Celebrated annually each June, LGBTQ Pride Month began as an opportunity to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots. On a hot summer night in 1969 in Greenwich Village in New York City, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a local bar that had been a gathering place for NYC’s gay, lesbian, and transgender residents. At this time in 1969, acts of homosexuality remained illegal in New York and 49 other states (other than Illinois.) While police raids on gay and lesbian nightclubs, bars, and other establishments were fairly commonplace, on that particular night at the Stonewall Inn, members of the LGBTQ community made the decision to fight back against the police offers conducting the raid and sparked an uprising that would be a watershed moment in the history of the LGBTQ civil rights movement.
The Stonewall riots are widely considered by experts to be a turning point in the civil rights movement related to the LGBTQ community, an event that transformed the gay and lesbian liberation movement in the 20th century and propelled the fight for LGBTQ rights and equality to the forefront of the nation’s consciousness. LGTBQ Pride Month began as an observance to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising. It has evolved, however, into a month to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and their accomplishments, honor the members of the LGBTQ+ who have lost their lives due to hatred, discrimination, suicide, mental health and addiction issues, or HIV/AIDS, and raise awareness of the continued fight for equal rights and equality for LGBTQ+ people.
Member of the LGBTQ+ community continually face oppression, harassment, persecution, and hatred. Members of the LGBTQ+ community regularly deal with fear, isolation, discriminatory practices, and shame. Addiction and mental health issues run rampart within the LGBTQ+ community, often due to the treatment they receive from society, feelings of separation or disconnection, or shame. Mental health issues, addiction, and suicide are more prevalent within the LGBTQ+ community than they are in the general population, meaning members of the LGBTQ+ community not only deal with more hatred, discrimination, and shame, but they also suffer at greater rates.
LGBTQ Pride Month is an opportunity to address these issues, raise awareness of them, and work together within local communities to continue to fight for equality for those members of the LGBTQ+ community. Throughout the month, organizations, communities, allies, and advocates will continue to take action to promote and fight for equality and equality justice for those individuals that are members of the LGBTQ+ community. Throughout the month, events will uplift the voices and stories of the LGBTQ+ community and culture, including parades, marches, protests, performances, and memorials. The lives of LGBTQ+ people will be celebrated and admired, while other initiatives will continue to work on and take part in political activism to promote positive change. Every person deserves love, dignity, respect, and support, to be who they are as their genuine self and to love who they love without fear, shame, or judgment.
Here at Maryland Addiction Recovery Center, we have taken purposeful and mindful steps to create a safe space for patients that are members of the LGBTQ+ community. With the understanding that the rates of addiction and mental health are more prevalent in the LGBTQ+ community than in the general population, it is imperative that all members of the MARC staff are informed in best practices and appropriate support for LGBTQ+ patients. While we will take extra steps to show love and support for the LGBTQ+ community during Pride Month in June, year-round we consistently strive to create an environment where members of the LGBTQ+ patient community can feel safe, supported, and receive the highest quality treatment to help them overcome addiction and find recovery. This includes ongoing training with national experts to keep up to date on therapeutic approaches, as well as consistently evaluating how our entire staff can best support individuals that identify as LGBTQ+ to be their authentic self, find self-love, and create a life in recovery that they are proud of living.
If you or someone you know needs help for addiction or co-occurring disorder issues, please give us a call. Maryland Addiction Recovery Center offers the most comprehensive dual diagnosis addiction treatment in the Mid-Atlantic area. If we aren’t the best fit for you or your loved one, we will take the necessary time to work with you to find a treatment center or provider that better fits your needs. Please give us a call at (410) 773-0500 or email our team at [email protected]. For more information on all of our drug addiction, alcohol addiction and co-occurring disorder services and recovery resources, please visit our web site at www.marylandaddictionrecovery.com.