Celebrating Pride Month

 

On June first, at the stroke of midnight, rainbow flags are hung, confetti is thrown, parades are planned, and thus begins Pride Month. As clinicians, we see the outward celebration, forgetting—just for a moment—that our LGTBQ+ clientele may not feel they are in a place to celebrate. Then again, we may be working with clients who are vocal about their sexuality and want to share it with the world. However, our world is not always kind or safe for anyone deemed “different.”

To honor our clients and even ourselves, here are a few things to keep in mind this Pride Month:

  • Not everyone’s story will be the same. Build rapport with your client(s), embrace curiosity, and meet them where they are—not where you think they should be. It is also not their responsibility to reach you about the entire LGTBQ+ Community, but about THEM and their experience.
  • Allow space for self-discovery and help welcome authenticity. Some LGTBQ+ clients are still discovering who they are and what their place is. Save room for questions, concerns, and offer guidance when needed—especially research done by other LGTBQ+ clinicians and community members.
  • Social Justice Work IS a part of your role as an MFT. Standing up for those in need is a part of our jobs as MFTs. Adding visible items such as a pin, statement on your website, or pronouns to your email signature can be welcoming and showcase your commitment to a safe environment for your clients. Be an activist in and out of the therapy room.
  • Refer out when needed. Don’t feel comfortable or well versed in helping the LGTBQ+ community? Refer out, seek CEUs, and supervision to best help.

How will you be celebrating Pride in June and throughout the rest of the year?