Ashley Oman — June 16, 2021

Love is Love: There is hope at the end of the rainbow

Ashley Oman

Happy Pride month!  Every June, people across America come together to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community and the impact these folx have had on our society.  But when did Pride Month begin?  The very first pride march was held on June 28, 1970 in New York City on the first year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, the event which is often considered the start of the pride movement.  In 1999, President Bill Clinton officially declared June to be “Gay and Lesbian Pride Month” which in 2016 turned into LGBT Pride Month and in 2021 LGBTQ+ Pride Month. However, despite the cheerful imagery of rainbows and color, Pride month also stands as a reminder of the inequality and challenges that the LGBTQIA+ community face every day.   

LGBTQIA+ folx are more likely to experience sexual violence than straight men or women.

According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey by the CDC,  44% of lesbians and 61% of bisexual women experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner. This is compared to 35% of straight women for the same statistic. Additionally, 26% of gay men and 37% of bisexual men experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner which compares to 29% of straight men. Further, according to the 2015 U.S. Transgender survey, 47% of transgender people are sexually assaulted at some point in their lifetime. 

Sexual Violence among the LGBTQIA+ community is compounded by discrimination on race.

The2015 U.S. Transgender survey also found that transgender people of color are most likely to be sexually assaulted in their lifetime: American Indian (65%), multiracial (59%), Middle Eastern (58%), and Black (53%). According to studies done by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), the majority of LGBTQIA+ survivors reporting intimate partner violence were Black/African American Survivors and Latinx Survivors.

But healing is possible

As the LGBTQIA+ movement pushes forward, the spread of information, advocacy, and resources allow for more and more people to become educated on the inequalities and violence faced by the LGBTQIA+ community.  This education is the first step to addressing these challenges and creating a safer world for all people.

This pride month, allies can help to spread awareness and education of the challenges members of the LBGTQIA+ community face and the need for equality across our society.

How can allies support the LBGTQIA+ movement?

  1. Speak up!  This includes correcting people if they misgender someone, calling people out for insensitive language, and advocating for the LGBTQIA+ community.
  2. Educate both yourself and those around you on the stimatization, challenges, and discrimination that the LGBTQIA+ community faces.
  3. Support the LGBTQIA+ community.  Buy from LGBTQIA+ brands and boycott those that are harmful.  
  4. Listen.  Recognize your own privilege and always be willing to listen and learn from those in the LGBTQIA+ community.

If you are a LGBTQIA+ person in need of support, check out these resources.  We hope they can help you in your healing journey.

The Trevor Project provides talk, chat, and text lines to help in crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ people under 25.

The LGBT National Help Center provides resources, peer-support and confidential telephone calls for LGBTQ callers.

National Hotline (1-888-843-4564) or National Youth Talkline (1-800-246-7743)
Online Peer Support Chat (https://www.glbthotline.org/peer-chat.html) or Weekly Youth Chatrooms (https://www.glbthotline.org/youthchatrooms.html )

Desi LGBTQ Helpline offers support, information and resources to LGBTQ South Asian individuals

Trans Lifeline is a resource for the trans community to connect them to support and resources they may need.

The Anti-Violence Project serves LGBTQ people with counseling and advocacy.

Hotline 212-714-1124 | Bilingual 24/7

Love is Respect Hotline

866-331-9474 | 24/7 or Text “loveis” to 22522

Here at Our Wave we believe all people deserve to feel safe experiencing the love they choose.

Our Wave is built on a supportive community where survivors can feel safe sharing their stories. Please know that we at Our Wave are always here to support you along your journey of healing and restoration.

Help change the conversation.

Our Wave depends on your generous contributions for our continued success. Donate today and support us as we work to support survivors of sexual assault.

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