The Reasons Behind Higher Suicide Rate of LGBTQ+ Youth

The Trevor Project Survey, 2023 Reveals the Reasons

Imagine you’re at a middle or high school where you are harassed for being non-binary, then you go home, which may not be “affirming” and where you continue to be cyberbullied.  Every day is traumatic!  You hear on the news about anti-LGBT policies and legislation, and if you are transgender, you can’t choose the bathroom you want to use and if you receive puberty blockers, your state may rescind that offer.  Back you go to school where you feel “erased” because the state dictates that your sexual orientation/sexual identity may not be mentioned in class nor can you play a sport that reflects your identity.

These are the prolonged stress factors: the worries and anxieties that The Trevor Project Survey of 2023  in the U.S.revealed. This survey reflects the mental health of LGBTQ young people and takes into account the experiences of more than 28,000 LGBTQ 13 to 24 year-olds.  The sexual orientation or gender identity are not responsible for the inherently prone greater suicide risk as the survey reveals, but is the stigmatization and mistreatment of LGBTQ+ population that are to blame.

Here Are Some Findings:

  • 14% of LGBTQ young people reported anxiety symptoms
  • 54% had symptoms of depressions
  • 14% of the 13 to 24 year-olds attempted suicide in the past year; among transgenders and people of color, the number was higher.

What Can A Parent Do To Reduce The Likelihood of Suicide?

Parents who provided affirming homes reported lower rates of suicide.  Young people whose parents honored their pronouns reported their lower rates of attempted suicide.  Other protective factors include access to mental health care (81% wanted mental health care, but were too frightened to seek services). A member of  The Association of  LGBTQ+ Psychiatrists should be a good fit for your child and provide problem-solving and coping skills.

Child proof your house from lethal means used for suicide.  Above all. be on the lookout for remarks your child may be making that smack of killing themselves, feeling hopeless, having no reason to live, being a burden to others, feeling trapped, and being in unbearable pain.

Show you care by becoming an ally with community support, online organizations, and meetings such as PFLAG with experienced parents of LGBTQ+ kids.  Find out how you can get the police involved in cyberbullying and how you, urging equal treatment for your child,  can obtain cooperation (within your state law) of the school personnel.

While you can’t control everything in the world, you can make your home a safe haven.  Create a strong sense of purpose, highlight the strong qualities of your child to boost his self-esteem.

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.  Offer help in your home and have these lifelines handy:

  •  National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:  1-800-273-8255
  •  The Trevor Project (for LGBT Youth, friends, and family members): 1-866-488-7386
  • Crisis Text Line:  Text “HERE” to 741741
When Your Child is Gay

When Your Child Is Gay: What You Need To Know

For more detailed advice, see book, co-authored with a mother of a gay son and a psychiatrist, Jonathan L. Tobkes, M.D.

Wesley Cullen Davidson

Wesley Cullen Davidson is an award-winning freelance writer and journalist specializing in parenting as well as gay and lesbian content. For the past two years, Wesley has concentrated almost exclusively on the lesbian and gay community, specifically on advising straight parents of gay children on how to be better parents and raise happy, well-adjusted adults

Leave a Comment