June is LGBTQIA pride month (see page 17 to decode the acronym!). Life has given me many opportunities to ponder the seeming differences in people and the concurrent sameness—of wanting to be loved, respected, and understood, while still being authentic. I counseled people for a number of years, including youth, and sorting out how to be and be with others was the primary discussion with almost everyone.
My experience with LGBT friends began in high school. For my senior prom in 1974, four of us went together: a gay guy, a lesbian young woman, a bisexual guy, and heterosexual me. We had a great time dancing with one another, enjoying our friendships, and then going home. Nothing extra, just friendship. My friends would not have gone to the prom on their own because of pressures to look straight or go to a party afterward and get into trouble. By going together, all of us could enjoy the evening, feel safe, and felt no pressure to drink or have a prom night fling.
My first-born daughter grew up with beautiful, lush long hair. She was undaunted in most things, and always championed the underdog—even against bullies. When she was 18, she announced being lesbian. By age 21, she had determined that she was meant to be a he. For more than a decade now, my eldest is now a son. His transgender process met with loving acceptance and respect from everyone in the extended family. He and his partner have often encountered harsh treatment from others, though, including physical beatings.
Special Days in June
June 5: World Environment Day
June 8: World Oceans Day
June 14: New Mexico Day!
June 18: National Go Fishing Day
June 20: Father’s Day, Summer Solstice
June 22: National Rainforest Day
In June we celebrate everything from National Heimlich Maneuver Day to National Rotisserie Chicken Day. To find out more, visit: https://nationaldaycalendar.com/june/
My life has been blessed with friendship and meaning, collaboration, and creativity, due to the many gay, lesbian, or transgender people I have known. I cannot imagine my life without them, not because of their non-heterosexual orientation, but because of the excellent person that each is. My son has counseled young adults as they determine their orientation in life: gay, bi, or trans. He supports them as they express their uniqueness and sameness with all other people.
In June, World Environment Day and World Oceans Day remind us that the world is one whole organism and that all of life was born from the sea. Please make your seafood the sustainably caught kind! Trawler fishing kills more animals, such as sea turtles, dolphins, as well as devastating the ocean floor in the process. If you have an opportunity to watch the Netflix documentary Seaspiracy, your point of view will never be the same. I find it interesting that the title has the word piracy in it.
The rainforests of the world are the lungs of the planet, as are the great forests of the northern latitudes. World Rainforest Day is June 22. New Mexico Day is June 14! Father’s Day and the Summer Solstice (first day of summer) share June 20. Lots to celebrate! June is also Great Outdoors and National Fishing Month. We certainly are surrounded by that! Enjoy one another, enjoy the weather, and the landscape. Be mindful of fire danger as the weather warms. Go fishing, bike riding, or take a hike!