Born into a large Hispanic, Catholic family, Dan struggled from a young age with accepting her identity. She initially came out to her family as a lesbian. After this, her mom did not speak to her for several years. But as time went on, Dan realized that “lesbian” did not truly reflect how she felt. Hopelessness and depression became constant companions for her, until she sought help and companionship from the team at the Long Beach LGBTQ Center. She now identifies as queer, which refers to an identity other than straight and cisgender (or non-transgender). She has found her identity as something unique to herself, and has found the confidence to live openly as herself.
“I want to tell other LGBTQ people that it DOES get better – to seek the support of their local LGBTQ center because they are so necessary for those who are struggling with thoughts of suicide, isolation, anxiety, and depression,” Dan said. “There is a place for you here.”