TUV Magazine May-June 2021 PRIDE Issue features the legendary Miss Sophia McIntosh on the Cover

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on definition alone, our Pride is rooted in how we see ourselves. How we see

ourselves is rooted in our psyche, so our mental health plays a big part in 1, how

Having

we perceive ourselves and our value, and 2, how we justifiably love ourselves. If

we are struggling with our mental health, we are less likely to see ourselves as

worthy and special, placed here to fulfill a purpose. We lose our sense of Pride and feel like we are just another number in

this world, with no one who cares or loves us (including ourselves). Lack of Pride

to Rise By Diandra Marie

usually results in carelessness and may

lead to hopelessness. So, I hope we can

all understand why Pride month and Pride in general is important, not just to the

LGBTQ+ community, but all marginalized communities & intersections.

It’s Pride in who we are that allows us to rise

up against the lies we are told by society, our peers, and sometimes ourselves, that we are

I

’m so excited because we are approaching June, y’all! For some of us, this means the

start of Summer, celebrating Black liberation on Juneteenth, & for my LGBTQ+ siblings,

Pride month. For the uninitiated, Pride month marks the anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York and the protests that led to

progressing gay rights for people in America. Most of our ancestors who paved the way during these riots were Black/POC and of Trans experience (shoutout to mothers

Marsha P. Johnson & Sylvia Rivera). This is a time where we literally let our Pride flags

fly while embracing and loving who we are.

This is also a time of reflection, knowing that it was once illegal to be gay and those who

did identify as LGBTQ were subject to being outcasts, dissociated from their families,

and violence. While I am so grateful to those who paved the way for me to experience

Queer liberation, I still have to admit there are struggles we continue to face.

There are currently states passing legislation making it more difficult for our Trans siblings to simply be who they are. As I’m writing this, 13 Black Trans women have been

violently murdered…this year. The average

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| HEALTH & WELLNESS

life expectancy for Black Trans women is 35 which is honestly unacceptable since

cisgender people have a life expectancy of 78. I also don’t want to fail to mention that 40% of LGBTQ+ teens seriously consider

committing suicide. We are still faced with

being demonized by religious groups, kicked out of our parent’s homes and experience higher rates of homelessness, as well as

hate crimes. This article isn’t meant to be

depressing, but I have to set the scene for

why Pride in our community is so important.

It is because of Pride that we can continue to show up fully as our authentic selves.

We are able to be accepted and fully loved by God & ourselves in the midst of what society wants us to believe.

What does Pride have to do with mental

health Diandra? Well, I’m glad you asked. Pride is defined as a positive emotional

response to something with an intimate

connection to oneself, due to its perceived value. We can feel Pride from our

accomplishments, where we are from, and our positive characteristics. American

philosopher, Richard Taylor, defined Pride as “the justified love of oneself”. Based

undeserving nobodies. It’s Pride that gives us

the courage to rise up against our oppressors and wrongdoers of humanity to continue to demand equality and justice. Pride is what

we all need at our core to recognize that we deserve to be unconditionally loved, even if that love flows from ourselves. To be clear, I’m not talking about pride in the sense

of a deadly sin, false pride, or narcissism.

That sort of pride causes us to be haughty, thinking of ourselves more highly than we

ought to, which usually leads to emotional, mental, and physical abuse toward others. Remember, the Pride I’m speaking of is

justified, not puffed up. The beautiful part is, we all have free access to it, as long as we

work with ourselves daily to experience it. I encourage you to have the Pride (& power)

to rise out of any thought or situation that’s trying to hold you down and make you feel

like you don’t have purpose. While you may

not be able to show Pride of your identity in concern of your safety, I hope you can find still rise intrinsically & make progress with your mental health. No matter where you fall on the LGBTQ+ or gender spectrum, I send you love and light while wishing you a HAPPY PRIDE MONTH!