Global pride month is over. Companies are removing rainbow flags and stickers from their store windows and websites. The parades have come and gone. But is it time to stop being proud and fighting for equality? Recent, tragic events around the world make me think not.
We are very lucky in Argentina, particularly in Buenos Aires. There is a flourishing gay community, beautiful LGBTQIAP+ places to party, eat, enjoy art and meet people, and we have some of the most progressive laws relating to sexuality and gender in the world. La Ley del Cupo Laboral Trans passed into law last month dictates that no less than one percent of government employees must be transgender or transvestites, an enormous achievement and a testament to the tireless work of the activists who have dedicated their lives to fighting for these changes.
However, we mustn't be complacent. People here and abroad still suffer discrimination and violence. People are still in the closet wondering when the right moment will come to leave it. Gender dysphoria remains in the The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), perpetuating the idea that transgender people are mentally unwell, despite the fact that this idea is now rejected by the majority of mental health professionals.
I talk a lot about acceptance in my profession, and I believe it to be the most healing component of psychotherapy. But how can people accept themselves if they experience trans-phobia and homophobia? In therapy we try to find alternative perspectives from which to view the more challenging aspects of life but when my client is experiencing something so wrong and dangerous I find myself bereft of options.
Thankfully we know that even one voice of acceptance is extremely powerful and I am happy and proud to be that voice whenever I can be. Fortunately we know that just one person who sees a transgender person as the person that they truly are on the inside despite their outward appearance can be enough. I hope that in this small way I can help my LGBTQIAP+ clients be proud of themselves all year round.