A Future Destined for Greatness

June is Pride Month when the world's LGBTQ+ communities come together and celebrate the freedom to be themselves. Pride gatherings are rooted in the arduous history of minority groups who have struggled for decades to overcome prejudice and be accepted for who they are. Pride is both a jubilant communal celebration of visibility, and a personal celebration of self-worth and dignity. This Pride Month, The House recognizes the valuable contributions of LGBTQ+ individuals across America, and we are committed to standing in solidarity with LGBTQ+ Americans in their ongoing struggle against discrimination and injustice. To those that work at The House and are a part of this community, we stand behind you and your efforts for equality.

Below, we have a featured story written by Charity Plows, as she looks forward to her future in college, and taking part in the LGBTQIA+ community!

For the past two years, I was studying Psychology and wanted to become a Neuropsychologist. It was a major I was interested in because my mom has Multiple Sclerosis. Watching her experiences in the healthcare system inspired me to study this field. But something was missing. That little spark that makes you smile without even trying. So I knew that I wanted to find something that I was passionate about and something that I would love for the rest of my life. During my search, I thought about studying to become a kindergarten teacher, sociologist, or music teacher. Then I came across my final decision, and what I will be studying in the fall, a Women and Gender Studies Major. When I came across this major, I was very intrigued by it. Simply put, it examines how the lives of individual persons are shaped by broader structural forces in both historical and contemporary contexts. And to most accurately understand a situation, you must try to see it through the view of the person being affected and try to put away your own norms and values.

It is not a very common major that you study, but I'm able to go into any field I want and not feel tied down to one specific study with this degree. After researching the major and figuring out what jobs I can go into with the degree, I knew this was meant to be. With this degree, I will be able to work with LGBTQIA+ youth and help them navigate the confusing world that is their reality. It would also allow me to work within the foster care system as some type of counselor supporting youth. As someone who is a proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community, I want to help those that are just like me. The community is often looked down upon and set aside in certain circumstances. Growing up, I knew that I would be accepted by my amazing parents and two sisters. But, it took me a while to be comfortable with my intermediate family because they weren't as accepting. This did not stop me from being who I am, though. After being out for 4 years now, I've learned that you don't need to look to others for approval. The only approval you need is that within your own heart. As long as you're able to accept yourself for who you are, that's all you truly need. Happy Pride Month! – Charity Plows

"Growing up, I truly thought I would never be a parent. But once I was, I experienced a love that can surpass no other. When my oldest daughter announced to us that she was a part of the LGBTQIA+ community, it was a no-brainer, and nothing changed. She was the same sweet child that made us a family and we were the same Mom and Dad who loved her and will no matter what. She is one of my greatest treasures and I know she will go on to do great things. I could not be a prouder Dad!" - Special Events Coordinator, Jerry Plows