small at-home Pride Party to celebrate it! Decorate with rainbows and watch some pride media together. Host a pride trivia game to educate and celebrate with people who appreciate you. Pride celebrations don’t always have to be parades on the streets; sometimes, a few people you can count on at home is just what you need!

Wear something that holds significance for you:

Even if it’s not visible, even wearing an article of Pride clothing or jewelry can be a positive yet personal declaration. Don’t be afraid to find your own symbols that speak to your individual experience! A tee shirt from the college you were attending when you learned to accept yourself and your identity is just as powerful as a pride flag! Be creative, and use this time to celebrate YOU!

Support LGBTQIA+ businesses and charities:

It isn’t too hard these days to get online and search for these. Supporting our community financially is a great way to show some pride! It’s even better if you can support local businesses, and Kansas City has lots of great options. Many local charities also need donations, which can be an easy way to help your community.  

Above all, be kind to yourself! Whether you are out or not, the best way to celebrate Pride is to practice self-care and kindness! It can be difficult to walk this road alone, so consider seeking supportive people who will encourage you. If you need more support than that, we at Heartland Therapy Connection would love to help you on your journey. Contact us at (816) 287-0252 today and schedule a session with one of our therapists. Let us walk with you on this pride journey of yours!

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