This is part three in our Pride Month series. You can read part one on exploring queer identity here.  You can read part two on exploring fashion and gender identity here.

Hey there, this is for my fellow LGBTQIA+ identifying folks or for those of you who may be questioning if you’d like to claim one of these identities as your own. Happy Pride month to you! This month brings a lot of joy, happiness, and fun to the queer community. It’s a time dedicated to celebrating who you are and how far you’ve come.

During this month, you’ll hear lots of things. In the midst of all the celebrating, you may hear people use the phrase “loud and proud”. While Pride month is very much about being proud of who you are, I want to give you permission to not have to be loud about it. For some folks, being extremely vocal and expressive about their identity, their journey, and their overall queerness feels good. For others, that might not resonate. You may not want to be “loud” about your LGBTQIA+ identity for any number of reasons. Perhaps being loud about your identity doesn’t feel safe. Maybe you aren’t out to anybody or only out to a few trusted people in your life. Maybe your pride is something you want to keep to yourself this year. Maybe you’re just not somebody who feels the need to go to Pride events or shout from the rooftops that you’re queer. I’m here to say, that’s okay. However you want to express your pride, or not, it’s completely valid. Let’s take the pressure off of queer folks to have to be a certain way.

With all of that being said, maybe you still want to celebrate Pride month but on a smaller scale. Here are some fun ideas for celebrating Pride that hopefully feel more intimate. You can do these activities with a small group of pals or even just by yourself. Remember, however you choose to celebrate your identity is completely up to you!

  1. Make some art: Express your queerness and joy through art. You can use any medium you like. This could be a great solo activity or a chance to gather a group of friends for a craft night! Create art that represents how you feel about being queer, tells a bit of your story, or is just for fun. The options here are limitless. As a therapist who often incorporates art into sessions, I have a few specific ideas if you’re looking for some inspiration. You could make a collage using images that represent how your identity feels and looks to you. You could draw a picture comparing how you felt prior to embracing your identity versus how you feel now. You could paint abstract and colorful lines and shapes on a page using colors that represent your identity. Let your creativity flow and have fun with it!
  2. Support LGBTQIA+ owned businesses: Treat yourself or a queer friend to a gift from an LGBTQIA+ owned business. It’s a fun way to support the community while getting something nice for yourself or someone you care about. You can shop from various businesses, but here are a few of my favorites:
  3. Journal about your identity: Take some time to reflect on what being LGBTQIA+ means to you. Ask yourself questions like, “How have I grown in this identity?”, “What have I gained through embracing this part of myself?”, and “What am I proud of about myself?” Reflect on who has been supportive to you on your journey and express gratitude for them. Acknowledge the challenges you’ve faced and all that you’ve overcome.
  4. Have a queer movie night: Enjoy a solo movie night or invite some friends over. While there’s still not enough LGBTQIA+ media being made, there are some classics and newer films worth watching. You can find recommendations through a simple Google search or check out this article for a variety of options: Best LGBTQIA+ Movies of 2023.

This concludes my list of fun and more intimate ideas for celebrating Pride this year! I’m sure there are many other ways you can celebrate on a smaller scale that will still feel meaningful to you. However you choose to celebrate Pride, honor what feels right for you this month. Finally, it’s okay if you don’t feel like celebrating Pride at all. Do what you need to take care of yourself this month. Wishing everyone a happy and safe Pride!

By: Logan Seelman, LCSWA

Logan Seelman is a therapist at Mathews Counseling. She currently taking new clients but space is limited. Request your appointment today! Learn more about Logan here

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