COLORADO SPRINGS — In a recent Instagram video post, David Archuleta, recording artist and American Idol Season Seven runner-up, admitted that he “couldn’t pretend that everything was fine”.
Archuleta publicly came out as gay in 2021 after serving for two years as a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints in Chile as a missionary.
He isn’t the only one struggling to reconcile their mental health with their sexual orientation and religion.
According to a report by the Family Equality Center in partnership with the U.S. Census, approximately 4.3% of adults identify within the LGBTQ+ community. While same-sex marriage has been legalized since 2015 in the United States, many individuals within the community still face discrimination in the workplace, job market, religious circles and in other impactful areas of life.
Additionally, those who identify as LGBTQ+ are statistically more likely to suffer from mental illnesses like depression and suicidal thoughts, substance abuse and more, particularly if they are between the ages of 18 to 25. These percentages increase if a person identifies as non-binary, transgender, genderqueer, etc.
The following organizations in the Colorado Springs area are working to stand in the gap for LGBTQ+ adults and youth by offering them support, resources and mentorship as they navigate their lives:
Inside Out Youth Services — Located in Colorado Springs, this organization offers daily programming to those looking to connect within the LGBTQ+ community.
PFLAG Colorado Springs — During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this organization is offering support meetings virtually over Zoom. There are a variety of upcoming events coming up for the group in 2022, if you are looking for a way to participate and support the organization.
Pride Guide Colorado — This online publication offers listings for welcoming businesses, religious organizations, health care providers and more for those seeking resources and connections.
Southern Colorado Equality Alliance— This group of dedicated individuals host events throughout Southern Colorado to bring the LGBTQ+ community together through Pride events, Drag Queen Bingo nights, community art shows and more.
If you’re seeking more of a digital resources route due to privacy or safety reasons, check out the following online LGBTQ+ organizations.