Photo of Pride FlagWhy Pride?
June is Pride Month!  Pride month is a commemoration of the 1969 Stonewall Riot.  Many historians identify the Stonewall riot as the start of the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement; though there were certainly events that took place pre-Stonewall that also served as a foundation for the movement toward LGBTQ+ acceptance.
 
We Participate in Pride throughout Michigan 
Pride celebrations, picnics, parades, and other events will take place all over Michigan.  Pride celebrations will be held this weekend in Detroit (June 11-12). While most events take place in June (i.e., “Pride month”), events will also take place throughout the summer.
 
We take Pride in our Clinical Work 
There are lots of ways to practice LGBTQ+ Affirmative Therapy! In addition to the resources on affirmative approaches available in our library, Dr. Shepler encourages you to take a moment to review the tips in this handout on affirmative therapy, the APA Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Clients, the Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming People. Most recently the APA released  Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Sexual Minority Persons which incorporates more recent research to better meet the needs of pansexual, queer, and asexual individuals then the previous iterations.
 
We Support Pride in our Research 
It is important to acknowledge that psychology has played a role in marginalization and stigmatization of LGBTQ+ people.  It is equally important to recognize how psychological research has been a powerful tool in the movement toward LGBTQ+ equality and acceptance.  From seminal works like Evelyn Hooker’s study that showed that gay men were not distinguishable from heterosexual men on personality tests, to work demonstrating parent sexual orientation does not affect children’s wellbeing, to recent  groundbreaking work showing that children who navigate gender transition have stable gender identities, psychologists have contributed to research that has supported legal decisions and de-pathologization of LGBTQ+ people.
 
We Experience Pride through Entertainment
An easy way to while expand your knowledge on the LGBTQ+ experience is to consume media created that features LGBTQ+ characters and stories. During Pride month, many media outlets put together lists like 33 books by LGBTQ authors, 35 Best Pride Songs, 26 best LGBTQ Movies. Most of these projects are created by or feature LGBTQ+ individuals, so in addition to providing entertainment they increase the visibility of community members.
 
This blog should be viewed as a “starting point” for resources rather then a comprehensive list. We encourage everyone to spend some time through out Pride month to reflect on your attitudes, knowledge, and skills (i.e., competency) in affirming diversity in sexuality and gender identity.  If you are looking for additional resources in this topic area the following resource centers are a great place to start: The Trevor Project, GLAAD, and the Human Rights Campaign.
 
A special thank you to Dr. Dustin Shepler, a Core Faculty member in the PsyD program, for his advocacy in our community and contributions to this blog posting. Dustin Shepler, PhD
 
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