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Celebrating Pride Through LGBTQ+ Affirming Therapy

Today’s blog reviews the reasons why we celebrate and the history of Pride Month and the LGBTQ+ affirming individual, couples, & family therapy we offer at Aspire Neuropsychological Services.
It may be hard to imagine today, but only a middle-aged lifetime ago, same-sex relationships were illegal and even classified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) as mental illness. Only less than 20 years ago, laws against criminalizing homosexuality became unconstitutional. Same-sex relationships were often kept hidden and on the margins until June of 2015 when same-sex marriage was declared legal in all 50 states.
While our country still has work to do in liberating oppressed groups, we have made strides in the advocacy of equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community. This is in a large part thanks to those who have rallied for law changes, visibility, justice, and who have empowered their community through the use of their voices and stories.
However, a painful history comes with a punch. There is still stigma and misconceptions that this group faces, which can affect finding quality support and care, LGBTQ+ affirming individual, couples, & family therapy included. It is because of the many valuable LGBTQ+ folx who came before our current time, that we gather each June to celebrate Pride month. In this article, we cover the history of Pride month and discuss LGBTQ+ affirming therapy for adults and youth.

What is Pride Month?

The purpose of Pride month is to recognize and honor the impact that LGBTQ+ people have had on our history and increase their visibility. Pride Month begins each June, when people gather to celebrate the identities of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer (or Questioning) people. The first Pride gathering took place in New York City in 1970, a year after the Stonewall Riots of 1969.
Today, millions gather around the world to pay homage to the liberation and equal opportunity for queer lives and identities. Gatherers will wear the bright colors of the LGBTQ+ rainbow flag to celebrate humanity in every unique person, and their right to express themselves without fear or discrimination.
“At Aspire Neuropsych, we welcome individuals wearing every color and representing every identity within the pride community. We’re proud to offer LGBTQ+ affirming individual, couples, & family therapy from our office in Walnut Creek to individuals across California”
- Dr. Keiko Miller, Psy.D., MSCP
Owner & Founder of Aspire Neuropsychological Services
rainbow flag represents our pride in serving LGBTQ+ therapy for our clients

Where the Queer Liberation Movement Began: the Stonewall Riots

The Stonewall Riots took place on June 28, 1969. The Stonewall Inn was a safe haven where Lesbian and Gay people could gather and feel comfortable expressing their whole identities. At this time, same-sex relationships were shunned and judged as immoral. The Stonewall Inn was a place where LGBTQ+ people could be “out” despite not being as welcomed in other establishments at the time. On the morning of June 27th, police officers raided the Inn and arrested several people for breaking laws that prohibited same-sex activities. Patrons of the Inn were so fed up with the constant discrimination that on the following day, on June 28th, they planned a protest to stand up for their equal rights to be who they are in the world.

How were the Stonewall Riots Responsible for the Gay Liberation Movement?

Thousands of people organized together to defy the laws of the time which discriminated against people for their gender identity and sexual orientation. The riots lasted into the following month. While some criticized the riots for their destruction and violence, the impact is considered the beginning of the modern gay liberation movement. This movement sparked awareness of others who were persecuted for their gender and/or sexual identity and has led to today’s frontier, overcoming stigma and accessing quality LGBTQ+ affirming individual, couples, & family therapy, among other services.

LGBTQ and Mental Health

When we think about trauma, we know that there are certain groups who are more likely to have stressful life experiences than others. This is especially true when a person belongs to a marginalized group. Bullying, stigma, misconceptions, discrimination, and loss of community are all stressors LGBTQ+ individuals have faced.
Research suggests that people who identify as LGBTQ+ are more than two times as likely to have a mental health disorder in their lifetime, including depression, anxiety, or a substance use disorder. Statistics increase when we consider transgender individuals. Transgender people are six times as likely to have a mood or anxiety disorder, and six times as likely to have a higher risk of self-harm. These statistics show us how mental health can be negatively impacted by stress and the true need for LGBTQ+ affirming therapy.
Young people march in Pride parade, these are our clients we provide LGBTQ+ affirming therapy

Getting The Care You Deserve. LGBTQ+ affirming therapy

Whether you are struggling with a difficult situation in your life or are experiencing something deeper where you need support in better managing day-to-day activities, we offer LGBTQ+ affirming individual, couples, & family therapy and the mental health care you deserve. Our team offers non-judgmental, non-biased, gender-affirming care for all your mental health care needs. Contact us today to be connected with a counselor.