Pride month is a time for people in the LGBQT+ community to celebrate who they are with the support of those around them. However, being open about one’s gender or sexuality can be difficult for some people, especially those in the trans community who have the highest rates of mental health challenges. Supporting and affirming those who are questioning their identity is key to helping them live with a greater sense of well-being. Here are a few ways to do that.
When someone is exploring their gender identity, there are a few essential things you can do to help them on their journey and support mental health.
Take their cues. First and foremost, it’s important that you understand that this is their journey and part of that includes believing what they tell you regarding their gender. It’s also important to let them lead the way regarding who they come out to, when, and how. Ask them where they use their name and pronouns and be sure to follow suit.
Evolve with them. As the person in your life continues to explore who they are and how they present themselves to the world, their identity might continue to shift. Whatever clothes, name, or personality they’ve embraced, your support is paramount to their mental health.
Empathy is Key
When a loved one is a member of the LGBQT+ community’s experience, showing interest in their experience can help to support mental health by affirming who they are. It can also help you to understand more about who they are and how they’ve reached that place. If it seems ok, you might try asking open-ended questions about their journey and how you can better support them.
An open conversation might help your loved one explore feelings of confusion or worry about family, friends, or co-workers not accepting them. It might also create a safe space for them to share fears about harassment or loneliness.
With an active support system and any mental health resources that your loved one feels they need, they can begin to embrace feelings of freedom and bliss within their affirmed identity, a state called gender euphoria.
Most important, as your loved one becomes more open with you about who they are and their place within the LGBQT+ community, offer your unconditional love and support. It’s an honor to be an ally, and you can show them that through your pride in them.
Contact Spring Center of Hope Today
At Spring Center of Hope, we’re here to help. We provide ketamine infusions to patients suffering from a variety of mental health disorders. If you or a loved one is suffering or if you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact us, either by calling 832-559-7310 or by filling out the form below.