Celebrating Pride Month and Beyond
June, A.K.A. Pride Month, is my favorite time of the year. I love the parades, the sense of community and belonging, the countless parties and drag performances, the heightened awareness of LGBTQIA+ issues and advocacy, and the ability -for 30 days – to feel a sense of collective joy, celebration, and acceptance. For one month, I feel free to truly be myself and be loved for who I am.
Yet, June always goes by so fast and before I know it July is here and life seemingly goes back to normal. Sometimes it feels like a shock to my system, going from the intense highs of joy and celebration to the lows of feeling depressed and isolated.
Coping with post-Pride blues can be a really difficult challenge, and you are not alone if they are impacting you.
Care for your health
When depression or sadness strikes, it can be really easy to fall into unhealthy habits like sleeping too much (or too little), skipping meals, or forgoing physical activity. Yet, getting good sleep and eating well can be really helpful in improving how you feel and coping with low moods. Additionally, exercise can be a really useful tool in fighting the fatigue that often comes with depression (Smith, Robinson, & Segal, n.d.)
Find support and community
During Pride, being surrounded by people who accept and embrace you for who you are can be an incredible thing. Yet, when Pride ends and everyone goes back to their daily lives, feelings of loneliness and isolation can be really common.
Yet, there are ways to stay connected to the LGBTQIA+ community year round. Joining a local support group or meetup group for the LGBTQIA+ community can be great options for finding connections and friendships that last after Pride ends.
For those in the Denver area, here are a few resources for local support and therapy groups:
The Center on Colfax Community Calendar
Transgender Center of the Rockies Therapy and Support Groups
Queer Asterisk Community Groups
Seek out other things that make you happy
Sometimes, it can be really difficult to fight the fatigue that comes with depression and it may feel easier to stay at home and do nothing. Yet, it can be really important to engage with other activities in order to get out of your head and fight back against the depression (Roberson, 2019). Even though Pride only lasts a month, there are a lot of other things that could instill joy. This could include picking up a former hobby, playing a sport, going out to the mountains, or expressing yourself creatively through music, art, or writing.
Talk to a therapist/express your feelings
Coping with post-Pride blues can be really difficult and processing your feelings might be confusing at times. If you have taken steps to make positive lifestyle changes and still find your depression getting worse, then it might be useful to seek professional help. Sometimes, depression can be hard to overcome, and it does not mean you are weak for needing more support (Holland, 2023).
Roberson, J. (2019). The Rainbow Crash: How to deal with the post-Pride blues.
Smith, M., Robinson, L., & Segal, J. (n.d.). Coping with depression. HelpGuide.org. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/coping-with-depression.htm
Holland, K. (2023). How to cope with depression naturally: 22 things to try.