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Let’s Talk About It: Depression in the LGBTQ+ Community

Directed by Kelly Teacher for Plus.

Like many other LGBTQ+ people, musician Dizz felt the first pangs of depression after coming out and experiencing rejection from his family. It’s taken decades for the singer and dancer — who’s part of the Toronto pop quartet rIVerse — to find methods to combat the clouds that can gather over his head. Bike-riding, creating music, and connecting with friends and family usually does the trick, Dizz says.

“The simple act of opening up puts you on a path to something positive,” Dizz says.

The multi-talented performer recently shared his experiences with depression in the new Pride Media video series, “Love, Me.” Featuring frank talk from other LGBTQ+ notables like musician Mary Lambert, former athlete DeMarco Majors, and designer Daniel Henson, “Love, Me” focuses on depression within the queer community. Dizz, Lambert, Majors, and Henson share their own stories in hope of helping others struggling as they did (and still sometimes do), offering resources for support, treatment options, and advice and encouragement for those still battling treatment-resistant depression.

LGBTQ+ individuals report much higher rates of depression than their straight and cisgender peers. A survey from the Human Rights Campaign found that 28 percent of LGBTQ+ youth experienced depression most of the time — almost double of those who don’t identify as LGBTQ+. Meanwhile, one in three LGBQ adults experienced mental illness, compared to one in five non-LGBQ people. Transgender adults reported even higher rates of depression than LGBQ individuals, with 40 percent of trans adults experiencing extreme psychological distress.  

“I definitely think there is a stigma around seeking any kind of help,” Dizz says. “There’s an idea you’re dealing with broken people. If you need [help], you’re broken, you’re flawed. That goes hand in hand with an HIV-positive status.”

The first part in pushing through depression, according to Dizz, is realizing, “the idea of perfection and flawlessness is not real.”

Don’t miss episodes of “Love, Ne” now airing on Out.com and Advocate.com. Dizz’s episode premieres on HIVPlusMag.com on Thursday, May 27.

If you have or are contemplating suicide, please know there is a well of support out there to help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255 can be reached 24 hours a day by people of all ages and identities. If you are a trans or gender-nonconforming person considering suicide, the Trans Lifeline can be reached at (877) 565-8860The 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 TheTrevorProject.org/Help.

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