That’s why Green recommends schools adopt programs and practices that positively affect LGBTQ youth, including gender and sexuality alliance (GSA) clubs; prohibiting bullying based on a student’s sexuality or gender identity; identifying "safe spaces" where students can receive support; and, providing training for staff on how to create safe environments for all students.
"There is no one thing [that causes suicide] but we also know for LGBTQ youth there are often cumulative experiences of rejection, discrimination, and stigma, and that’s a pretty powerful force for risk of suicide," says Green.
While suicide is complex and caused by multiple factors, Green says the disparity between LGBTQ youth and cisgender, heterosexual youth can be traced, in part, back to being shamed and ostracized.
Experts believe that such traumatic experiences put them at higher risk for considering, planning, or attempting suicide, and LGBTQ youth are significantly more likely to try taking their own life compared to their heterosexual and cisgender peers.
The Trevor Project’s research shows that LGBTQ youth were 40 percent less likely to attempt suicide in the previous year when at least one adult accepted them.
While family support and adult allies are critical, Green argues that reducing suicidal thinking and behavior amongst LGBTQ youth requires a comprehensive approach beyond individual relationships. 2.
"We need to ensure the services we have are inclusive of LGBTQ identities and are thoughtful of how those services play out so they’re not another form of rejection," says Green. . @iamcardib shares her support for Dwyane Wade & Gabrielle Union’s transgender child Zaya. 1/2 pic. twitter.
When Dwyane Wade recently appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and unequivocally embraced his 12-year-old’s decision to use the name Zaya, along with female pronouns, the basketball star showed the world how a loving adult can — and should — accept LGBTQ youth.
New research from the Trevor Project, a nonprofit that works to prevent LGBTQ youth suicide, found this disparity lasts beyond childhood.
LGBTQ youth who are experiencing homelessness, in fact, attempt suicide at much higher rates than heterosexual and cisgender youth in the same situation.
Limiting those experiences through meaningful practices and policies, in addition to individual acceptance, is key to preventing suicide amongst LGBTQ youth.
The fact that Wade’s conversation with DeGeneres became an endearing viral moment would’ve been unthinkable two decades ago, when the comedian first came out, but big strides in pop culture don’t consistently translate into safer environments for LGBTQ youth.
LGBTQ youth often experience discrimination compounded by other aspects of their identity, including race, ethnicity, class, religion, and where they live.
"We’ve made progress but that progress isn’t enough." https://t.co/gcfgPF2JHB— Mashable (@mashable) September 8, 2020
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