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Show Up for the LGBTQ Community and Celebrate Pride Month

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare — June 9, 2020 — 4 min read
June is Pride Month, a time to recognize and raise awareness about the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning/Queer (LGBTQ) community.

On a typical year, maybe many of us would be planning to attend Pride Month events, parades and fun activities. But this year has brought several additional challenges related to the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In this environment, we’ve all had to make radical changes to our plans. And the LGBTQ community has been no exception. But keep on reading, because Pride Month celebration is still on!

Staying Positive and Present from a Safe Social Distance

On April 28, Charlotte Pride, the leader in LGBTQ visibility in Charlotte and the Carolinas, in partnership with Charlotte Black Pride, made a difficult announcement. They communicated that all in-person annual Pride events originally scheduled in June, July and August of 2020 would be canceled. This decision was made to protect the safety and health of the community and their stakeholders.

But the good news is that we can still join the Pride fun and follow those summer rainbows!

Charlotte Pride’s members and partners are staying positive and are as present as ever. Together, they have created fun and safe ways to continue engaging with the community. And you can also be part of this thriving virtual network.

Celebrating Pride Month While Staying at Home

You can take advantage of the following ways to connect with Charlotte’s Pride digital community during the COVID-19 pandemic:
  • Charlotte Pride’s New Facebook Group: LGBTQ Charlotte – Queerantine Edition. You can join this group for community connection, support, and engagement. More than 500 people have already joined for fun activities, conversations, reliable news and information. Click here to join online.
  • June Live Streams. Visit Charlotte Pride’s events page to get the details on their Wednesday Live Streams and Conversations. These will include discussions like: A Conversation with Charlotte Black Pride, the Women of Charlotte Pride, an Exploration of North Carolina Prides, the History of Stonewall, and more.
  • Follow Charlotte Pride for news, updates and storytelling. The organization is offering increased news and coverage for the local LGBTQ community in Charlotte and the Carolinas. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter and visit their website’s news section.
  • Virtual Pride Festival and Parade celebrations. Visit Charlotte Pride  website for more details. Pride is not going away this year! Charlotte Pride, along with many other organizations, will host Pride activities and virtual events. These will tie together the community even if from a distance.
The LGBTQ organization based in Winston Salem, Pride Winston Salem, is also offering virtual programming. As many other groups around North Carolina and the country, they had to cancel their in-person events due to the pandemic. Make sure to visit their website and their Facebook page to join their virtual community as they also celebrate together from a safe distance.

We hope these ideas will help you celebrate Pride Month despite the challenging times we’re going through.

Uplifting the LGBTQ Community’s Well-being 

A sense of belonging is fundamental for our social experience. Yet, many people feel unaccepted and marginalized. While not every member of the LGBTQ community has the same experience, the National Alliance on Mental Illnesses (NAMI), has found that this population may face challenges such as:
  • Discrimination, prejudice and denial of civil and human rights
  • Harassment and family rejection
  • Higher risk of depression, anxiety and suicide
  • Higher rates of drinking, drug use and other unhealthy behaviors
It’s important that we continue building support networks to embrace all members of the community. For members of the LGBTQ community who also may have a mental health condition, early intervention and treatment is very important. Community and family support is also key for positive outcomes. 

“Well-being is fundamental to quality of life. It enables people to experience life as meaningful. It allows us to be creative and active citizens,” according to the World Health Organization. During Pride Month, we have a chance to raise our voice and advocate for opportunities and rights for all. And for the next few months, Charlotte Pride’s virtual programming offers a great opportunity to do this safely.

From a services perspective, we continue taking steps to implement best practices. Together with our providers, we work to better serve our members from the LGBTQ community. We also have educational trainings available on issues that affect this population. Our commitment is to continue supporting their mental and overall well-being.

If you want to learn more about how to support the LGBTQ community, this article can help.

For more resources on LGBTQ matters, you can also visit this page: LGBTQ Youth Resources.
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