“Everyone has a sexual orientation and gender identity. Sexual orientation is who you are romantically or physically attracted to. Gender identity is the internal sense of being male, female, both or neither, which is separate from your biological sex. People who have a different sexual orientation or gender identity from most people fall under the umbrella term LGBTQ+. It is really important to know that identifying as LGBTQ+ is NOT a mental illness or disorder.
Although being LGBTQ+ is absolutely not a mental illness, many LGBTQ+ people experience mental health struggles. The bisexual and transgender communities have the highest rates of mental health concerns within the LGBTQ+ population. Younger members of the LGBTQ+ community struggle the most with mental health concerns of all the age groups.
Most LGBTQ+ individuals are incredibly resilient and will thrive in the face of adversity, with the help of supportive families, communities, and peers. One study even found that LGBTQ+ people used mental health services at 2.5 times higher rates than their heterosexual counterparts.  However, they are also at particular risk for experiencing shame, fear, discrimination, and adverse and traumatic events.
Also, many people who identify as LGBTQ+ are part of second (and sometimes third or more) community that is marginalized. Examples of these groups are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, or People of Color), people with a physical disability, people practicing a religion different than their neighbors, and people with low socioeconomic status. These people have complex experiences that cannot be easily addressed in one area of their life.
There are many negative stereotypes about being LGBTQ+ which makes many uncomfortable letting people know this important part of their identity. When people do openly express this part of themselves, they face the potential of rejection from peers, colleagues, and friends can exacerbate feelings of loneliness.”