One Colorado, the state’s leading advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Coloradans and their families, is celebrating the 20th National LGBTQ Health Awareness Week from March 21-25, 2022 in partnership with the National Coalition of LGBTQ Health and over 500 advocacy organizations from across the country! This year’s theme, LIVE OUT LOUD, “encourages everyone to speak openly about LGBTQ health, providing an umbrella under which to discuss and raise awareness of mental health, trans health, and ending stigma through accessible, affirming, and inclusive healthcare services so that everyone can fully live their truth and a healthy life.” The theme is also a timely call to action for all of us in the LGBTQ community as well as allies to continue raising our collective voices for the things that are meaningful, and most impactful to our individual and communal wellbeing.

Throughout this week, One Colorado will be sharing LGBTQ Health information, resources, and inspiration on social media. Follow along on our Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or come back to check out this page for more!

Click on a topic to jump to the section below.

Donate to support One Colorado’s LGBTQ Health Equity Program!

“Re-entering social situations after two years of off-and-on isolating has been intimidating. This spring, I’m joining some of the sports leagues that I stopped when the pandemic hit in an effort to ease back into social life in an environment where I feel comfortable. Getting outside, being active, and sharing my love for sports with other people is my form of self-care.” –Mikayla


“To help feel refreshed and centered I like to be outside and around animals, specifically goats and sheep are some of my favorite four-legged friends!” –Tori


“A big part of my self-care is returning to a favorite childhood hobby of mine, baking. I picked it up again during the pandemic, recently took a baking class, and truly enjoy making tasty treats for my family and friends!” –Nadine


Check out what the rest of the OneCO team shared on Instagram!

Gender-affirming care is medically-necessary, life-saving care. We know that LGBTQ Coloradans often face a myriad of challenges and barriers to achieve a healthy life. While LGBTQ individuals have many of the same concerns as the general population–like affordability, access, and quality of care–they also encounter unique challenges that affect their ability to live healthy, affirmed lives. Lack of understanding, discrimination, stigma, violence, higher rates of health problems, as well as other barriers compound to produce worse health outcomes.

“Based in our own research, we know that gender-affirming care is vital to the mental health of transgender and nonbinary Coloradans,” says Marvyn Allen, One Colorado’s Health Equity and Training Director. “For too many, gender-affirming care is unaffordable and unattainable. Transgender Coloradans, especially trans women in our community, have an even more difficult time affording the high out-of-pocket costs due to systemic and individual discrimination that means they make less money than the general public, experience discrimination in employment and housing, and lack safety in public.”

Over the past decade, One Colorado has worked to address these issues through policy and advocacy, community engagement and improving data collection and research on the experiences of LGBTQ Coloradans accessing health care. In doing so, we have supported Colorado to become the national standard for gender-affirming care.

Gender-affirming care Resources:

LGBTQ+ and gender-affirming care Health Navigators:

Gender-affirming Mental Health & Community Health:

How to find a gender-affirming care provider + tips: 

  • Word of mouth (friends, social media, support groups)
  • Call your health insurance plan
  • LGBTQ community centers and databases
  • Search provider profiles
  • Ask about the provider’s experience

Note: It is your right to change providers without need to explain yourself.

2023 Colorado Essential Health Benefits Benchmark Plan

Colorado is the first state to include gender-affirming care in their state’s benchmark plan.

Taking effect in 2023, Colorado’s new EHB-benchmark plan that will be “used to set minimum standards for essential health benefits (EHBs) within Colorado for individual and small group plans.” By including gender-affirming care, this plan advances and expands access for transgender and nonbinary Coloradans, will help save lives, and alleviate disparities and inequities in society, employment and healthcare.

Learn more about the forthcoming Colorado Essential Health Benefits Benchmark Plan:

Mental health resources for LGBTQ+ Youth:

  • I Matter.I Matter is a public behavioral health program funded by the Colorado Department of Human Services Office of Behavioral Health. I Matter provides at least 3 free counseling sessions for every youth in Colorado.
  • Queer AsteriskQueer Asterisk Therapeutic Services provides queer-informed counseling services “with an emphasis on queer resilience and vitality.” They accept Medicaid, most private insurance providers, and offer sliding scale and full/partial scholarships. (Telehealth appointments available.)
  • YouthSeenYouth Seen offers mental health services, youth support groups, training & education, and short term case-management for youth. Youth Seen specifically works toward supporting QTBIPOC folks in Colorado.
  • Joy As ResistanceJoy as Resistance provides one-on-one therapy, group sessions, and family consultation for folks ages 10-24. They also have a “Big Queer, Little Queer” mentorship program to connect youth with queer adult mentors. (Telehealth appointments available.)
  • i Am Clinici Am Clinic serves the LGBTQ+ community and their family members, and offers individual, couples, and family counseling. They specialize in sexuality, trans identity, parents of LGBTQ+ children, anger management, anxiety/depression, and trauma therapy. (Telehealth appointments available.)
  • The True Center by Children’s Hospital ColoradoIn addition to gender-affirming medical care, the TRUE Center for Gender Diversity provides counseling services for gender-expansive youth in Colorado. They have a pediatric clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, art therapist, and multiple social workers on staff. (Telehealth appointments available.)

Community Building Resources for LGBTQ+ Youth:

  • Out Boulder County – Boulder, CO (in-person + virtual options!)
    • LGBTQ+ Middle School Youth Group
    • LGBTQ+ High School Youth Group
    • Longmont Queer and Trans Youth Group 
  • Out Front Youth Group by the Southern Colorado Equality Alliance – Pueblo, CO
    • LGBTQ+ youth group (ages 13-20)
    • Open to allies
  • Denver Element NXT Drop-in – Denver, CO (in-person only, mask required)
    • Peer Support Drop-in at 3460 S Federal Blvd
    • Mondays 4-6pm (ages 12-15)
    • Thursdays 4-6pm (ages 15-17)
    • Wednesdays 5-7pm (ages 18-22)
  • Inside Out Youth Services – Denver, CO (in-person only, mask required)
    • Drop in hours daily (except Wed) 3-5:30pm
    • Youth Programs from 5:30-7pm (each day a different focus area)
      • Wed: group for trans/GNC/enby youth
      • Thur: sex-ed & healthy relationships
  • Rainbow Alley at the Center on Colfax – Denver, CO
    • Hosts a monthly calendar with youth peer group opportunities such as Queer Woke Speaker Series & Projecto Latino.
  • Four Corners Rainbow Youth Center –  Durango, CO
    • Four Corners RYC hosts several youth groups and after-school programs for LGBTQ+ youth
      • Empower Pride (mental health support group for LGBTQ+ youth)
      • Youth of Culture Support Group (school-based support group for BIPOC youth, LGBTQ+ BIPOC youth, and BIPOC youth with disabilities)
      • Tea Time (support group for trans and gender expansive youth)
      • Rainbow Youth Rising (after-school program for LGBTQ+ youth and allies)
  • Fortaleza Familiar – Commerce City, CO
    • Fortaleza Familiar was established to foster the health and safety of Indigenous/Chicano/Latine LGBTQ+ youth
    • Host a Youth Leadership program designed for youth who want to engage in community care

Legal Resources for LGBTQ+ Youth:

  • Monthly Name Change Workshop – The Colorado Name Change Project hosts a monthly online workshop to assist trans and gender-expansive folks in the legal name change process.
  • The Center on Colfax’s Legal Program –The Center on Colfax‘s Legal Program assists LGBTQ+ folks with connecting to legal resources in Colorado. Request a personal referral for legal assistance through their website.

Artistic Resources for LGBTQ+ Youth:

  • The Queer Dance Project – Lakewood, CO
    • QDP is stepping up to provide classical ballet and dance training for the LGBTQ+ community. QDP recognizes the reality the trans and queer community faces in dance studios. QDP provides a compassionate, gender affirming environment to learn dance.
  • Courageous Yoga – Denver, CO
    • Courageous Yoga is a yoga studio designed to be a “safe(r)” yoga studio than traditional yoga studios. The studio is led by queer and Indigenous folks and Courageous Yoga is committed to embodying the teachings of yoga and learning from Indigenous healing practices as a core of their work.

Gender Affirming Closet Resource in Colorado:

  • Marsha’s Closet – Denver, CO
    • Located at the Transgender Center of the Rockies in Denver, Marsha’s closet offers gender-affirming clothes and products to gender-expansive and trans folks at no cost. Some products offered include: clothing, shoes, binders, breast forms, beauty products, and menstrual products. Visit Marsha’s Closet:
      • Mon, 11am-3pm
      • Tue, 1-4pm
      • Wed, 11am-6pm
      • Thur, 10am-2pm
      • Fri, 9am-2pm

What is a gender support plan?

Gender Spectrum created a document called a “Gender Support Plan” for gender expansive youth to communicate with school staff, other students, and parents on how to best support and affirm them. Sections of a Gender Support Plan include:

  • Parent/guardian involvement
  • Confidentiality and disclosure
  • Student safety
  • Names, pronouns, and student records
  • Use of facilities
  • Extra curricular activities
  • Next steps: a plan for review and revision

Learn more and create a Gender Support Plan.


Passed in 2020, HB20-1061 enables Coloradans to go directly to a pharmacy to receive either an initial treatment regimen of PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) or a full treatment regimen of PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) after a brief consultation with a pharmacist. The legislation expands the scope of practice for pharmacists to allow them to dispense both PrEP and PEP without a prescription from a physician. The legislation also prohibits insurance companies from requiring patients to obtain authorization prior to using their benefits to obtain the medications and also prohibits insurers from requiring that a patient undergo step therapy.

  • Bill Sponsors: Reps. Alex Valdez and Leslie Herod, Sens. Dominick Moreno and Kevin Priola
  • House Committee Vote: Passed 12-1 | House Vote: Passed 42-19-4
  • Senate Committee Vote: Passed 3-2 | Senate Vote: Passed 30-3
  • Signed by Governor: July 13, 2020

PEP & PrEP Resources:


HB22-1153, Family Affirmation Act: Current One Colorado bill

As a growing number of parents are building families through the help of assisted reproductive technology (ART), Colorado laws need to be updated to reflect and legitimize our modern families. HB22-1153, the “Family Affirmation Act”, removes barriers from the adoption process for families who conceive through assisted reproductive technology (ART), ensuring that all parents have an equal opportunity to build a family and all children benefit from the security of legal parentage that is recognized nationwide. For many families who use ART, parents have to adopt their own child, undergoing home visits, court appearances, and criminal record checks, to confirm their parent-child relationship. This is not equality. Parenting should not be exponentially more expensive and time-consuming for LGBTQ and other non-traditional families.

  • Bill Sponsors: House Majority Leader Daneya Esgar and Rep. Kerry Tipper, Senate Majority Leader Dominick Moreno and Sen. Jeff Bridges
  • House Committee Vote: Passed 10-2 | House Vote: Passed 53-11-1
  • Senate Committee Vote: Passed 7-0 

“The laws are currently insufficient for LGBTQ families. I am currently unable to gain the indisputable status as legal parent to my 5 year old. My petition for stepparent adoption was denied by the court in Boulder County last year. The court found that because I already have some minimal protections as my child’s presumptive parent, for example being listed on their birth certificate, I am not eligible to go through the stepparent adoption process to receive full recognition and protection as my child’s legal parent. Being the presumptive parent and the legal parent are not the same, and there’s no guarantee that my rights as a parent will be recognized in other states or countries. Parents like me need an adoption process that is specific to families like ours, rather than being shoehorned into a “stepparent” adoption process that doesn’t reflect how we view our families and in my case, even resulted in a denial of my rights.” – Liz Antognoli, Aerospace engineer and Colorado parent who testified in favor of HB22-1153

Show your support for HB22-1153:



HB22-1267, Culturally Relevant Healthcare Training Act: Current One Colorado bill, in partnership with Envision:You

All Coloradans deserve safe, affirming, quality healthcare, and healthcare providers deserve support and resources to provide this care for their patients. To increase access to quality care and improve health outcomes for all Coloradans, we need to invest in healthcare professionals and equip them with the tools and training they need to support and care for all of their patients. Increasing availability of and access to culturally relevant and affirming training opportunities for providers ensures that they have the resources they need to give patients the care they deserve.

HB22-1267 creates a grant program to fund the development of culturally relevant and affirming healthcare training programs for healthcare providers. Training programs will be developed by approved nonprofits and will focus on providing care to priority populations identified in the bill, including but not limited to LGBTQ individuals, racial and ethnic minorities, veterans, individuals experiencing homelessness or insecure housing, and those with complex behavioral health needs.

  • Bill Sponsors: Reps. Alex Valdez and Andrew Boesenecker, Sens. Joann Ginal and Rhonda Fields
  • House Committee Vote: Passed 9-4 

“I sincerely support HB22-1267. This legislation is a necessary investment in the physical and mental health of all Coloradans, especially those marginalized by systems of power, privilege, and oppression such as members of the LGBTQ+ community. Colorado’s LGBTQ+ community experiences a variety of challenges regarding access to quality care. Even more, Transgender and gender-nonconforming folks face a significantly harder time finding culturally-relevant care than the general population. This is also true for LGTBQ+ folks that are intersectionally marginalized due to racism, ableism, classism, and others. As part of the LGBTQ+ community, as a trans person, as a Hispanic person, I experienced these challenges first-hand.”– Zamora Evans, (they/them) Envision:You Program Coordinator, Queer, Hispanic educator and advocate, who testified in favor of HB22-1267

Show your support for HB22-1267:


HB22-1064, Flavored Tobacco Ban:

One Colorado and 100+ statewide health advocacy organizations are working to protect all Colorado’s kids from Big Tobacco and nicotine addiction by banning the sale of flavored tobacco products. Youth e-cigarette use remains at epidemic levels. An overwhelming majority of kids who vape say flavors are why they do it. Meanwhile, Big Tobacco continues to use both minty menthol cigarettes and small dessert-flavored cigars to target and addict youth as they’ve done for decades. Which communities have borne the consequences of Big Tobacco? Both the LGBTQ community, and communities of color.

  • Bill Sponsors: Reps. Kyle Mullica and Jennifer Bacon and Sens. Kevin Priola and Rhonda Fields
  • House Committee Vote: Passed 7-4 

Show your support for HB22-1064:

Content Warning: This section discusses suicide and eating disorders.

Colorado’s LGBTQ+ community continues to face widespread discrimination, stigma, rejection, and lack of access to affirming care that contributes to increased rates of mental health challenges. In 2021, Envision:You surveyed nearly 600 LGBTQ+ Coloradans regarding their behavioral health needs and experiences, with particular attention paid to intersectionality of sexual orientation, gender identity, race/ethnicity, and geography.

What Envision:You found:

  • 43% of LGBTQ+ Coloradans state they have an unmet need when it comes to their mental and emotional health.
  • 23% of Individuals that identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual (LGB) report experiencing four or more adverse childhood experiences (ACES) while 42% of gender nonconforming and trans individuals report the same. Experiencing 4 or more ACEs is associated with significantly increased risk for seven out of ten leading adult causes of death, including heart disease, stroke, cancer, COPD, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and suicide.
  • 1 out of 2 survey respondents stated they have seriously considered suicide in their life. Of those who considered suicide, 1 out of 2 had attempted suicide.
  • More than a third of respondents’ report experiencing disordered eating, one of the leading causes of premature death in the LGBTQ+ community. 41% of trans and non-binary respondents experienced symptoms of an eating disorder.
  • 20% of Colorado’s LGBTQ+ community reported that a behavioral health provider has invalidated their identity. More than 10% said a provider tried to change their identity. This number was even higher, with 1 in 5, of BIPOC folks.

What we can do to support LGBTQ+ mental health:

  1. Check-in with your loved ones about their mental health: Talking about mental health can be difficult and unsettling, but the more we share our experiences and check in with one another, the more we break down the stigma that prevents so many of us from addressing mental health concerns. Tips to support conversations about mental health can be found at
  2. Support LGBTQ+ Youth: LGBTQ+ youth are at a higher risk for mental health disparities than their non-LGBTQ+ peers. Family acceptance and support, and/or an affirming relationship with another trusted adult, is the first step in helping queer youth safely explore and accept who they are as they work to discover what authenticity means to them. Envision:You is launching a program to support caregivers of LGBTQ+ youth later this year, learn more at
  3. Advocate for LGBTQ+ Training for Mental Health Providers: There is a severe lack of providers with the training to provide culturally-relevant and identity-affirming care to members of the LGBTQ+ community. Trainings such as the Envision:You Behavioral Health Provider Training Program provide a comprehensive overview of the clinical considerations essential to delivering effective care to the community. Additionally, you can urge your representative to support the One Colorado and Envision:You’s “Culturally Relevant Healthcare Training Act” introduced to the Colorado State Legislature just last week to increase the availability of provider training.

Additional Mental Health Resources:

You are never alone and help is always available.

Follow Envision:You on Facebook and Instagram at @envisionyouco to stay updated on our work!