LGBTQ SUICIDE (AND PREVENTION)

Three in ten LGBTQ teens (40% of transgender teens) will contemplate or attempt suicide. That’s four times more than their heterosexual counterparts. Of course, researchers and advocates agree that it’s not their sexuality that leads them down a suicidal path; it’s the stigma and discrimination they face in a largely heterosexual world. More than half of LGBTQ youth have been verbally assaulted, almost a quarter threatened with physical violence, one in ten actually beaten – and all because they were gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered. As wonderful as it is to be LGBTQ – the road to happiness for a gay teen can be a long and strenuous one.

LGBTQ youth experience far greater social discrimination and isolation, depression, low self-esteem, negative family interactions and violence than many of their heterosexual peers. Young queers have to face many challenges; the lack of support from families that are not always prepared to understand, the lack of understanding from friends, the growing amount of bullying in school and other social situations, the guilt, self-loathing and isolation that they experience, lack of control over their lives if they live at home or are not fully independent, as well as religious persecution they may feel from our families and peers. All of these factors contribute to a greater risk of depression and suicidal feelings.

That said, LGBTQ people are not doomed to live a life of victimization, self-deprecation and loneliness. There are better ways to cope with discrimination and social isolation: Realizing that you are not alone; being part of the community and embracing it proudly; getting in touch with fellow LGBTQ peers and allies; realizing that there are millions of happy, healthy and proud LGBTQ people in the world, sharing doubts and hopes with friends, and remembering, as Dan Savage has so simply put – that it gets better.

If you are feeling depressed or if you are considering suicide, please call The Trevor Hotline, which is a 24-hour toll-free suicide prevention line aimed at gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and questioning youths: 1-866-4-U-TREVOR or check out their website, the trevor project

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some other resources:

GLBT NATIONAL YOUTH TALKLINE: 1-800-246-7743, glnh.org
(The GLBT National Youth Talkline provides telephone and email peer-counseling, as well as factual information and local resources for cities and towns across the United States.)

GLBT NATIONAL HOTLINE: 1-888-THE-GLNH, glnh.org hotline
(The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender National Hotline provides telephone and email peer-counseling, as well as factual information and local resources for cities and towns across the United States.)

GAY, LESBIAN, BISEXUAL, TRANSGENDER HELPLINE: 617-267-9001 or Toll-free: 888-340-4528, GLBT helpline
(anonymous and confidential phone lines that offer gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender adults and youths a “safe place” to call for information, referrals, and support. In addition to issues like coming out, HIV/AIDS, safer sex and relationships, our trained volunteers also address topics such as locating GLBT groups and services in their local area.)

SUICIDE.ORG
(Non LGBT-specific worldwide listing of suicide prevention hotlines)

BEFRIENDERS
(International coalition of suicide prevention associations and talklines (NON LGBT specific)

I’M FROM DRIFTWOOD
(True stories by gay people from all over the US)

IT GETS BETTER
(Dan Savage’s You Tube Channel of LGBTQ testimony and encouragement!)