AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)- Coming out back then was a form of activism – a way to challenge conventional ideas and fears by showing that gays and lesbians were a part of everyday life. Since 1988, this day has created a safer world for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people by raising awareness of the community.
“Existing means life and almost 30 years later, we are able to prove that we exist that it’s okay to be out and open,” says James Mintz who is the President of Augusta Pride.
Dr.Matthew Kridel told NewsChannel 6’s Ashley Flete that “Coming Out,” is one of the most important parts of a gay person’s life – something he or she gets to do on his or her own terms, when ready.
“It’s a life long process, everyone you tell someone about your partner. every time you identify on a form and so it’s not just up to parents to support but everyone in the community and everyone in someone’s life to support it through out their entire life,” says Dr. Kridel who was a postdoctoral fellow in HIV/LGBTQ.
Once a person does open up about their sexuality it sets off a domino effect that will continue for the rest their life.
“Identity absolutely plays into every domain when we consider healthcare. from the moment a person walks through the door,” says Dr. Kridel.
Society is now finding ways to welcome anyone apart of the pride community due to the human rights campaign.
“There isn’t necessarily a change in mental health but we’re still seeing that a lot of queer youth and a lot of queer people are experiencing the same rate of mental health if not more problems with mental health,”says Dr. Kridel.