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Medicine Horse Celebrates Pride!

Written by Keegan Meadows, Therapy Intern at Medicine Horse


Happy Pride Month! For the month of June (and beyond) we get the amazing opportunity to celebrate the incredible gifts that come from holding an LGBTQAI+ identity.

The natural world continually reminds us that identity and gender expression are unique to every individual, and they often do not fit into societally contrived binaries. We at Medicine Horse believe in the innate wisdom of the natural world, and therefore, believe that all people deserve a space where they can be authentically themselves and explore the truest parts of who they are. Therefore, if you identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community, we see you and you are an important part of the Medicine Horse family.  


For me, transitioning was a reclaiming and proud embodiment of my authentic self. During

this transformative time, I gained an aligned body, mind, and soul and shed the expectations placed on me based on the sex I was assigned at birth. I finally got to see my internal perception of myself, presented externally. However, the joy and gratitude I feel as a trans person does not come without great challenges. Prior to my transition, there were countless days when I felt that I had to choose between accepting myself or being accepted by society. However, this choice had nothing to do with knowing that this is truly who I am and who I have always been. 


This experience of choosing to honor who one truly is versus denying their most honest expressions of self due to societal pressures is common in the LGBTQIA+ community and contributes greatly to the negative mental health outcomes that many folks experience. These outcomes do not occur from possessing an LGBTQIA+ identity, but rather from the discrimination, victimization, microaggressions, and anti-trans legislation that is being proposed and passed throughout the country. In 2023 alone, over 500 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced in the United States (ACLU, 2023). According to a 2023 study, anti-trans legislation, which targets access to health care, sports participation, and school policies, has resulted in heightened levels of anxiety, depression, and suicide risk among the entire community (Novotney, 2023). With that being said, folks in this community desperately need support and mental health resources.


For me and many others in this community, support looks like connecting with the natural

world, especially the incredible four-legged beings that walk alongside us. Society’s perception of me changed as my outward appearance transformed. However, my relationship with nature and animals remained constant. Therefore, during my most challenging moments, I turned to them for a connection that went beyond gender. It was with the horses and animals around me that I found both internal and external acceptance. Horses saw me for who I was within.


 

Medicine Horse recognizes the need for trans and LGBTQIA+ services. We provide specific LGBTQIA+-informed and affirming programs for folks who hold these identities. Horses help us build resiliency, bravery, self-acceptance, and trust, attributes directly related to healing and positive mental health. The LGBTQIA+-specific groups that we offer allow folks the opportunity to learn skills for working safely with horses. In addition to this, we create a safe place to authentically connect with other individuals in the LGBTQIA+ community and build lasting relationships.


Registration is currently open for the following 6-week groups:

Click each one to learn more and register!


Adult LGBTQ+ Support Group (18+ Years old)

Youth LGBTQ+ Support Group (11-13 Years old)

Teen LGBTQ+ Support Group (13-17 Years old)


During this important month, we see you and we hope to be a part of your healing journey!




References


Mapping attacks on LGBTQ rights in U.S. state legislatures. (2023). American Civil Liberties Union. https://www.aclu.org/legislative-attacks-on-lgbtq-rights?redirect=legislation-affecting-lgbtq-rights-across-country


Novotney, A. (2023). ‘The young people feel it’: A look at the mental health impact of anti-trans legislation. https://www.apa.org/topics/lgbtq/mental-health-anti-transgender-legislation

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