"Although at times I may still not know what I need, I have a better idea on where to get support and ways I can support others - or myself - in my community.” " aria-label="play video" class="modal-link story-detail__play"> "Although at times I may still not know what I need, I have a better idea on where to get support and ways I can support others - or myself - in my community.” We asked the LGBTQ2S+ community within our network to share their experiences as part of both the queer and mental health landscapes. Here is what Dakota had to say about how the two play into their everyday life. Happy Pride! "Although at times I may still not know what I need, I have a better idea on where to get support and ways I can support others - or myself - in my community.” " aria-label="play video">Play video Pride 2019: Dakota tells us about all the support she feels from her community. What makes you the most proud to be a part of the queer community? I am proud to be part of the queer community because I no longer feel alone. The queer community has shown me that there is strength in numbers and that, no matter your identity, you’re not the only one. I’m proud to be part of this community because I feel well represented and like there are so many other individuals who have the same political views and beliefs as me. What will make you the most proud? I will be most proud once we are accepting of all identities. Right now non-binary people and trans women have the highest rates of rape, murder, and sexual assault in the community. I will be proud when they are safer in their communities. Is there a specific resource or platform that has helped you that you want to shine a light on? The Instagram account @lgbt.nation.army has been really helpful. Égale Canada has also been great, with hosting OUTshine my school’s GSA, and the Run for Rocky legacy, by ensuring queer kids are safe in schools. What’s something about you that you wish more people knew or paid more attention to? I wish people knew more about some of the privileges we have as queer people in Canada. I also wish they knew that just because queer people have rights that the fight is far from over. How does your queer identity intersect or affect your mental health? When I was coming to terms with my identity it was rough. Everyday was hard and my mental health suffered. Now that I have a better understanding and acceptance of self, it is easier to cope with. Although at times I may still not know what I need, I have a better idea on where to get support and ways I can support others - or myself - in my community. What lifts you up when you are feeling down? Watching Netflix is huge for me, listening to music, napping, and having baths, are all ways that help me stay mentally healthy. Who has had the most impact on your experience in the community? That is a super hard question! I feel like at different points in my journey different people were more helpful than others. My aunt was a huge support, as was my cousin, who was the first person that I knew was queer. The people on the internet also showed me that I wasn’t alone. Where is your happy place? Why? This little town outside of St. Catherines is super small and peaceful, being there just feels free. I am able to escape whatever has been getting to me. Who has made you feel the most supported? My boyfriend and aunt have really supported me - as has @lgbt.nation.army! ~~ Head to our Instagram Story to see the photos Dakota shot!