To the Editor:

This June the Maine Psychological Association (MePA) shares our PRIDE by showing our support and celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community across the state of Maine!

The Pride celebration tradition originated as a way to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Uprising, a pivotal moment that catalyzed the modern gay liberation movement in the United States. The events at the Stonewall Inn ignited a series of protests and demonstrations that brought attention to the fight for LGBTQIA+ rights and equality. Pride celebrations now also honor the work of Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, trans women of color who created safe havens for trans youth and fought for the inclusion of trans people in the gay liberation movement. Maine’s first Pride parade was in 1987; and June has been the official Pride month in the United States since 1999.

In the past several years, we have seen unprecedented attacks on people who identify as LGBTQIA+, particularly on transgender and gender diverse youth. Psychologists’ allyship and commitment to affirming care for all is more important than ever before, as research continues to show that when LGBTQIA+ youth feel recognized, supported and valued by their communities their mental health improves and suicide risk decreases.

This year the American Psychological Association (APA) and MePA have enacted research-based policies and position statements supporting the LGBTQIA+ community (https://mepa.org/mission-leadership/). In February 2024, APA joined other major medical organizations by affirming psychologists’ support for access to quality health care for all regardless of their gender identity.

As an organization, MePA is proud to stand with the LGBTQIA+ community, during Pride month and throughout the year. Throughout the state, psychologists will be participating in Pride-related events, showing our support for our communities and our commitment to LGBTQIA+-affirming care. We hope you will join us!

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To learn more about MePA or to find a psychologist near you, please visit: https://mepa.org/

Jeff Matranga

President

Maine Psychological Association Board

Saco

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