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Wishing I had started celebrating Pride long before I did…

smiling man in front of Pride colors

As Pride Month approaches, I reflect back on the first Pride event my family ever attended. It was the most joyous, uplifting, and positive event, and we’ve looked forward to every opportunity to support and be a part of the LGBTQIA+ community ever since.

Prior to that year, we hadn’t exposed our children to any books or movies, attended a Pride event, or had discussions with our kids about the differences between sex, gender, and gender expression, a wonderful and complex function of human diversity.

We are so blessed to live in a community with so many resources and offerings for members of the LGBTQIA+ community and allies. From Lighthouse (a program of Kids in Crisis), a youth group for LGBTQIA+ youth, to the Triangle Community Center and Circle Care Center in Norwalk and to the myriad local Pride organizations, Fairfield County is a rich and largely supportive region. Yet LGBTQIA+ people are still treated with judgment, scorn, hatred, and micro- and macro-aggressions, and find barriers to services, housing, and employment.

Books, movies, and events like those offered by Triangle Community Center and Stamford Pride can help us understand that gender and sexuality are both on a continuum and that there is no right or wrong about it. We are who we are, and love is love. These experiences are vital to the 10% of the population who are members of the LGBTQIA+ community and equally beneficial to the other 90% to build empathy and understanding and help them be better allies. When gender and sexuality are regarded like other facets of individuality, along with race, ethnicity, social situation, country of origin, immigration status, and ability, and all are treated fairly and equitably, the world will be a better place for all of us.

So, this Pride Month, I encourage all of you to consider supporting your LGBTQIA+ loved ones and the entire LGBTQIA+ community by celebrating Pride. Read banned books. Watch movies with LGBTQIA+ themes and characters. Attend Pride events. Be an ally. Share your pronouns. Volunteer at a Pride gathering. Support organizations that support the LGBTQIA+ community, which still suffers from incredible stigma and discrimination. There is much we can do to build community, foster unity, and cultivate a sense of belonging for everyone in this world.

Wishing you and everyone in our community a very Happy Pride!

Stamford CT Pride Month Activities

Fairfield County 2024 Pride Celebrations

Fairfield County, Connecticut, Pride Organizations:

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About the Author: Polly O’Brien Morrow is PFLAG Stamford secretary and Stamford Pride board member. She is also a member of the Resources to Recover Advisory Board.

May Is Mental Health Month 2024

Where to Start: Mental health in a changing world

May is Mental Health Month, a time to spread public awareness and education about mental health conditions and reflect on the impact of mental illness on individuals and their families.

The world is constantly changing – for better or for worse – and it can be overwhelming to deal with everything going on. While society is becoming more comfortable discussing mental health, it can still be hard to know "Where to Start" when it comes to taking care of your own well-being.

This month, we will feature blog posts and information to help you or a loved one get started on the path to mental wellbeing.

Mental Health Month is also a time to recognize and commit to changing the racial and economic inequities in our healthcare system, especially in the treatment of mental health conditions.

www.rtor.org and its sponsor Laurel House are committed to advancing racial equity and social justice and making mental health services accessible to all.

Photo by Anete Lusina: https://www.pexels.com/photo/positive-young-black-guy-laughing-near-graffiti-wall-with-rainbow-flag-5721335/

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