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Juan Acosta

LGBTQ+ mental health advocate

Acosta’s rise into the public spotlight began in 2018, when his California Central Valley home town of Woodland adopted a LGBTQ+ Pride Month proclamation he co-authored at age 21. By 2022, his advocacy work had him mixing with the likes of first lady Jill Biden and pop singer Selena Gomez as a speaker at a White House forum on youth mental health. The first-generation immigrant from Mexico, who now serves as head of community engagement for the peer-counseling mental health resource CalHOPE Warm Line, pushes for greater understanding of depression and suicidality among gay and Latinx youth. “People shouldn’t feel broken for being who they are,” Acosta said at the White House event.



  • San Francisco, CA


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