Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth who come from a rejecting family are up to nine times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers.
HELP, IDENTITY-AFFIRMING ORGANIZATIONS & DISCUSSION TOPICS
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If you are in trouble, or a concerned sister, brother, parent, teacher or relative, please use these resources to answer questions or help out in a crisis.
THE TREVOR PROJECT
The nation’s only 24-hour suicide prevention line for LGBTQ youth.
866-488-7386, or 866-4-Trevor
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization focused on crisis and suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth. Every day, The Trevor Project saves young lives through its free and confidential lifeline, in-school workshops, educational materials, online resources and advocacy.
NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE
We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.
EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT AND SCHOLARSHIP
The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students.
THE POINT FOUNDATION
The Point Foundation provides financial support, mentoring, leadership training and hope to meritorious students who are marginalized due to sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
LA Office: 323-933-1234
Phone 866-33-POINT (866-337-6468)
Fax 866-39-POINT (866-397-6468)
IMPORTANT THINGS TO CONSIDER
Exhaustion and oversleep (12 or more hours a day) can be warning signs of depression. If you’re struggling with your identity, it can drain you of your normal energy levels. Depression can become exhaustion, or exhaustion can become depression. Despite what you might have heard, depression can be very serious, leading to health problems and even suicide. Loss of interest in normal activities, lack of energy, or a “bad mood” that lasts longer than a week are signs you should seek help from someone you can trust.
There is a lot of talk about whether LGBTQ people are “born that way.” A lot of evidence, both scientific and the common-sense variety, suggests that powerful forces make us who we are from a very early age—if not from birth. If you are happy with who you are, do what you can to keep yourself safe. If not, ask yourself if it is truly you who is not happy with who you are, or if it is others around you who do not want you to be you.
Religion can be a touchy subject when it comes to sexuality. Religious identity can be cultural, familial, and personal. For some, it is one of the primary influences in family and community. But is it worth dying for?
Some religions believe that sexuality that falls outside of one man married to one woman is sinful. It can be punishable by prison time, physical abuse, or in extreme cases, death. If you are struggling to reconcile your faith and your sexual identity, seek help from people and institutions that will not judge you, that you can trust, and that you feel will aid you without trying to alter who you are.
Rabbis, priests, ministers and even some imams are helping adapt faiths so that no one is condemned for how they are born.
The Internet is great for testing the waters, but be aware that some people are there to either harass you, to use your vulnerability to from age-inappropriate relationships or to abuse a younger person sexually. Children and young adults are often victimized because they are so vulnerable.
Do not use your full name (or even your real first name if you’re not comfortable), and never give out personal information (like your address, school name, or phone number) over the Internet. You can safely explore and form safe friendships in online forums where your risk is reduced by keeping personal information to a minimum. Explore, but keep yourself safe.
The world can be a really tough place if you have absolutely no one to talk to. You may not have a friend in your class, family or even your town who understands you. But there might be a teacher, a librarian, a church member, or a relative outside your immediate family who can help you understand who you are. Avoid harsh or judgmental people you feel would not be open to someone who is “different.” If they see everything in terms of black-and-white, don’t try convincing them that there really is grey in the world. Check out some of the resources below.
Being different can be dangerous when you’re not accepted for who you are. Suicide is one of the top three causes of death among 15 to 24-year-olds; only accidents and homicide occur more frequently (2006 National Adolescent Health Information). In a study cited on the CDC website, nearly 1/3 of LGBTQ youth attempt suicide compared to 6% of the heterosexual population.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers. (Massachusetts 2006 Youth Risk Survey.) Youth who come from a rejecting family are up to nine times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers (2007 San Francisco State University Chavez Center Institute).
Again, if you are in trouble, or the concerned sister, brother, parent, teacher or relative, please use these resources to answer questions or help out in a crisis.