If you’re LGBTQIA+, congratulations! You belong to beautiful and diverse communities of people. Discovering who you are and being able to live your life out loud and proud is an amazing thing.

But for many people, it’s not that simple. There are often barriers to getting appropriate healthcare. Other people lack support from their families.

Things are changing, but many LGBTQIA+ people still experience stigma and discrimination. This increases the risk of depression and death by suicide. But when people have access to gender-affirming care, mental health improves.

There are several factors that can improve both your emotional and physical health. When these are in place, you’ll be better able to be your gorgeous queer self.

One of the most protective factors is having a supportive network of people around you. Bonus if they’re other LGBTQIA+ folks.

Everyone needs a crew, and there’s room for everyone. Here are some things that can support you in living loud and proud.