Today is June 1, 2021; the first day of Pride Month. My husband and I ordered our Pride flag to stand in our front yard to honor the transgender, gay, and lesbian members of our extended family and friends. It will also offer support to all those who are feeling forgotten, ignored, or bullied because of who they are.

Want to talk with your kids about Pride Month but aren’t really sure how?

Here’s some facts about the month:
The first Gay Pride event happened in June, 1970 to recognize the one year anniversary of the Stonewall riots, which happened when gay patrons of the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village fought back against the police who were arresting the bar’s patrons for being gay.

President Bill Clinton first declared June “Gay & Lesbian Pride Month” in 1999 and 2000. From 2009 to 2016, President Barack Obama declared June “LGBT Pride Month”. Most recently, President Joe Biden declared June 2021 “LGBTQ+ Pride Month”.

What do all those initials stand for?
Lesbian Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (or Questioning), and the + is for
those who reject being labelled by their gender or sexual orientation.

What do the colors of the Pride flag represent?
Red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, blue for harmony, and violet for spirit.

How to explain this to our kids?
I suggest parents decide what values they themselves believe in, and then, in age appropriate words, teach those values to our children. Some values I chose to teach my children were acceptance, kindness, inclusion, and respect. Acceptance of all people, even if they are different from us. Kindness to all people, no matter their color, religion, or sexual preference. Inclusion in our lives of many people, no matter their religion, nationality, or age. And respect for other people’s beliefs, opinions, and feelings.

Pride Month, with its flags, parades, and events, is a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate your values to your kids, and to open the door to meaningful conversations with kids of all ages. It’s never too early, or too late, to learn to speak WITH your children, and to enjoy the connection that comes from talking about challenging topics.

Now, I’m off to hang my flag. Happy Pride Month to you all!