June is the start of summer, but it is also the start of Pride month. For those who don’t know, Pride is a month long celebration for the LGBTQ community in honor of the 1969 Stonewall Riots, an event that is said to be the main turning-point for the gay rights movement. It consists of festivals, food, music, live performances, along with many other rainbow, and glitter-covered events. This year will be a special year for the celebration as it marks the riots’ 50th anniversary.

Needless to say, society has come a long way in fifty years, but even in 2019 we are still fighting for equal rights. There are no federal laws protecting the LGBTQ community from discrimination, and it is still being decided if sexual orientation and gender should be included.

Unfortunately, another thing the LGBTQ community is fighting for can’t be fixed by a discrimination law, and that is acceptance. Acceptance by our family, friends, co-workers and society. As a transgender, bisexual man I am very fortunate to have the support that I do from so many people (WAY too many to name), but not everyone is this fortunate.

Throughout the seven years I have been medically transitioning from female-to-male I have had many people come to me looking for advice, guidance, or even just a friendship. All of them having varying degree of support from family and friends.

So while you might have the privilege to be out celebrating pride, know that not everyone has that opportunity yet. If you are an ally and advocate for the LGBTQ community, know that you are helping us in many ways. Lastly, If you are part of the LGBTQ community in need of support, know that there are people who love and care about you.

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