What is Pride Month?
Pride Month is celebrated every June to commemorate the Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan 52 years ago, which is now recognized as the beginning of the LGBTQIA+ rights movement. This month is a time for LGBTQIA+ individuals to proudly celebrate their true, authentic selves and the community’s contributions to society, but it is more than just a celebration.
Pride events, including marches and festivals, are both celebrations and demonstrations intended to highlight the importance of LGBTQIA+ visibility and equality. This month is a time for allies to uplift and support LGBTQAI+ voices as we reflect on how far we’ve come, and how far we have to go.
What is the Stonewall Uprising?
On June 28, 1969, New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn, located in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan. At the time, police commonly subjected LGBTQIA+ individuals to harassment, discrimination and persecution, but on this day, they were met with strong resistance from LGBTQIA+ patrons, allies and community members. The uprising began with brave trans women of color, including Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, resisting unjust arrest. This sparked a rebellion that lasted nearly a week and accelerated a movement that persists today.
While much progress has been made since the Stonewall Uprising, and Pride Month is more widely celebrated than ever before, it is important to remember those who paved the way and that the fight for equality, justice, equity and inclusion is ongoing.
What does Pride have to do with mentorship?
All young people face challenges and benefit greatly from the advocacy of a mentor, and this is especially true for LGBTQIA+ youth. Mentoring is proven to be an effective strategy for positive youth development. When a young person has a trusted mentor who teaches self-love and self-respect, it prepares them to advocate for themselves and builds resilience for challenges they might face.
Most importantly for LQBTQIA+ youth, mentors in the LGBTQIA+ community model pride. It is transformative for young people to have adult role models who they can see themselves in and who live life with pride so that they know they can, too.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee is an organization that celebrates differences. Recruiting more LGBTQIA+ mentors for our youth is a top priority. If you are interested in becoming a mentor, fill out the volunteer inquiry form to get started.