Celebration, Education, and Love for All

Compiled by Grace Tecca – * Updated on 6/23/23 *

We invite you to join us in exploring readings, discussions, art, performances, and celebrations across many media and in-person through this jam-packed month! We’ve started sharing some highlights from our explorations on this page, and we’ll continue to update it throughout the month. 

Please feel free to share resources, images, or your own stories to be added.
Send links or files to or call 603-795-0603 to offer ideas or feedback or just to talk.

History of the Movement

I really enjoyed reading through the Library of Congress’s materials on Pride month. Here is a section describing Pride origins, which date back to the 1969 Stonewall Uprising:

“The first Pride march in New York City was held on June 28, 1970, on the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising…This, the first U.S. Gay Pride Week and March, was meant to give the community a chance to gather together to ‘…commemorate the Christopher Street Uprisings of last summer in which thousands of homosexuals went to the streets to demonstrate against centuries of abuse … from government hostility to employment and housing discrimination, Mafia control of Gay bars, and anti-Homosexual laws’ (Christopher Street Liberation Day Committee Fliers, Franklin Kameny Papers).”

I find reading the real words of the people that were making the motion very powerful and inspiring.

The Library of Congress with its vast collection of knowledge has gathered links to additional resources and events that are available nation wide! Click HERE to learn more about Pride Month.

Other Links of Interest:

Human Rights Campaign – “Pride 2023 Without Exception”: Gain a wider understanding of what “Pride” means. – “June is LGBT Pride Month”: Ways to get involved and additional information & resources.

The Difference between Sex, Gender, and Sexuality

In my experience, this graphic from Trans Student Eduction Resources does a beautiful job of illustrating the spectrum of these different concepts in a way that has tended to make more sense to people than verbal descriptions.

In my words, sex is your biological DNA, gender is how you think of yourself and represent yourself to the world, sexuality is who you are attracted to physically and emotionally.

This PDF from Montgomery College goes into more detail about this and ends by discussing “Embracing a Spectrum Model”:

“[B]inary notions of gender, biology and sexual orientation exclude large swaths of human diversity. This diversity can be better understood by using spectrum-based models. Spectra make room for anyone whose experiences do not narrowly fit into binary choices such as man/woman, feminine/masculine or straight/gay.”

Humanity is complex and our nature is to simplify it in order to understand it more easily. However, it is our complexity and individual diversity that makes us such special beings. Attempting to simplify our understanding only limits us!

Other Links of interest:

Learning for Justice – “Sex? Sexual Orientation? Gender identity? Gender Expression?: discusses the concepts in the context of education and young students.

Trans Students Education Resources – “Definitions”: learn more definitions of language used in discussing and naming these ideas.

The Importance of Pronouns

I (Grace Tecca) identify as non-binary, and I should be referred to with the pronouns “they” or “them”. Because of my personal interest I decided to dive into this topic this week.

Using they/them pronouns for an individual is a relatively new movement in our modern society. It can be hard to wrap your head around as it can break many rules and understandings we hold as unwavering truths. I struggled with the pronouns myself when first realizing I no longer felt comfortable being identified as a women. But like any new concept, all it takes is curiosity, exposure, and practice! If you don’t have exposure in your everyday life, this requires going out of your way to look for information and resources.

A great place to start when curious about pronouns is I know, it seems a little too on the nose, but this really is a great resource. They discuss everything from what pronouns are and why they are important, to how to ask people’s pronouns, what to do when you make mistakes, and other scenarios of inclusive language beyond pronoun usage. Here is a paragraph that will give you a general understanding of the issue:

“Often, people make assumptions about the gender of another person based on the person’s appearance or name. These assumptions aren’t always correct, and the act of making an assumption (even if correct) sends a potentially harmful message — that people have to look a certain way to demonstrate the gender that they are or are not. Using someone’s correct personal pronouns is a way to respect them and create an inclusive environment, just as using a person’s name can be a way to respect them. Just as it can be offensive or even harassing to make up a nickname for someone and call them that nickname against their will, it can be offensive or harassing to guess at someone’s pronouns and refer to them using those pronouns if that is not how that person wants to be known. Or, worse, actively choosing to ignore the pronouns someone has stated that they go by could imply the oppressive notion that intersex, transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming people do not or should not exist.”

I am very open about my identity, and especially that I am one individual who has their own interpretation of what it means to be non-binary. Feel free to reach out to me if you would like to learn more about my personal experience.

Other Links of interest:

National Institutes of Health Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion – “What are Gender Pronouns? Why Do They Matter?”

UC Boulder’s Center for Inclusion and Social Change – “Pronouns”

Both articles are shorter summaries of the key takeaways with additional links to other resources.

Juneteenth and it’s PRIDE connection

“Juneteenth is an often overlooked event in our nation’s history. On June 19, 1865, Union troops freed enslaved African Americans in Galveston Bay and across Texas some two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.” – The National Museum of African American History & Culture

Juneteenth celebrates the day that all people were freed in America.

The intersecting issues of the oppression of people of color and the LGBTQ+ community, and all marginalized people are crucial to recognize.

Pride month began as a protest by a Black, Transgender Woman combating police brutality. Marsha P. Johnson was an activist, self-identified drag queen, performer, and survivor. She was a prominent figure in the Stonewall Uprising of 1969.” – Karen Marie for the Buckeye Flame

The National Museum of African American History & Culture has curated a beautiful online interactive exhibit to celebrate:
Senses of Freedom: Exploring the Tastes, Sounds and Experiences of an African American Celebration

Click around the website to learn all about Juneteenth.

Other Links of Interest:

Learning for Justice – “My Pride is Black, My Juneteenth is Queer”:
“The celebration of Pride and Juneteenth offers an opportunity for reflection on intersecting identities and highlights the need to support and make space for Black LGBTQ youth.”

What Does it Means to be an Ally?

The Corporate Sister’s definition:
“An ally is any individual involved in the promotion and advancement of an inclusive culture through positive and intentional action.”

This is a wonderful definition because it calls out the need for action. Being an ally is not a passive identity, it involves lifting up and pushing forward the issues alongside the marginalized individuals looking for equality and freedom.

There are many great resources out there to help people learn more about how to go about this. The most thorough I found was from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation: Being and LGBTQ+ Ally. It gives detailed information in all the sections below from helpful history, to conversation walk-throughs.

Another interesting article I found on is “What Does It Really Mean To Be An Ally?” by Dr. Nika White. This article discusses creating a work atmosphere that promotes and engages in allyship. But most of the tips are also great for everyday action:

  • Seek out marginalized voices and perspectives to gain a better cultural competence.
  • Confront racism/bigotry and do it with a high-level of intolerance.
  • As a community or business, have a high compass for social consciousness.
  • Give up time and money to support those organizations and nonprofits that do this work.
  • Be vocal and call out inequities and poor behavior.

Other Links of Interest:

Pillar Nonprofit Network – “What Does it Mean to Act as an Ally”: offers additional explanations and perspectives on allyship and shares additional resources

* Mental Health for the LGBTQ+ Community *

Graphic from Mental Health America

Mental Health America is a great resource for all things mental health related, and they have build a whole section of their website for the LGBTQ+ community.

“Being LGBTQ+ isn’t a mental illness. However, many LGBTQ+ people experience mental health struggles linked to societal stigma, discrimination, and denial of their civil and human rights.”

Click here to view their page “LGBTQ+ Communities and Mental Health” where they list statistics related to:

Demographics: “Discrimination against LGBTQ+ persons has been associated with high rates of psychiatric disorders, substance abuse, and suicide. “

Attitudes: “A majority of LGBTQ+ people say that they or an LGBTQ+ friend or family member have been threatened or non-sexually harassed (57 percent), been sexually harassed (51 percent), or experienced violence (51 percent) because of their sexuality or gender identity.”

Prevalence: “LGBTQ+ youth are more than twice as likely to feel suicidal and over four times as likely to attempt suicide compared to heterosexual youth.”

Access/Insurance: “In a survey of LGBTQ+ people, more than half of all respondents reported that they have faced cases of providers denying care, using harsh language, or blaming the patient’s sexual orientation or gender identity as the cause for an illness.”

Treatment Issues: “Approximately 8 percent of LGBTQ+ individuals and nearly 27 percent of transgender individuals report being denied needed health care outright.”

There are real problems in our society that are detrimental to the wellbeing of a large population of the world. These are only a few examples.

MHA is hosting a FREE 60 minute webinar on Tuesday, June 27th at 1pm EST called, Where I feel safe: What makes an environment affirming. This is an amazing free resource where guests will

  • Hear from individuals with lived experience about where they feel the safest and most comfortable
  • Discuss how those spaces create safety and the impact it has on mental health
  • Provide information about how to make a space more inclusive and affirming

Click HERE to register for this free event.

Other Helpful Links

View the CCL Mental Health Team’s first monthly discussion featuring Oakland Walters, MD

The Human Rights Campaign shares “Three Ways to Combat Mental Health Stigma in LGBTQ Communities” (HRC, 2019). We can come together and help:

  • Provide a shoulder for someone to lean on.
    Many LGBTQ people struggle with feeling safe and accepted in their communities and workplaces. Listen, love, and support your neighbors and colleagues.
  • Work for equality in the community.
    Help break down barriers and seek ways to promote inclusivity. 
  • Share your story. Listen to others’.
    Help confront biases and discrimination, and let others know they are not alone; there is community and support.

Events in our community and beyond!