JJAB: What Pride Means

JJAB booth at a previous Pride event on the back lawn at Fuller Lodge. Courtesy/LA Pride

From JJAB Staff:

What does Pride mean to Los Alamos JJAB? (link)

“LGBTQ+ youth have higher rates of seriously considering and attempting suicide, and report higher levels of feeling sad and hopeless (Key Findings from Trevor Project’s 2019 Youth Report). It is Los Alamos JJAB’s goal to surround youth within our community with support, offering various programs focused on prevention and early intervention. These programs are key to helping ALL youth and are inclusive for LGBTQ+ youth and their families. It is important that we recognize and celebrate Pride this month but also year-round, making sure we affirm LGTBQ+ youth have a supportive community, knowing they belong and can thrive.” –JJAB Executive Director Lisa Zuhn

“I think that part of what Pride means to JJAB is supporting parents in understanding and embracing the children that they have, especially when their child’s identity is different from what they expected or planned for. This is true in so many ways, but obviously includes supporting parents whose child has come out to them or shown signs that make parents wonder if they may be queer. Often, parents want to fully support their child but don’t feel they have permission from society to do so. They worry that they may not be doing their job as parents when they abandon the religious or cultural beliefs that have taught them that diversity in sexual orientation or gender identity is bad. I like to help parents focus their attention on their child’s mental health, social emotional development, and happiness rather than on whether they conform to expectations. We know that embracing one’s own sexual orientation and gender identity is a big part of being healthy and happy and so is being embraced for those identities by one’s loved ones (rather than merely tolerated). I have sometimes found myself saying, ‘One thing that we know is that no matter what your child’s identity turns out to be, they will benefit from your loving and celebrating them just as they are right now.’” –JJAB Resource Specialist Tara Adams

“Pride to me is a celebration that emphasizes the most important values that we should all share as human beings: dignity and the worth of a person. As human beings, and members of this community, we must treat each other in a caring and respectful fashion. We must be mindful of individual differences in culture and ethnicity. We are all responsible for promoting and supporting each member of our society who is vulnerable or oppressed. I believe Pride strengthens relationships among people. It is a purposeful effort to promote, restore, maintain, and enhance the well-being of individuals, families, social groups, and our community.” –JJAB Resource Specialist Christine Martinez

“Protecting and celebrating LGBTQ+ youth is an integral part of what we do at JJAB, irremovable from our make up as an organization. At JJAB, our mission is to surround youth with support and resources that will help them thrive, so when we work with a youth who identifies as LGBTQ+ or who is questioning their gender or sexuality, we connect them to activities, organizations, and mental health supports that will help them blossom in their identity and community. As someone who grew up without LGBTQ+ resources, I am endlessly happy to know that Los Alamos youth will see themselves not only reflected in Pride activities but CELEBRATED. We love you, LGBTQ+ Los Alamos!” –JJAB Resource Assistant/One Circle Coordinator Luke Eigelbach

The Los Alamos JJAB partners with other community organizations to assist with concerns regarding youth and family issues by providing individualized case management, parenting workshops, youth activities and free classes/training.

Do you have a Pride story of your own? What does Pride mean to you, and how has Pride impacted your life? Friends of Los Alamos Pride want to hear your stories!

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