This month many around the globe are celebrating LGBTQ Pride in commemoration of the Stonewall Riots of 1969 as a way to recognize the value & contributions of folks in the LGBT community. While the notion of being a part of Pride month has become a wide-spread phenomena in communities & corporations across the USA, we at Silver Lining Mentoring (SLM) make it our business to celebrate the identities of everyone in our community consistently!
The SLM community is made up of so many individuals holding a diversity of identities related not only to sexual orientation & gender, but also related to race, ethnicity, ability, socio-economic status, and more! As a self-proclaimed “chocolate baby” and non-binary human, working at SLM has been a very unique place to grow even more comfortable with celebrating my own identities and witnessing the joy of young people feeling fully respected & celebrated for all of their identities within our community!
It feels important to name that in the current atmosphere of our country, providing the young people we have the privilege of working with with a safe & celebratory environment to build connections & receive encouragement is tantamount to a life jacket in rough seas – it’s simply necessary! Not only can youth come to us expecting to be fully accepted, their mentors and anyone else in the SLM community can expect to receive the utmost respect & dignity when interacting with anyone in our network.
Why does this matter and why should you care? Because moving through the world can be a challenge even for the most well connected & supported humans on the planet, so imagine what it can be like doing so while holding not only one or more marginalized identities, but while figuring out the whole “adulting” thing with little to no support as many of the youth we serve do. If you have capacity to offer compassion to another human, I encourage you to do so, especially if that human’s identities are ones that have been historically attacked or disregarded. If you have time, I also encourage you to see how you can become involved with SLM or other organizations providing critical support to the most marginalized citizens of the planet!