A report released by the Trevor Project reveals that LGB young adults are four times more likely to plan and attempt suicide than straight peers.
The report analyzes both the Trevor Project’s own research and the latest data from the CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBS).
10.4 percent of LGB youth ages 18-25 reported making a suicide plan in the last year, compared to 2.6 of straight youth. 5.7 percent of the same group reported attempting suicide, compared to 1.3 percent of straight young people.
These LGB young adults were also three times more likely to both seriously think about attempting suicide and report experiencing a major depressive episode in the past year than their straight peers—a staggering 27.3 percent of LGB youth versus 8.9 percent of straight youth seriously thought about killing themselves, and 30.9 percent of LGB youth versus 11.1 percent of straight youth reported a major depressive episode.
More bisexual young adults met the criteria for a major depressive episode than gay/lesbian young adults (32.7 percent versus 26.8 percent).
According to experts, these disparities are not a result of simply being LGB—it’s because of the wealth of anti-LGBTQ legislation and policies being introduced by the Trump administration and the like.
“Here’s what we know: young LGBTQ people are not prone to suicide because of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” Dr. Amy Green, the Trevor Project’s director of research, tells Out. “They are at a higher risk of suicidality because of increased experiences of internalized stigma, discrimination, and rejection from others. No one factor causes an individual to attempt suicide, but the cumulative effect of these stressors can be detrimental to one’s mental wellness and increase the risk for suicidal ideation.”
If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or behaviors, you can reach out to a representative of the Trevor Project through TrevorLifeline at 866-488-7386, TrevorText by texting START to 67878, or TrevorChat.