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Love, Me - Juan Acosta
Love, Me

Nationally Recognized Activist Juan Acosta On Vision For Mental Health Reform

Juan's activism is healing immigrant and LGBTQ+ communities.

Juan Acosta, a first generation Mexican immigrant and New York Times bestselling author, has made major strides for his community at such a young age. When he was 21, Juan drafted a historic LGBTQ+ proclamation for his hometown of Woodland that declares June LGBTQ+ Pride Month. This work all began when he was dealing with mental health struggles that started at a young age due to being othered by students assuming his sexuality and mocking his accent.

“I struggled with my mental health because I did not tell anybody that I was gay, and the culture that I grew up in Mexico, and anywhere in Spanish media, mental health was not something that people talked about,” Juan admits in's Love, Me series.

A lot of the work that Juan works towards is focused on improving advocacy for others going through issues with their mental health, especially those from underserved communities, like the LGBTQ+, Immigrant, and Latinx communities.

“In the long run I hope to accomplish a shift in the mental health field where there’s more room for lived experience to inform legislation and resources, and where we’re more intentional in outreach into communities, especially giving young people the tools, definitions, and descriptions they may need to be able to find that support,” Juan shares.

Juan’s continued advocacy work, and speaking out for and connecting with his community proves that things do get better, and people are finally talking.

Discover more stories on Out, The Advocate, HIVPlusMag, and PRIDE about how queer people are navigating their mental health journeys and overcoming their experiences in the Love, Me series.

If you have or are contemplating suicide, please know there is a well of support out there to help. Call, text, or chat 988 for The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (can be reached 24 hours a day by people of all backgrounds). The previous Lifeline phone number (1-800-273-8255) will always remain available to people in emotional distress or suicidal crisis. If you are a trans or gender-nonconforming person considering suicide, the Trans Lifeline can be reached at (877) 565-8860. The Trevor Project is the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ+ youth (ages 24 and younger). Trained counselors at the Trevor Project Lifeline can be reached 24/7 at (866) 488-7386, by texting START to 678678, or via the TrevorChat instant messaging service at

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