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What does LGBTQIA+ mean? 

LGBTQIA+ refers to individuals who belong to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, and asexual community. These labels refer to individuals whose sexual orientation and gender identity are not included within the cisgender, heteronormative confinements of dominant culture. The plus sign represents the expansive identities that are not included in the acronym, such as pansexual, non-binary, same-gender loving, and many others. The labels people use to describe their sexual orientation and gender identity are expansive and their experiences are just as diverse. As such, these labels are constantly evolving, so it’s important to continue to learn about these identities to not only understand our own identities, but to also understand the identities of others.

What is LGBTQIA+ pride? 

Despite what many people think, LGBTQIA+ pride is more than just rainbow-colored shirts. Pride is also more than just being proud of the fact that someone one is gay or transgender. Pride is a celebration of love for oneself and their community despite the constant adversity they face because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Pride is also a fight. Pride is deeply rooted in LGBTQIA+ history, which includes marches, protests, and riots. Pride is a reminder of everything that LGBTQIA+ people have fought for, everything that’s been accomplished, and everything that still needs to be done. Finally, pride is one of the biggest acts of love a LGBTQIA+ person can do for themselves.

How can I show LGBTQIA+ pride?

It can be difficult to know how to show pride or to know what pride means to you. If you’re a LGBTQ+ person, know that there isn’t a wrong way to show pride, and you can be proud regardless of whether you are “out.” For some people, pride involves showing up to parades and other events decked out in rainbow attire, and for others pride is living authentically despite messages they’ve received from the media or other members of their physical communities. Whether your way of showing pride is a roar or a whisper, show pride in a way that feels right for you. If you’re an ally, there are many ways you can show pride in LGBTQIA+ loved ones and the larger LGBTQIA+ community. First, educate yourself on LGBTQIA+ issues beyond terminology – learn the history and the meaning of pride. Second, donate time and/or money to LGBTQIA+ community organizations. Third, use your privilege to not only defend but protect LGBTQIA+ people: call out homophobia and transphobia; offer to accompany a trans person to the restroom; correct your friends, loved ones, coworkers, and others when they say or do anti-LGBTQIA+ things. Finally, if you attend any Pride events, know that you are a guest in these spaces and should act respectfully. 

This page is also part of the Roamers Therapy Glossary; a collection of mental-health related definitions that are written by our therapists.

While our offices are currently located at the South Loop neighborhood of Downtown Chicago, Illinois, we also welcome and serve clients for online therapy from anywhere in Illinois and Washington, D.C. Clients from the Chicagoland area may choose in-office or online therapy and usually commute from surrounding areas such as River North, West Loop, Gold Coast, Old Town, Lincoln Park, Lake View, Rogers Park, Logan Square, Pilsen, Bridgeport, Little Village, Bronzeville, South Shore, Hyde Park, Back of the Yards, Wicker Park, Bucktown and many more. You can visit our contact page to access detailed information on our office location.