Suicide in Gay/Bisexual Youth

The suicide rate among the gay and bisexual youth community has long been a controversial topic. Many argue against claims that homosexual youths are at a higher risk of suicidal ideations and attempts that the average straight youth, maintaining that the statistics are misinterpreted and inflated. However, indicate otherwise.

In addition to the emotional struggles that come along with adolescence, gay youths bear the additional burden of the social stigma associated with homosexuality. Confusion, shame, and conflict with religious and moral values can become too much for a young person to bear. Often, young people will internalize their struggle with their gender identity to avoid the risk of humiliation and disappointing their loved ones.

Openly gay young people are often subjected to verbal, physical, and emotional abuse by their peers, schoolmates, and even their families. Struggles with relationships, dating, and trying to be accepted can lead to depression. Violence and hateful behavior towards homosexual youths, along with heavy emotional burdens can lead to suicidal thoughts and attempts.

Studies suggest that gay and bisexual teens may be at 2 to 4 times the risk of committing suicide, based on the state of their mental health. The following sources provide a variety of information on suicide among gay youths:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: extensive information on suicide, including understanding dynamics, data and facts, risks, and prevention strategies
  • Suicide Prevention Resource Center: news, events, resources, including suicide risk and prevention information for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth
  • Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) : detailed research on issues related to homosexuals, including a 2007 School Climate Survey which provides data on the struggles, adversity, and social issues gay youths face among their peers
  • Safe Schools Coalition: outlines studies conducted on suicidal risks and behaviors among gay, lesbian, and bisexual youths
  • Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS): information about youth sexual orientation and gender identity, including studies which identified possible elevated risks of drug abuse, suicide, and mental health issues in lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth
  • Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA): data and conclusions drawn from research conducted on sexual orientation and youth suicide
  • Queer Resource Directory: discussion of the suicide problem among homosexual youths, history and collected data on this controversial topic
  • The Trevor Project: operates a nationwide crisis and suicide prevention program, offering information and education on the suicidal risks of gay youths
  • National Youth Advocacy Coalition (NYAC): offers a resource manual about sexual minority youths, outlining the adversities they face, their risks for destructive behaviors including suicide, and a guide dealing with intolerance
  • Suicide.org: provides United States and international statistics, broken down by method, ethnicity, gender, and age
  • Georgetown University: explores the reasons that gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered youths may be at higher risk for suicidal ideation and attempts
  • Youth Pride Inc.: offers data and statistics on suicide, health, and social factors as they affect gay. Lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered youth
  • American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: presents suicide statistics and figures, outlined by age, gender, and special circumstance populations
  • Jeramy T: health and emotional issues, including victimization and oppression, faced by gay teens
  • Teen Drug Abuse: why gay teens often turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with discrimination and discrimination
  • Color Q World: brief historical look at racism among gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people
  • Counseling Outfitters: a view of violence and emotional abused against gay. Lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered youth, both at school and at home

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