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Use Pride Month to grow in understanding and support of LGBTQIA+ people

Grand Rapids Specialty Therapy exists in large part to address the inequity in mental health care access for the Queer community.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — June is Pride Month, an opportunity to recognize the impact LGBTQIA+ people have had in the world. It’s a celebration of the culture and show of support for equal rights and acceptance.  

Audrey Mitchell and Justine Braford are therapists with Grand Rapids Specialty Therapy and they joined us to talk about the importance of devoting time to recognize people who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer, Intersex, Asexual and Ally.   

Braford said and the ‘plus’ indicates inclusion of the vast array of normal variation in sexual identity, love, and expression.  

“Pride continues to be a protest AND a party to bring attention to systemic oppression and inequity,” said Braford. 

Grand Rapids Specialty Therapy exists in large part to address the inequity in mental health care access for the Queer community.

Braford suggested a variety of ways people can support the community.  

“We can become aware of heterosexual privilege and stand up against it. We can support and fight for equal and fair treatment. And instead of just tolerating we can celebrate the beautiful differences between all people,” said Braford.   

Some simple examples anyone can do:

  • Put pronouns in your email signature.
  • Shop at LGBTQ-friendly locations such as Rebel, Books and Mortar, and bigger brands like Target.
  • Give a platform to LGBTQIA+ people.
  • Check your assumptions that everyone you meet is straight/cis.
  • Use gender-neutral terms.
  • Listen with curiosity. You don’t have to change to make space.
  • When you make a mistake or aren’t sure what the “correct” language is, ask!

Braford added, “for anyone watching who doubts their worth, or has fear or anxiety around their identity, you are respected, you are seen, you are liked, you are loved, you are extraordinary. Lucky is the person who knows you. You have community and Grand Rapids Specialty Therapy is a part of that loving community."  

Learn more about it at www.GRSpecialtyTherapy.com.

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