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A Time for Pride and Learning

Association of Texas Professional Educators
Association of Texas Professional Educators

Date Posted: 6/11/2024

Pride Month is celebrated each year in the month of June to promote dignity, equality, and increased visibility for LGBTQ+ individuals all over the world, with its timing coinciding with significant events in LGBTQ+ history—first, the Stonewall riots in 1969 and, more recently, the 2015 Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage across the country. Not only is Pride Month a commemoration of the ongoing pursuit of LGBTQ+ civil rights, but also it’s an opportunity to learn more about the unique mental health issues encountered by the LGBTQ+ community related to stigma, prejudice, and discrimination. Campaigns and discussions can encourage understanding and acceptance. By raising awareness and providing support networks, we can work toward a future where LGBTQ+ individuals face fewer barriers to thriving mentally and emotionally.

According to Mental Health America, LGBTQ+ individuals experience mental health struggles at higher rates than their straight and cisgender peers, but with the help of supportive families, peers, and communities, LGBTQ+ individuals can be incredibly resilient and thrive in the face of adversity. Mental Health America offers a variety of resources, including coming out guides, information on bullying, and gender identity support in their LGBTQ+ Mental Health Resources Center.

ATPE members have access to several resources related to mental well-being:

  • The ATPE Professional Learning Portal offers several on-demand courses related to social emotional learning, including a SXSW EDU 2021 session featuring students who were participants in the It Gets Better Project. Log in to the portal at atpe.org/cpe to explore these courses and earn continuing professional education (CPE) credit for doing so.
  • Through the ATPE Online Marketplace, ATPE members can participate in the Wellbeing Access and Wellbeing Access Plus programs that offer convenient and affordable counseling services and other forms of support. Log in to atpe.org/discounts to learn more.

By fostering visibility, community support, and access to resources, Pride Month plays a crucial role in improving the mental well-being of LGBTQ+ individuals. However, ongoing efforts are needed to address the systemic issues and barriers that contribute to these challenges year-round.