FERNDALE, Mich. - Fox 2s Deena Centofanti discusses the importance of pride month, discrimination in the LGTBQ community, and how it can lead to higher mental health risks.
Jeff Synder says that being on the Michigan State University cheer team is challenging physically, but it is where he has found acceptance and comfort.
"Growing up different, you just want to fit in; everyone wants a connection to fit in," Synder said.
Synder says he came out at the age of 17 after a struggle to be accepted, depression, and bullying.
"For me personally, it kinda got to a point where this is my everyday. This is how people treat me; this is how people talk to me. This is not how I feel inside...at that point, I thought it would be better off if I wasn't here," Synder said.
Experts say that suicide and mental health risk are greater among the LGBTQ community, which is why Carl Nassibs' coming out is so monumental.
Carl Nassib is a professional football player for the Las Vegas Raiders and is the first openly gay active NFL player in history.
Synder says that representation is so important for people to see themselves and others as well.
If you know anyone in the LGBTQ community who may need help, they can contact The Trevor project on their website thetrevorproject.org or lifeline at 866-488-7386.