If this title caught your eye and seemed vaguely familiar, great catch! It is a take on the U2 song “Pride (In The Name Of Love).” Part of the lyrics are as follows:

“Early morning, April four

A shot rings out in the Memphis sky

Free at last, they took your life

They could not take your pride

In the name of love

What more in the name of love?

In the name of love

What more in the name of love?”

Clearly, referring to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, TN. As we continue to celebrate the month of Pride, we remember the struggles of those who came before us. Although the inequities of the Black and LGBTQIA+ communities are two different causes, they share many similarities. Inequality is what it comes down to. If it puts someone outside their comfort zone, then forget it. That right there is where we miss the opportunity to grow as a collective community not defined by skin color or sexual orientation but as the human race. I started this initiative to show that we are so much more alike than we are different. If you don’t believe me, then I challenge you to do the following:

Step outside of your comfort zone and befriend someone different than you (race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability, age, etc.) and see if you can find one thing in common with that person. I am willing to bet you can find more than one, despite your differences.

Until the day I die, I will keep spreading this message because we can’t expect others to do the hard work for us. It has to come from each of us. Every single person has a part to play in this war against inequity. Whether it is a shift in mindset or working for the greater good, everyone must accept their role and act. I cannot promise every world problem will be solved as a result, but it’s a start. We then can turn our focus to other issues and work together to solve them. Can you imagine what could be done if people from all walks of life put aside their differences to work for the common good of humanity? The opportunities are endless, and we are wasting our time fighting with one another when we could be solving other problems. Just think about it. Because the LGBTQIA mental health statistics below are NOT ok. We can need to do better.

In comparison to heterosexual individuals:

*LGBTQIA+ community members are 2X as likely to have to have a mental health disorder in their lifetime.

*LGBTQIA+ community members 2.5X as likely to experience depression, anxiety, and substance misuse.

*Lesbian & bisexual women are more than 2X as likely to engage in Substance Abuse.

*Transgender individuals who identify as Black, Latino/Hispanic, Native American or Mixed Race have increased risk of suicide attempts.

*LGBTQIA+ community members have higher rates of mental health service use.