Thu Jun 30th, 2022
Tags: 2S+/LGBTQ+, Courtney McCusker, mental health, Native Connections Program, Precious Collins, Pride Month, Resources, Tribal TTA Center
For a community, pride could be defined as confidence and self-respect expressed by individuals who share similar identities, cultures, or experiences.
Two Spirit and LBTQ pride means positive acceptance of one’s self on an individual level as well as a sense of honor in belonging to the greater Two Spirit community. Demonstrating pride in everyday life can be more than a celebration; it is a way of protesting the injustices, violence, and inequities many in the TSLGBTQ community continue to face.
What is Pride Month? Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month is currently honored in June each year to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall uprising. LGBTQ Pride Month celebrations might include parades, gatherings, workshops, concerts, and memorials. The purpose of Pride Month is to recognize the impact LGBTQ individuals have had on history, celebrate their ongoing contributions to society, and honor those lost to hate crimes and HIV/AIDS.
How can you help celebrate Pride Month and be an ally all year long? As allies, we can participate in the June Pride Month festivities, but we can do more than just show up for Pride. The Stonewall riots were a form of active resistance.
While Pride Month is celebratory, it should always center the community’s struggle and resilience, and we should keep the issues that impact the Two Spirit community in the forefront all year long.
Here are some ways to put ally-ship into action:
In February 2021, the Native Connections Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) Center and the Tribal TTA Center—both funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)— introduced a new monthly newsletter called Spirit-Honor-Inclusion. The newsletter was distributed via email and shared current information related to Two Spirit and LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) topics. Each issue highlighted resources, articles, and news or events, plus a featured guest contributor whose work informed the monthly topic themes. The newsletter also regularly featured articles from Two Spirit allies and relevant cultural Two Spirit teachings. Happy Pride Month!
* This article, originally published in TSLGBTQ magazine, was provided by Precious Collins through the Native Connections Program.