Tag Archives: Suicide

Schools Are Failing LGBTQ Students In More Ways Than Just Bathrooms

We know that many American schools are failing LGBTQ students. After all, suicide rates for LGBTQ students are outrageous. One out of every 6 LGBTQ students in America seriously considers suicide each year, and of the nearly 50% of transgender adults who’ve made suicide attempts, 92% of those attempts were before age 25. Clearly schools are failing these students somewhere along the line.

In early 2017, Trump denied federal protections for transgender students to use their bathroom of choice. And, given his Secretary of Education, many students aren’t too hopeful about the prospects of bathroom choice returning, especially in conservative states such as North Carolina, who pioneered the HB-2 “Bathroom Bill.”

But the problems go deeper than just bathrooms.

CUNY’s revolutionary What’s Your Issue? project championed public school research based on parameters set by LGBTQ and gender non-conforming (GNC) youth of color, who are often the hardest hit by anti-LGBTQ legislation and lack of legal and anti-bullying protections for LGBTQ youth. This project collected more than 6,000 surveys from LGBTQ/GNC youth of color all across America in order to paint an honest – if painful – picture of LGBTQ life for the most vulnerable students.

Here’s what they found.

1) LGBTQ youth are twice as likely to be sent to juvenile detention as their straight peers. In the US, more than 300,000 LGBTQ youth are detained or arrested each year. But…

2) Of that 300,000, 60% are Black or Latino, even though only 24.8% of people in the US are black or Latino.

3) Forty percent of girls in juvenile detention identify as LGBTQ/GNC.

4) GNC female students (i.e. cisgender women who dress more masculinely, such as butch or stud women, or transgender women who don’t look “female” enough to appease cisgender adults) of color are the most affected by harassment, school policing and dropout rates.

5) LGBTQ youth of color are twice as likely as straight youth of color to either drop out or be forced out of school.

6) Masculine-presenting female students of color are most likely to be aggressively over-disciplined. They have the highest rate of suspensions, and they are the group most likely to be handcuffed and frisked by school police and security guards.

To learn more about the study and its detrimental effects on students, read the Black Girls Matter report and learn more about the What’s Your Issue? project.

A Lesbian Couple Attempt Suicide In Mumbai After They Are Forbidden To See Each Other

A few weeks ago it was reported that two women from Mumbai both attempted suicide after they were reported to one of the girls Father’s for both being in a relationship. The Father forbade his daughter to see her partner again and he also sought the help of a political adviser who scolded both the girls. Consequently, they both decided they couldn’t be apart. One of the girls drank disinfectant but survived. The other girl tried to hang herself from the ceiling but she sadly died.

This is not just an isolated event either. During 1995 – 2003 Sahayatrika (a support group for lesbian, bisexual and Transgender people in Kerala) reported that 22 women in the state of Kerala had committed suicide because of similar circumstances and this was only cases that had made the newspapers. The actual figures could be much more. The LGBT rights group, Humsafar trust, has dealt with 12 cases in Mumbai alone since 2014. Koninika Roy, the advocacy manager of the trust said:

The reaction of parents in such cases is shocking. It is harrowing to hear the women speak. They are full of guilt and they want understanding from their families, but they don’t get it.”

In April of this year two women who fell in love at college were harassed by their families to such an extent they decided to run away from home so they could be together. One of the women wrote a letter to Koninika and in it she stated:

I was scared of society, my family, the issue of caste and the issue of gender. We became sure our families would not accept us.”

Not long after they had left home they were found and brought back to their home town by the police. The police refused to listen when they tried to explain their love for each other and they were told they should:

go and marry a boy and live happily.”

The girls were then forced to return back to their family homes, their mobiles were taken from them and their parents placed them under house arrest.  After hearing about the two women from the letter, Humsafar helped them leave home and they are now living elsewhere together. Humsafar is also counselling both sets of parents in order to educate them and help them to accept and understand their daughters.

Homosexuality is considered an illegal act according to 377 of The Indian Penal Code and is a punishable offence. There have been many attempts to overturn the act but so far it has not happened. There are support groups available but many Indian women are even too scared to approach them for fear of repercussions if they are found out. The 24 hour suicide prevention helpline in Mumbai, Aasra, says that at least 10 -12% of the calls they receive are from queer people who are suffering because of family and friends attitudes toward their sexuality.

Many of the help groups are calling that support and counselling needs to be given to the families of members in the LGBTQ community as they are also scared of what their own friends and neighbours will say and do to them for having a queer child.

The founder of another support group for Lesbian, bisexual and transgendered women, Umang, said:

They are frightened of the social situation they will have to face… Since the situation is more restrictive for women and family policing is higher, women often end up taking drastic steps.”

More needs to be done to educate people in India and to get the law changed. Only then will cases like this stop happening.

7 Things You Need to Know About LGBTQ Suicide Risk

Suicide is a hard thing to talk about. There are a lot of conflicting opinions whenever it’s brought up – for many, it’s a deeply sensitive topic, and one that affects everyone in some way. Chances are good that you have either thought about suicide yourself, or you know someone who has. Yet, still, there’s this big stigma around it, and people are afraid to talk about it – mostly because they’re afraid of how other people will react. If it’s not sensitive and supportive, it’s often harsh and triggering.

Now, I don’t like to talk about my own suicidal past, either – partially because of the stigmas, and partially because I’m not that person anymore. But as September is suicide prevention month, and people who have oppressed identities – like the queer community has for so many years – are statistically more likely to think about and attempt suicide than their straight classmates.

I don’t want to get too deep into my story, but I will say that it has been almost 7 years since my last suicide attempt. I’m out of that place now – but the risks of returning there will always be on my mind. What’s even worse, to me, is that there are still so many youths that are still living with this daily struggle weighing on them. These young people are the future of the queer community, and we need to talk about what’s happening.

1. According to the CDC, LGBTQ high school students are at a higher risk for rape, bullying, and suicide.

In one of the saddest CDC reports I’ve ever read (although, admittedly, I’ve only ever read a few), it was stated that sexual abuse, bullying, and suicide risks were much greater within the 9th-12th grade LGBTQ community. According to this report, gay, lesbian, and bisexual high school students were at higher risk for 16 violence-related risky behaviors (out of 18 total identified behaviors). LGBTQ students also placed at higher risk for 18 out of 19 alcohol or drug use behaviors, as well as for 11 out of 13 tobacco-use related risk behaviors. LGBTQ students also managed to rank highest in give out of six sexual risk behaviors. This article gives a little more reader-friendly version of the findings.

This means that, across the board, LGBTQ students are very high-risk, and confirms the need for more LGBTQ-youth-oriented programs in local communities. (But we’ll get further into that one in just a few minutes.) Similar studies have been done by the US National Library of Medicine, although they state that any findings are “tentative” because not all people who identified as a “sexual minority” were out to their friends and family members, and as such, the numbers could be higher than the data collected reflects.

2. LGBTQ youth are more likely to be bullied.

91% more likely, in fact – a staggering number for any statistic, let alone one about suicide. They’re also 46% more likely to be physically or sexually victimized than their heterosexual classmates. (And, might I add, this includes LGBTQ youth who has yet to come out – the bullying is not necessarily homophobic in nature.)

Among these categories, trans-identified students are of particular concern. Over half of all transgender and gender-nonconforming students who are bullied for their identity have already attempted suicide, and that number jumps up to 78% for those who have experienced physical or sexual abuse at school.

Of course, there are a whole host of other things that the queer community is more likely to experience – check out this study by The Williams Institute to learn about a few more.

3. Lack of support and acceptance at home increases the risks of suicide.

While bullying outside the home is the type we think of the most, the truth is that having a hostile home environment has just as much of a devastating impact, if not more – after all, at school, there’s a chance to get away, and that’s not usually the case at home. Kids from homophobic families are 8.4 times more likely (that’s 840%, for those of you who don’t like decimals) to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers and peers with supportive home lives.

4. Suicide is the #2 cause of death among people aged 10-24.

Yes, you read that right – suicide is the #2 cause of death among preteens, teenagers, and young adults. Thankfully, these numbers are a little lower in counties and regions that have more support for queer youth. In fact, counties that aren’t safe and supportive spaces for LGBTQ youth, suicide rates are 20% higher than in counties that are safe and supportive.

LGBTQ high schoolers are 4 times more likely (400%) to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers.

5. Gay and bisexual men are most likely to attempt suicide before the age of 25.

Across all demographics, gay and bisexual men account for the most suicide attempts, with 20% of gay and bi men having a suicide plan, and 12% attempting suicide within their lives. According to the US National Library of Medicine, most of these men attempted suicide before they turned 25.

6. Gay/Straight Alliances reduce the suicide risk for all students.

What may be a bit more of a shock is the fact that Queer-Straight Alliances (or Gay-Straight Alliances, or whatever they happen to be called in your area) actually reduce the risk of suicidal thoughts, behaviors, and attempts even for heterosexual students. In fact, in schools that had their QSA for over three years, incidents of homophobic bullying and suicidal thoughts were dropped by as much as 50%, across the board.

7. There are places you can go for help.

One of the most important things to remember is that, sometimes, just having someone to be there makes all the difference in the world. Whether you want to help out, or you are in a high-risk situation and just need to talk to someone, you may be able to find resources in your local area to help. In the US and Canada, there are 24-hour crisis call centers to help and you may be able to volunteer to help others, as well.

If you’re in another country and you know of a resource for at-risk and LGBTQ youth, please let us know in the comments. No one should have to feel alone in the world, and there is always someone who cares – you just have to know where to look.

A Mother’s Plea For LGBT Education In Schools After Her Daughter Committed Suicide

What Kelly Moorhead must be going through after losing her 15-year-old daughter, Chloe, to suicide three months ago must be excruciating.

No parent expects to outlive their child anyway, but when your child commits suicide and you believe it could have been prevented must be one of the worst things that could happen to a parent.

Kelly believes her daughter took her own life after coming out as gay because she couldn’t deal with the humiliation she faced. Now Kelly is demanding that schools should provide LGBT education to raise awareness and acceptance amongst its students and staff.


Here, here, to this. It’s defies belief how many youngsters suffer abuse, bullying and negativity when they come out to their peers and this has to stop. And the only way to stop it is through educating youngsters in order for them to accept others and be able to deal with their sexuality if they are gay or bisexual themselves.

Kelly stated that awareness in schools could have saved her daughter’s life and explains that when Chloe first came out to her a year ago she didn’t have any issues. Three months later Chloe’s twin sister, Samantha, then came out as bisexual. Kelly told the Herald Scotland:

It’s shocking with Chloe as she was so confident and she came out, I couldn’t have been any prouder of her coming out at that age. She was so secure with it at the time. This is why I think it’s essential this issue is brought into schools, and made a part of the lessons in class. It can’t be an option; it needs to be part of lessons.”

Kelly expressed concern that if nothing is done gay and bi teens will continue to take their own lives if they can’t cope with the stigma they endure when they come out. This means that teens will either keep quiet and not come out, something that can completely destroy a person, or when they do come out and are not supported they end up feeling so isolated and different that they see suicide as the only way out.

Kelly is calling that the Government is quick to support the campaign and stated:

My message is yes, there is hate out there, but I want people who are gay, lesbian, transsexual, to see that not everyone is a bigot or has a negative attitude. There is support out there. We never will abolish hate, but I want them to see that there are people who support them. We are here.”

Kelly is actively promoting LGBT issues Dumfries, attempting to challenge the stigma that gay and transgender people face. She said she is determined to tackle discrimination in any way possible and has organised charity nights and LGBT friendly events.

This campaign gets my vote. Suicide is one of the highest causes of death among youngsters and LGBT teens are the highest affected. This does need to stop and education and awareness has to be the way forwards.

My Girlfriends Death Has Left Me So Lost

Dear KitschMix,

Last year, my girlfriend left our home in the early hours of the morning and took her life. She had tried to do it twice the year prior, but this time she went through with.

It’s been six months and I’m so lost and broken. She left no note, but looking back now I could see the warning signs. We were together for 18 months, and I knew about her depression and suicidal thoughts before we started dating, but I thought things would get better.

I never expected to lose her. I thought I’d be strong enough to help her through all of this.

Now I feel so alone and lost. I am filled with guilt, and struggling to move forward. I feel so guilty thinking about moving on. My friends want me to join them out, but they have a lot of anger towards her for being so selfish. I’ve gone past the anger, and I’m just left with sorrow. I want to move forward, but I don’t know how to start that process.

Dear reader, let me start by expressing just how sorry I am for your loss. Depression and suicide are very difficult topics for many men and women – and, of course, they affect the people who love them, as well. Let me start by saying something you probably already know: It was not your fault, in any way.

We hear stories of hope sometimes – about how a simple smile or a “hello” prevented someone from taking their own life, and these are beautiful, wonderful stories. It makes me so happy to hear the appreciation and love that the would-be victim expresses for the person who saved them. I think it is definitely important that we make that extra effort to be kind, because you never know when it’s going to make a difference.

Unfortunately, these stories give us a bit of false hope, as the loved ones of the depressed person. We think that we can singlehandedly fix their problems, and that our love can just cure them. Yes, in some cases, that can happen – but that isn’t the rule. Generally, suicidal thoughts center around a feeling of hopelessness, and the person struggling just can’t keep struggling anymore. Saying the right things at the right time may help, but it’s not always enough.

It’s also important to know that you are allowed to be angry with her, but suicide itself is not a selfish thing. When a person is suicidal, they feel that leaving this earth is the best thing they can do for those around them. Often, they may feel as if suicide would “lessen the burden”. Of course, for those who are not struggling with suicidal thoughts, things look a bit different, but depression isn’t set out to make sense, it’s set out to destroy you.

I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the five stages of grief, but there are a variety of ways that people deal with the loss of a loved one. It’s never easy, and not everyone will go through all five stages, but knowing what you may still have to go through before you can truly move on is a good place to start.

I have never lost a loved one to suicide, but this week I lost my favorite aunt to cancer – which, truthfully, is a little closer to depression than most people realize. In both cases, you can often tell something’s off, but there comes a point when it’s too far progressed for anyone to be able to help. You can see them suffering, but the only help you can offer is a temporary distraction, and it’s painful for both of you.

I find journaling to be a good way to deal with my emotions. I frequently write letters in there, too – I’ve got a few I’ve written to my ex-girlfriend (both while we were together, and after we broke up). I’ve got one in there for my childhood imaginary friend. I’ve got one in there for my stillborn baby brother. In a private journal, you can work out your emotions however works for you – whether you’re writing, drawing, or even repeatedly writing swear words across the page. (Yep, I’ve got a few pages like that, too.)

Journaling isn’t right for everyone, but I do recommend it as a place to start. If it’s easier for you to talk to a friend about how you’re feeling, that can be a good option, too. Sometimes strangers on the internet are the best option, and if you want to give that a go, I’m always here. Whatever works for you will be unique, but it will involve expressing the things on your mind – whether good or bad – and allowing yourself to feel however you truly feel. While denial is an important part of the healing process, it’s not the same as moving on.

You might not be in the right place yet to go out with your friends who hold onto their anger for her. It’s completely healthy to avoid situations where you’ll feel the need to defend her – whether that means staying away from those friends for the time being, or politely telling them that you don’t want to hear anything bad about her. You don’t have to completely erase her from your mind (and you probably shouldn’t!) but it’s best to focus on the positives – the happy times you shared together, all the times she made you smile, and all the beautiful memories. Don’t focus on the things you’ve “lost” or the things you “didn’t do right” because this will only make you feel worse.

Reader, I hope that you can find peace soon, and take comfort in the fact that she is no longer struggling. If there is anything else you would like to talk about, please don’t hesitate to contact us again – I am always available to talk.

Indian Actress Commits Suicide Due to Social Pressure Caused by her Lesbian Relationship

Bengali TV actress, Disha Ganguly, 23, has committed suicide due to social pressure caused by her lesbian relationship with another actress.

She was found hanging from a ceiling fan at her home in Kolkata on 9 April, and police reports suggest, it was stress and social stigma that drove her to take this drastic step.

Disha Ganguly 01

No suicide note was found but police recovered her phone and diary.

A senior police official told dna newspaper

A few months back, this actress friend of Ganguly, started staying at her apartment. Soon, Ganguly’s mother arrived from Nairobi (where her parents reside) and objected to their relationship. Her mother even got her friend to move out of the apartment.”

Homosexuality is illegal in Bangladesh and India. A recent survey reports that 59% of the gays in Bangladesh live in fear of being outed.

Ganguly couldn’t bear the thought of never seeing her girlfriend again and marrying a man. When her girlfriend found out Ganguly was dead, she tried to follow her by throwing herself in front of an oncoming train. Locals snatched her to safety just in time, and the woman is now hospitalized.

According to the police, she had a steady relationship with another actor Vivaan Ghosh. A day before she committed suicide, she attend a cricket match with him.

On her way back, she had a heated conversation over the phone with her friend.

While Ganguly’s parents insisted she got married to Ghosh, she was in a fix and stuck in between two relationships.

Sources in the industry also said that Ghosh and Ganguly’s friend fought over her a few days back.

Police reports suggest that the TV actress was drawn into a situation where she battling pressure from her parents, her boyfriend and girlfriend. Eventually, she gave in to death.

Meanwhile, a preliminary postmortem report revealed that she committed suicide two hours after eating dinner.

After examining her phone call history, it was found that the last few calls she made was to Ghosh, her actress friend and her father.

Openly Gay Co-host Sara Gilbert Speaks Up For Leelah Alcorn on CBS’s ‘The Talk’

On the American TV show ‘The Talk’, the panel discussed the tragic topic of trans* teen suicide, which they all handle with much care and passion. However, it was openly gay co-host Sara Gilbert words that touched us the most…

“I would just say to people out there who have different beliefs … just think it’s more important to let go of the idea that you have a son, than to lose your child.”

Sara Gilbert


On the 29th December, Leelah Alcorn was struck and killed by a passing semi-trailer on an Ohio interstate. A suicide note later appeared on her Tumblr blog. The suicide note described how she had felt “like a girl trapped in a boy’s body” since she was four, and how her parents pushed her into conversion therapy and Christian counseling.

The Youth Suicide Prevention Program reports that over 50 percent of transgender youths have attempted to commit suicide at least once before reaching the age of 20.

‘Fix Society’ The Plead From Transgender Teen Who Left A Suicide Note On Tumblr

Today we were informed of a terrible story about a 17-year-old transgender teen committing suicide.

A photo posted by laverne cox (@lavernecox) on

On Sunday, Leelah Alcorn was struck and killed by a passing semi trailer on an Ohio interstate. A suicide note later appeared on her Tumblr blog. The incident is being investigated by the Ohio State Highway Patrol, but local media have reported the incident as the death of a teen “boy” using Leelah’s (male) birth name, and have made no mention that she was transgender.

Leelah had scheduled one last blog entry to published after her death. In the entry, titled ‘a girl trapped in a boy’s body’, she wrote that she felt “like a girl trapped in a boy’s body” and had done so “ever since [she] was 4”, and her Christian parents’ refusal to allow her to transition.

In the post Leelah gave advice for parents of transgender teens and children. She begged them to never tell their child that being transgender is “a phase”, “that God doesn’t make mistakes,” or that they can never truly be the gender they feel they are.


In a second post, Leelah expressed apologies to her sisters and brother.

If you are reading this, it means that I have committed suicide and obviously failed to delete this post from my queue.

Please don’t be sad, it’s for the better. The life I would’ve lived isn’t worth living in… because I’m transgender. I could go into detail explaining why I feel that way, but this note is probably going to be lengthy enough as it is. To put it simply, I feel like a girl trapped in a boy’s body, and I’ve felt that way ever since I was 4. I never knew there was a word for that feeling, nor was it possible for a boy to become a girl, so I never told anyone and I just continued to do traditionally “boyish” things to try to fit in.

When I was 14, I learned what transgender meant and cried of happiness. After 10 years of confusion I finally understood who I was. I immediately told my mom, and she reacted extremely negatively, telling me that it was a phase, that I would never truly be a girl, that God doesn’t make mistakes, that I am wrong. If you are reading this, parents, please don’t tell this to your kids. Even if you are Christian or are against transgender people don’t ever say that to someone, especially your kid. That won’t do anything but make them hate them self. That’s exactly what it did to me.

My mom started taking me to a therapist, but would only take me to christian therapists, (who were all very biased) so I never actually got the therapy I needed to cure me of my depression. I only got more christians telling me that I was selfish and wrong and that I should look to God for help.

When I was 16 I realized that my parents would never come around, and that I would have to wait until I was 18 to start any sort of transitioning treatment, which absolutely broke my heart. The longer you wait, the harder it is to transition. I felt hopeless, that I was just going to look like a man in drag for the rest of my life. On my 16th birthday, when I didn’t receive consent from my parents to start transitioning, I cried myself to sleep.

I formed a sort of a “fuck you” attitude towards my parents and came out as gay at school, thinking that maybe if I eased into coming out as trans it would be less of a shock. Although the reaction from my friends was positive, my parents were pissed. They felt like I was attacking their image, and that I was an embarrassment to them. They wanted me to be their perfect little straight christian boy, and that’s obviously not what I wanted.

So they took me out of public school, took away my laptop and phone, and forbid me of getting on any sort of social media, completely isolating me from my friends. This was probably the part of my life when I was the most depressed, and I’m surprised I didn’t kill myself. I was completely alone for 5 months. No friends, no support, no love. Just my parent’s disappointment and the cruelty of loneliness.

At the end of the school year, my parents finally came around and gave me my phone and let me back on social media. I was excited, I finally had my friends back. They were extremely excited to see me and talk to me, but only at first. Eventually they realized they didn’t actually give a shit about me, and I felt even lonelier than I did before. The only friends I thought I had only liked me because they saw me five times a week.

After a summer of having almost no friends plus the weight of having to think about college, save money for moving out, keep my grades up, go to church each week and feel like shit because everyone there is against everything I live for, I have decided I’ve had enough. I’m never going to transition successfully, even when I move out. I’m never going to be happy with the way I look or sound. I’m never going to have enough friends to satisfy me. I’m never going to have enough love to satisfy me. I’m never going to find a man who loves me. I’m never going to be happy. Either I live the rest of my life as a lonely man who wishes he were a woman or I live my life as a lonelier woman who hates herself. There’s no winning. There’s no way out. I’m sad enough already, I don’t need my life to get any worse. People say “it gets better” but that isn’t true in my case. It gets worse. Each day I get worse.

That’s the gist of it, that’s why I feel like killing myself. Sorry if that’s not a good enough reason for you, it’s good enough for me. As for my will, I want 100% of the things that I legally own to be sold and the money (plus my money in the bank) to be given to trans civil rights movements and support groups, I don’t give a shit which one. The only way I will rest in peace is if one day transgender people aren’t treated the way I was, they’re treated like humans, with valid feelings and human rights. Gender needs to be taught about in schools, the earlier the better. My death needs to mean something. My death needs to be counted in the number of transgender people who commit suicide this year. I want someone to look at that number and say “that’s fucked up” and fix it. Fix society. Please.


(Leelah) Josh Alcorn

If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or depression there are resources for help:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (USA): 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Transgender Lifeline (USA): +187 756 588 60

Samaritans (UK): 08457 90 90 90

Suicide Prevention (Aus): 13 11 14

Japanese LGBT Horror: 30% of Students Suicidal

30% of LGBT school kids in Japan have considered committing suicide as a result of the bullying they have been subjected to, a Japan Times survey has revealed. The news comes after similar research in the United Kingdom found that 80% of British students are harassed and abused because of their sexual persuasion.

609 schoolchildren across Japan were interviewed by LGBT advocacy group Inochi Risupekuto Howaito Kyanpen (IRHRK) (translation: “Respect for the White Ribbon”).

70% of LGBTs had suffered at the hands of bullies, with almost a third of that number claiming that they had seriously thought about killing themselves. 53% of those who had been bullied said that they had endured verbal taunts, while 20% had been physically abused. 22% had self-harmed.

A shocking 11% reported that they had been sexually abused. One student revealed that their classmates had stripped them naked.

The anti-LGBT abuse is not limited to schoolchildren. Perhaps the most depressing finding of this survey is that 12% of the Japanese pupils had been bullied by teachers, for periods up to a year. Transgender students appear to have had the worst time of all: 43% of them have been victimised for five years or longer.

The co-leader of the IRHRK initiative, Mameta Endo, believes that the Japanese education system has to learn vital lessons from this study: ‘More teachers need to know the issues LGBT (pupils) are facing. As most bullying starts at elementary schools, I want teachers to provide children correct information about sexual minorities.

‘Schools need to find ways to teach students about LGBT (pupils) to prevent those who don’t match stereotypical ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’ gender types from being bullied.’

Suicide in Young LGBT Teens

In the past, it could be said that talking to your teens about sexuality was relatively straightforward. These discussions normally centred on the average heterosexual relationships without any reference to alternative sexualities such as homosexual and bisexual orientations. However, it is imperative in modern society to teach our children about alternative sexual orientations and tolerance of those differences.

Gay teens are one of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable groups in society, facing the pressure and dangers of gay bashing’ and other forms of homophobic bullying. There is a threefold likelihood of lesbian or gay teens being bullied than other youth.

These pressures in turn lead to a higher incidence of social isolation, alcohol and drug abuse, family problems, and low self esteem than their peers.

There is a relatively common belief that someone who is gay must have suffered some sexual trauma or has been influenced to make this decision by a gay adult. This is a myth as neither of these things influences sexuality. In the past, many have felt the need to hide their homosexuality and have lived their life feeling as though they are living a lie. However, in more recent times, teens are coming out’ much more often and at a younger age.

Talking to parents about their sexuality can sometimes be difficult, if not seemingly impossible. If they have heard anti-gay conversations between their parents or others close to them, this may contribute to their fear. In some situations, these youth run away from home because they feel that they cannot deal with the reaction of their parents.

There are also many gay teens that are forced out of their homes by parents who are unable to deal with their teen’s sexuality. Even for those who remain at home, the tension that occurs when the teen comes out’ can push relationships between the parents and the child beyond breaking point. This can lead to verbal or even physical violent eruptions between both parties, leading to severe relational breakdown. The trauma of this resistance to the teen’s sexual identity can be emotionally devastating. This resistance may be particularly high in parents who have been raised with the conviction that homosexuality is always wrong.

Becoming a teenager is already a big deal regardless of whether the person is heterosexual or homosexual but for the gay teen, the issues are far more frightening. Often, the teen is already having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that he or she is homosexual and is already fearful of peoples’ intolerance of them. The ultimate rejection by their parents on the basis of gender issues leaves the person feeling totally confused and isolated.

The incidence of suicide among gay teens is around three times that of their heterosexual counterparts though sexuality and gender issues are not in themselves, seen as a risk factor for suicide. However, the feelings of isolation and of being different can drive many to suicidal behaviour.

Perhaps the difference in acceptance of homosexuals could begin in what we teach children in earlier years. After all, bigotry is something that is learned from a young age. Make your children aware that any form of hatred and discrimination is unacceptable and instil these values as early as possible.

When discussing sexuality with your children, explain that homosexuals have not choice and that they need to be respected as people just as anyone else does.

Let’s do what we can to stop contaminating the minds of our young and causing the discrimination against other people, whether based on race, religion, or sexual orientation.

Gay teenagers need empathy from those around them and from their healthcare provider. Otherwise, they may feel isolated and worthless, thus pressuring them into taking risks with their sexual health. Having sex with someone of the same gender does not eliminate the risks of sexually transmitted diseases and gay teens need to be aware of this and comfortable enough to discuss these problems with their doctor without fear of prejudice.

Becoming a teenager is a huge milestone for both teenagers and parents and it is particularly so when the teenager is gay. As parents, it is important to reassure the teenager that being gay really is okay and that, regardless of their sexual identity, you love them anyway.

Though the gay community has gained some civil rights over the years, it is important to continue the fight to erode the conservative views on gay issues. Only then can the gay community have the same freedoms as their heterosexual counterparts.

Shocking Stats About Suicide

General Population Suicide Attempt Rate – 1.6%

Heterosexual Teen Suicide Attempt Rate – 4%

Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay Teen Suicide Rate – 20%

Transgender Suicide Attempt Rate 41%

Please also read – Suicide Is A Serious Risk, Especially for LGBT Teens