Celebrate Pride 2024 virtually by recognizing our volunteers during LGBTQ History Month

Pride Month is a vibrant and empowering tribute to the LGBTQ+ community and its ongoing fight for equality and acceptance. Pride Month encompasses a variety of activities, including parades, workshops, concerts, and memorials for those lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS. It is a time for the LGBTQ+ community and allies to come together to honor the progress made, advocate for continued change, and celebrate the diversity, mental well-being and resilience of LGBTQ+ individuals worldwide.

As part of our commitment to raising awareness and fostering mental health equity, we celebrate and honor LGBTQ+ mental health advocates. These advocates or changemakers, inspire us through their positive impact, offering support and assistance to those in need. As active Crisis Text Line volunteers, these changemakers take initiative within their communities, consistently supporting texters and passionately advocating for mental health. For Pride 2024, we’re celebrating one of our volunteer changemakers,  John Matthews. Learn more about them and their mental health journey below. 

  • How did you first hear about Crisis Text Line?
    I first heard of Crisis Text Line when I was in 8th grade at a therapeutic outpatient school and they had a Crisis Text Line flyer. I was initially scared to use the service, due to what I know now as stigma. However, I utilized Crisis Text Line quite frequently starting in 2017 and through some of 2018. I quickly learned how nice it was to have someone to talk to that didn’t judge me. At the time, I did not have many people offering an ear.
  • Why did you decide to volunteer at Crisis Text Line?
    In 2020, I was realizing how I was good at listening to others and asking important, yet hard questions. Initially, the decision to start volunteering at Crisis Text Line was to gain experience in the mental health field, as my resume was mostly food service. I also thought it would be useful to gain experience in crisis intervention to apply both professionally and personally. However, I continue to stay and volunteer because of the joy and relief of being able to be that listening ear for someone or getting a person to safety. Our community at Crisis Text Line has proved to be a powerful nonjudgmental space which also led into my reason for continuing.
  • Why is Pride Month so important to you?
    Pride Month is important to me, as it is a time to feel seen and recognized despite all the hate in this world. The fact that my bathroom or healthcare rights are constantly debated as a transgender man can make me feel less than, which is why this month is so important. During Pride Month, it is easier to find community and allies who I can both support and find support from. I feel less alone during Pride Month, and especially at a Pride parade. During Pride Month, I feel a connection to my history and elders who paved the way for me. There is something unique and bonding about being around others who understand what it is like to experience transphobic and homophobic discrimination and not minimize it.
  • Besides volunteering with us, how do you impact the community around you as it pertains to LGBTQIA+ and mental health?
    Through my daily life, I encourage others to talk about their mental health, not bottle it up. I am trained in Mental Health First Aid, and in Naloxone Administration with CPR through End Overdose. My friends know me in that I will always be prepared and nonjudgmental for any mental health crisis. Before I graduated, I founded an Active Minds chapter on my campus where we went from our 10 base members to 40 by the end of the school year. Our chapter focused heavily on inclusivity. I also presented on the intersection of Mental Health and LGBTQ+ populations to a senior living community where we had a lovely discussion about how to support each other and what it means to be LGBTQ+, especially when you’re older. In my junior year, I became the Co-Chair of the JED Training and Implementation Subcommittee while my campus was patterned with The JED Foundation. We trained 33 trainers, 70 faculty and staff as well as over 100 students in You Can Help trainings focused on suicide prevention.

LGBTQ+ Facts for Pride Month

Pride Month or LGBTQ History Month, originated from the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York City, which marked a pivotal moment in the gay rights movement. This rebellion , sparked by a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, galvanized the LGBTQ+ community to stand up against systemic discrimination and violence. Over the years, Pride Month has evolved into a global celebration. It serves as a time to reflect on the progress made towards equality, to honor the contributions of LGBTQ+ individuals, and to renew the commitment to achieving full rights and acceptance for all.


When is Pride Month 2024?

World Pride is celebrated annually during the month of June. Pride is celebrated in June to honor the Stonewall Riots, a pivotal event in LGBTQ+ history that took place in June 1969. 


Who Created LGBTQ+ Month?

Pride Month was not created by a single individual, but rather evolved from the collective efforts of many LGBTQ+ activists and organizations. One key figure in organizing these early events was Brenda Howard, a bisexual activist often referred to as the “Mother of Pride.” She played a pivotal role in coordinating the first Christopher Street Liberation Day March on June 28, 1970, marking the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. This march laid the groundwork for annual Pride celebrations, eventually evolving into the month-long observance we recognize today.


How to Celebrate Pride 2024 in Digital Spaces?

There are a variety of ways you can celebrate Pride 2024 in digital spaces. Participate in virtual events, webinars, and workshops focused on LGBTQ+ history and issues. Engage in social media campaigns by sharing stories, artwork, and messages with hashtags like #Pride2024. Volunteer with local organizations who support the LGBTQ+ community. Share educational content about LGBTQ+ history and current issues via articles, videos, and podcasts. Participate in virtual Pride parades streamed online, and customize your digital content with Pride-themed images and filters. 


Become a Changemaker/Volunteer

Spend time celebrating LGBTQ+ Month by volunteering with us at Crisis Text Line. According to our United in Empathy report, roughly 50% of our texters identify as LGBTQIA+. You can connect with those who are in need of your support. Go beyond volunteering and become a Changemaker in your community. Changemakers is a powerful series dedicated to raising awareness about mental health advocacy in diverse communities. Join us as we celebrate and honor our incredible volunteers who make a difference in the lives of our texters and passionately advocate for better mental health every day.


Support Opportunities for Social Connection

According to our Community Resilience Report, young people across the United States are sad and hopeless. LGBTQ+ youth especially face unique challenges that can significantly impact their mental health. These young people  often experience bullying, discrimination, and rejection, both in their personal lives and within broader society. You can support opportunities for positive social connection by organizing community events, clubs, and activities that bring people together during Pride Month 2024. Providing safe spaces, both physical and virtual, where individuals can freely express themselves and connect with others who share similar experiences is crucial. Are you interested in IRL events instead? Check out this World Pride calendar from the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association(IGLTA). 


Support LGBTQ+ Advocacy

Supporting LGBTQ advocacy involves actively promoting equality and rights for LGBTQ individuals. This can include participating in or donating to LGBTQ+ organizations, like Callen-Lorde, attending rallies and events that champion LGBTQ+ causes, and using your platform to amplify LGBTQ+ voices and issues. Educating yourself and others about LGBTQ+ history, rights, and current challenges is crucial for fostering understanding and solidarity. Advocating for inclusive policies and practices within your community, workplace, and city government helps create safer and more equitable environments. Additionally, providing support and allyship to LGBTQ+ friends, family members, and colleagues by listening, validating their experiences, and standing against discrimination reinforces a culture of acceptance and respect.


Help us continue to support the LGBTQ+ community this month and beyond. And remember, if you or your loved ones ever need assistance, we’re here for you. Simply text CONNECT to 741741 or web chat with a live volunteer Counselor. If you’re interested in making a difference in someone’s life, consider joining our volunteer community.

Need to vent?

Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a volunteer Crisis Counselor

Free confidential 24/7 support at your fingertips.

Data insights, news, and more straight to your inbox.