The first concept of Pride Month was in 1969. The 1960’s were an incredibly difficult time for individuals in the LGBTQ+ community, to say it lightly. Individuals in the community would go to bars and clubs as refuge and protection. In June 1969, police officers raided the Stonewall Inn in New York City, where employees and patrons were thrown roughly onto the street. This led to six full days of protests and violence between the community members and law enforcement across New York City. Following these riots, it became obvious that changes needed to be made. After years of work and protests, same-sex marriage was legalized (finally) in 2015.
In 1999, President Clinton declared that the Stonewall Inn riots will be memorialized every June. This celebration was referred to as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month. In 2011, President Obama expanded the celebration to Pride Month as we currently celebrate it. This was made to recognize all members of the LGBTQ+ community.
This month is an important time to raise awareness and show support. It is a time for cisgender heterosexual individuals to educate themselves and connect with people and concepts that are different from themselves. Luckily cisgender heterosexual individuals who are ready to learn, there have been more and more representations in the media of LGBTA+ life and
relationships. There is no relationship that was praised more by the LGBTQ+ community than that of David and Patrick.
The television show Schitt’s Creek premiered in 2015 and is about a wealthy family who loses their material wealth. The only asset they have left is a small town called Schitt’s Creek that was purchased as a joke. Over five seasons, the audience follows the family’s experience as they adjust to a new lifestyle in a small town. Along the way, David meets Patrick and an amazing love story unfolds. What makes it most impactful, though, is that the same-sex relationship is a non-issue throughout the show.
The creators were conscious about creating a world where homophobia does not exist. In an interview with Vulture, Dan Levy noted that “If you take something like [homophobia] out of the equation, you’re saying that doesn’t exist and shouldn’t exist.” There is no storyline in which David and Patrick face challenges or disagreements with their relationship; instead, their relationship is wholly embraced by the whole town.
There are more and more young people who are more open about their sexuality and gender preferences. There are some, though, who find it difficult to fully embrace their sexuality and gender because of where they live. According to the Journal of Adolescent Research, teens and young adults that live in these types of areas find it difficult to be open because of the restraints they feel from their communities.
Schitt’s Creek itself is a small, tight-knit community. Everyone has known everyone their whole lives and many people don’t leave the town. There are expectations and reputations that have stuck with people from a young age. I think it is very likely that this was intentional. The creators likely were aware of this trend and aware of the implications of seeing a small town without homophobia. I hope that we, as society, can learn from the show and create a more open and accepting environment.
During this Pride Month, let’s make a society, environment and space where anyone can express themselves as they wish. If you would like to learn more about how to support the LGBTQ+ community during this month, here are some resources.
In addition to these organizations, Drugwatch is an organization that provides education and legal assistance relating to high-risk medical products, including medications. They have developed an educational page addressing the specific medical risks faced by the LGBTQ+ community. It also discusses health tips to consider, including information regarding illnesses, sexually transmitted diseases and infections. Click here to learn more!
I (Gillian) am the owner of Tavernier Therapy Group. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Clinical Anxiety Treatment Provider and a Certified Sex Offender Treatment Provider. I work with teenagers who struggle to connect with their parents and am currently accepting clients! Take a look around my website and get to know me. I look forward to hearing from you!