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"As I started to form my identity and better understand my sexuality, I also started feeling better, taking better care of myself, and accessing support. I feel best when I feel like me.”
"As I started to form my identity and better understand my sexuality, I also started feeling better, taking better care of myself, and accessing support. I feel best when I feel like me.”

"As I started to form my identity and better understand my sexuality, I also started feeling better, taking better care of myself, and accessing support. I feel best when I feel like me.”

This Pride Month, we asked the LGBTQ2S+ community within our network to share their experiences as part of both the queer and mental health landscapes. We also sent out disposable cameras and asked our participants to give us a candid glimpse into their day to day lives. You can find Lucas’ photos over on our Instagram! Happy Pride!

"As I started to form my identity and better understand my sexuality, I also started feeling better, taking better care of myself, and accessing support. I feel best when I feel like me.”

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Pride 2019: Lucas explains how embracing his identity made him feel like his best self.

What is a change that you'll be proud to see?

Seeing a Canada where our young people feel secure in their identity AND have the help and support they need to take care of their mental health. A Canada where every queer kid grows up without shame or judgment and has access to what they need to be mentally healthy. Once our political and environmental landscape changes, we raise our voices for what we need, and MAKE that change... that's when I will be the most proud.

Is there a specific resource or platform that has helped you that you want to shine a light on? 

RuPaul's Drag Race was such a highlight for me. I remember on some of my darkest days, when I struggled in the closet, I would head into my room, jump under my bed sheets and watch Drag Race on my parents laptop, erasing the history as quickly as possible. It was through this show that I was exposed to visual representation, to queer culture, and to the validation in my own identity --  that I so desperately sought at that time. Even today the show is my little safe place, the one hour a week when I connect with my identity.

P.S. Katya was robbed. 

How does your queer identity intersect or affect your mental health? 

My identity has helped me better understand all the nooks and crannies to my personality, understand my character, my likes and dislikes. Growing up, I found that my queer identity isolated me from my community, and that I often felt silenced. I struggled, a lot, to understand who I was and where I belonged in the world. During this time, I was also struggling with my mental health. I didn't know how to take care of myself, where to find help, or even what words to use. The parallels between my identity and my mental health became obvious as I started to reach out for help and quickly was connected to a variety of resources. As I started to form my identity and better understand my sexuality, I also started feeling better, taking better care of myself, and accessing support. I feel best when I feel like me. 

Where is your happy place? Why?

Anywhere near the ocean. The calming sound of the waves, the beautiful colours, the power of water.

Who is your Queero?

Sasha Velour, the incredibly talented drag queen! She's a fierce queen and a role model for a community of absolute freaks. I'm a big fan of letting our freak flags fly and embracing both our similarities and our differences. I love the concept of embracing who we are, no matter what people want to label us! Sasha lets people express themselves in whatever way they feel, without judgment, and without labels.