What Can We All Learn from a Pride Parade?
Over the past 40 years, academia has created a handful of theoretical models attempting to explain the development of a LGBTQ self identity. These models (Cass,1979; Troiden 1989; D’Augelli, 1994; McCarn-Fassinger, 1996) all acknowledge the deep psychological benefit of coming out to a greater community beyond family, friends and coworkers and suggest that doing so in a public and enthusiastic way may contribute to a more fully integrated self. As Pride Weekend approaches many will take this opportunity to claim and celebrate their Queer identity--some for the first time.
Some research (Legate, Ryan & Wenstein, 2011) indicates that the act of coming out publicly, at an event like the Seattle Gay Pride Parade, is an important part of an overall sense of well-being and that the level of support from one’s community is particularly instrumental for the psychological well-being of a Queer person who is engaged in the process of coming out. A supportive environment can lead to significant psychological payback, such as greater sense of subjective well-being, greater workplace confidence, more social connectivity and the associated benefits of having a robust social support system. With less supportive or hostile groups these benefits are canceled out. (Legate, Ryan, Weinstein, 2011)
For 2Human, the notion of the importance of support inspires us to ask questions such as: “What hidden aspects of our own identities need a metaphorical Pride Parade?” We are also curious about- “How might we benefit from a supportive audience that celebrates our individual and unique identities”? A quick survey of the 2Human office indicates that if we were to borrow the notion of a celebratory parade from the Queer community we might individually benefit from an "ADHD Pride Parade" a "Highly Sensitive Person Pride Parade" and even perhaps a "Slightly Neurotic Person Pride Parade". These are aspects of ourselves that might be different from the majority of the population but they are aspects of our own identities that we choose to claim and celebrate because they make us who we are. Throughout this month we encourage you to follow the lead of the Queer community by celebrating your own unique identity.
*2Human salutes the bravery of the Queer Community for its continued advocacy for
people of all types to be recognized for who they are.