More than a third of LGBTQ youth in America have “seriously considered” suicide in the past year, according to a new report from The Trevor Project.
The report in question, the group’s inaugural National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, polled nearly 35,000 queer young people ages 13–24 from every state in the United States. The findings were staggering: Among respondents, more than one-third (39%) reported having seriously considered suicide in the past 12 months. That figure skyrocketed for trans and gender nonbinary youth, too, more than half of whom also seriously considered suicide.
Researchers also established a clear link between gay conversion therapy and mental health struggles among LGBTQ young people. According to the report, 42% of queer youth who were subjected to conversion therapy reported a suicide attempt in the last year. Sadly, those numbers aren’t particularly shocking to those familiar with conversion therapy. Survivors, LGBTQ activists, and medical professionals alike have cited the practice’s devastating psychological effects for years, and it’s actually illegal to carry out on minors in 18 states in the U.S.
Researchers also found that anti-LGBTQ discrimination could have devastating effects on queer young people: Respondents who experienced gender- or sexuality-based discrimination were twice as likely to attempt suicide than fellow young people who didn’t experience discrimination.
In a statement provided to NewNowNext, Amit Paley, CEO and executive director of The Trevor Project, explained how death by suicide is “an ongoing public health crisis” in the U.S., “especially among LGBTQ youth.”
“The Trevor Project’s new data underscores the need for LGBTQ inclusive and life affirming policies, environments, families, and communities—especially in support of transgender and nonbinary youth,” Paley added. “Together, we can ensure that LGBTQ young people know their lives have value, and that they are heard, loved, and never alone.”
— The Trevor Project (@TrevorProject) May 17, 2019
Dr. Amy Green, the advocacy group’s director of research, echoed Paley’s sentiment and noted that this data could very well “save lives.” “We plan to leverage these findings to help advocate for LGBTQ youth for years to come,” she added in a statement.
The findings also mirror similar efforts to study LGBTQ youth mental health internationally. A February 2019 study from the United Kingdom reported that one-fifth of young LGBTQ Brits who underwent conversion therapy later attempted suicide.
To read the survey in its entirety, visit The Trevor Project’s website.