Unity Place of Monmouth has always held inclusiveness as a defining principle – its very name says as much. Unity’s central tenet of being welcoming to all applies to the clients it treats for mental health or substance use and to the staff who provide that care. With this in mind, Unity is celebrating June as LGBTQ Pride Month.
LGBTQ clients have in many cases experienced severe stigma. While society has made strides in this area, there remains no shortage of bias and misunderstanding towards this population This becomes a crucial issue in their treatment. Because of stigma, LGBT people may hesitate to come out, denying their true selves and planting the seeds of an internal struggle that may last for years, even decades.
Unity staff are planning numerous events and activities that are rainbow-themed, honoring the design of the Pride Flag. Groups will center on the rainbow flag and the message it conveys. The rainbow design of the flag is the creation of artist Gilbert Baker. Baker was urged by Harvey Milk, one of the country’s first opening gay elected officials, to create a symbol of pride for the gay community, according to an article on the topic by Nora Gonzalez.
The various colors of the flag reflect both the diversity and the unity of the LGBTQ community. Unity is waving this symbolic flag throughout June. Therapy groups will explore LGBTQ issues and diversity in general. Unity Place honors the essence of Pride Month.