5 Self-Care Tips for BIPOC & Queer/ QTPoC Folx During Pride Month
Pride Month is a time for the LGBTQ+ community to celebrate and embrace our identities in full force. However, for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and queer individuals, the month-long celebration can also be a time of heightened stress and anxiety. With the current political and social climate, it is more important than ever that we prioritize self-care and mental health. In this blog post, we will be sharing five self-care tips for BIPOC and queer individuals during Pride Month. These tips are intended to help you take care of yourself and find joy during this celebratory time while also acknowledging the challenges that come with being an LGBTQ+ person of color.
Understanding the Unique Challenges Faced by BIPOC & Queer People During Pride Month
Pride Month is a time to celebrate the resilience and courage of LGBTQ+ folx, but it is also an important reminder that there are still unique challenges faced by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and queer individuals within the LGBTQ+ community. The intersectionality of racism and homophobia can make it difficult for BIPOC & queer people to feel safe or represented in their communities. This Pride Month, we must take a stand against queerphobia and racism in our communities and acknowledge the unique challenges faced by BIPOC & queer individuals. Through understanding intersectionality, we can create safer spaces for all members of the LGBTQ+ community.
1. Prioritize YOUR Self-Care Practices
As we celebrate Pride month and participate in events that advocate for equality and acceptance, it’s important that we don’t neglect our own wellbeing. Prioritizing self-care during Pride is essential for maintaining a healthy and positive mental attitude throughout the month. While it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and energy of the celebrations, it’s important to take a few moments each day to engage in whatever healthy practices BEST SERVE YOU.
Maybe that’s practicing mindful relaxation, eating healthful foods, engaging in movement. Whatever helps you stay calm, cool, and collected during Pride, and contributes to your overall wellbeing. Getting enough sleep, and building in time for rest are also crucial for reducing stress levels and fostering a healthy self-relationship.
Take care of yourself during this time, both mentally and physically. Recharge your batteries and connect with your community in ways that nourish your soul. Whether it’s attending a pride parade or simply spending time with loved ones who accept you for who you are, make sure to prioritize your own wellbeing. Ultimately, Pride Month is about more than just rainbows and parades – it’s about embracing our identities and finding joy in who we are.
2. Set Boundaries
Setting boundaries is a critical self-care practice that you can use at all points in the year to help you protect your mental and emotional well-being and ensure that you are taking care of yourself during this important month. It can be easy to feel pressure to attend every event or participate in every activity, but it is important to listen to your own needs and set boundaries that work for you. Get INTENTIONAL about what you say YES to and what you say NO to. Give yourself permission to DECLINE invitations to events that make you feel uncomfortable. TAKE BREAKS when you need them, or limit your time in certain spaces. You can even set boundaries around the types of conversations you engage in or the types of people you surround yourself with.
One way to set boundaries is to identify your triggers and prioritize your needs. For example, if crowds make you feel anxious, you may want to limit the amount of time you spend in large gatherings or choose to attend events during off-peak hours when there are fewer people. If you need time alone to recharge, you may want to schedule breaks in your day or plan to spend some time in nature. In some cases, setting boundaries may also mean cutting ties with toxic people or environments that do not support your well-being. It can be difficult to let go of people or situations that are familiar, but prioritizing your mental and emotional health is essential.
Setting boundaries also means being assertive and communicating your needs to others. This can be particularly challenging, especially if you are used to putting others’ needs before your own. However, setting boundaries is an important part of taking care of yourself and should be a priority. It is okay to say no and prioritize your needs.
3. Practice Self Compassion
It is common to experience a range of emotions during Pride Month, including joy, celebration, and connectedness to community, but also sadness, anger, and grief. Practicing self-compassion means treating yourself with kindness and understanding during these emotional ups and downs.
Self-compassion involves three key components: self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness. Self-kindness means treating yourself with warmth, understanding, and forgiveness, rather than harsh self-criticism. Common humanity means recognizing that you are not alone in your struggles and that all human beings experience pain and suffering. Mindfulness means being aware of your thoughts and feelings without judgment or criticism.
One way to practice self-compassion is to be gentle with yourself and acknowledge that it is okay to not feel okay. Allow yourself to feel your emotions without judgment or criticism, and remind yourself that it is normal to experience a range of emotions during Pride Month. You can also practice self-compassion by using positive self-talk and affirmations. For example, you can remind yourself that you are worthy of love and acceptance, just as you are.
Another way to practice self-compassion is to engage in activities that bring you joy and nourish your soul. This could be spending time with loved ones, practicing yoga or meditation, or engaging in creative activities like painting or writing. By prioritizing activities that bring you joy and fulfillment, you are sending a message to yourself that you are worthy of care and attention.
Sometimes it can be hard to find compassion for ourselves so we may need support or validation. Reaching out to a friend, family member, or therapist can be helpful in these moments. It could also mean participating in group therapy or support groups specifically for BIPOC and queer individuals. By seeking support from others, you are acknowledging that you are not alone in your struggles and that it is okay to ask for help.
By treating yourself with kindness and understanding, engaging in activities that bring you joy, and seeking support from others, you can protect your mental and emotional well-being and cultivate a sense of self-love and acceptance.
4. Balance Self-Care & Activism
Pride Month is not only a time for celebration and recognition of the LGBTQ+ community but also a time to reflect on where we are in terms of rights, acceptance, and inclusion. There is still much work to be done in order to achieve true equality. As activists, we must find ways to balance self-care with activism during this month. Self-care can help us recharge and stay energized so that we can continue fighting.
Balancing self-care and activism during Pride Month can be a challenge, but it is essential to avoid burnout and stay energized. Set realistic goals: As an activist, it is easy to feel like you need to do everything all at once. However, it is important to set realistic goals that you can accomplish without burning out. This means focusing on a few key priorities and delegating tasks to others when possible. And be sure to go back to all the points mentioned in this article. Prioritizing your self-care, setting boundaries, practicing self-compassion and connecting with others are essential for avoiding burnout and staying energized while continuing to advocate for equality and inclusion for the LGBTQ+ community.
5. Seek Support & Community
As a BIPOC and queer individual, finding a sense of belonging and connection can be difficult, but it is crucial for mental and emotional well-being. Fortunately, during Pride Month, there are many events and gatherings specifically geared towards the BIPOC & LGBTQ+ community, making it an excellent opportunity to connect with others who share similar experiences.
Attending events like parades, marches, or festivals can be a great way to meet new people and connect with your community. You can also connect with organizations and support groups specifically designed for BIPOC and queer individuals, such as the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance, NYC-based Audre Lorde Project or Black and Pink, which focuses on supporting LGBTQ+ individuals who are currently or formerly incarcerated. For more orgs, check out this list from ItGetsBetter.org
Building a support system of people who understand and validate your experiences can help reduce feelings of isolation and increase feelings of connection and belonging. These individuals can also provide a safe space to share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences, which can be incredibly validating and healing. If you are struggling with your mental health during Pride Month, it is important to seek support. This may mean reaching out to a therapist or counselor who specializes in working with LGBTQ+ individuals or joining a support group.
Don’t be afraid to reach out for support if you need it, and always remember that you are not alone. By surrounding yourself with positivity and support, you can start to build a foundation of self-love and acceptance that will benefit your wellbeing long after Pride month has ended.
Pride month is all about celebrating and embracing our diverse identities however, it is important to remember that not everyone may feel comfortable expressing themselves or joining in on the festivities. We must extend our love and support to those who may be struggling with their identity, whether it be for personal, cultural, or other reasons. This means creating inclusive spaces where everyone feels welcome and accepted. Let’s come together as a community to uplift and empower one another during this meaningful month of pride. By showing compassion and understanding, we can promote wellbeing for all individuals and celebrate the beautiful diversity that makes us unique.