Suicide among LGBT youth

Researchers have found that in the US the suicide among young lesbian , gay , bisexual , transgender , queer and those who are unsure of their sexuality ( LGBTQ ) is comparatively higher than among the general population, mainly due to culture heterocentric and Institutionalized homophobia, including the use of the LGBT population as a political wedge in the effort to paralyze the legalization of gay marriage . The depression , the feeling of loneliness, of misunderstanding and drug use among the LGBT population of the United States have been increasing significantly following the adoption of laws in some states that discriminate against homosexuals. 1

Reports and studies

Approximately 25 percent of lesbian, gay and bisexual students and university employees have been harassed due to their sexual orientation, as well as a third of those who identify transgender, according to the study and reported by the Chronicle of Higher Education. Approximately 25% of lesbian, gay and bisexual college students and employees have been harassed because of their sexual orientation, as well as a third of those identified as transgender, according to the study mentioned in the Chronicle of Higher Education.
LGBT Students Harassed At Colleges Nationwide, New Report Says , Huffington Post 2
LGBT students are three times as likely as non-LGBT students to say that they do not feel safe at school (22% vs. 7%) and 90% of LGBT students (vs. 62% of non-LGBT teens) have been harassed Or assaulted during the past year. LGBT students are likely to feel insecure at school three times higher (22% versus 7%) and 90% of LGBT students (compared to 62% among non LGBT adolescents) have been harassed or assaulted Physically during the previous year [to the study].
The Trevor Project 3

In addition, ” LGBT students were more likely to have seriously considered leaving their [educational] institution as a result of harassment and discrimination.” 4 Susan Rankin, one of the authors of the Miami report , found that “unequivocally, [Report] 2010 State of Higher Education for LGBT People demonstrates that LGBTQ students, teachers and employees live an icy environment of harassment on campus and communities that are a lot less than welcoming. ” 4

A report by the US government , entitled Report of the Secretary’s Task Force on Youth Suicide , published in 1989, found that LGBT youth are four times more likely to Try to commit suicide than other young people. 5 This higher incidence of suicidal thoughts and mental problems in general among homosexual adolescents compared to their heterosexual partners has been attributed to the stress of being a minority . 6 7

Although it is impossible to know the percentage of suicides of LGBT youth, because the sexuality and gender of these minorities is very often hidden, especially in these ages. The phenomenon is being studied to explain the concrete causes. 8 9 10 In 2004, 1985 US teenagers under the age of 20 committed suicide, an increase of 18% over the previous year. 11 “More than 34,000 people die of suicide a year,” making it “the third leading cause of death among people aged 15 to 24 [] with lesbian, gay and bisexual youths attempting suicide four times more often than their Heterosexual partners. ” 3

In Spain homophobia also occurs in the classroom, with the danger of suicide. December 13 14 In a study by the federation COLLEAGUES between 30,000 students Andalusian of ESO and University, the “81% believe that if a member of your class is defined publicly as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, would be discriminated against.” 15 A COGAM study (2008) shows that 31% of homosexual aggressors were a classmate. 16

Institutionalized and internalized homophobia

The homophobia institutionalized and internalized can also lead to LGBT youth not accepted and have deep internal conflicts about their sexual orientation . 17 LGBT young people are also expelled from the family relatively often at an early age after leaving the wardrobe .

Homophobia, regardless of how it has been achieved, can be the source of bullying . As seen in the suicides of nine LGBTQ youths in September 2010 in the United States, serious harassment can lead to suicide. 18 Harassment does not have to be physical, but it can be emotional, viral, sexual or racial. Physical harassment usually consists of kicking or punching, while “emotional harassment” consists of insults, rumors and other types of verbal abuse. “Viral abuse” or ” cyberbullying ” includes the sending of texts or messages of the above type on Facebook , Twitter or other social communication networks. “Sexual harassment” usually consists of obscene jokes, gestures, and jokes; Finally, “racial harassment” is related to stereotyping and discrimination . 19

Bullying can be interpreted as a kind of ” rite of passage “, but several studies have shown that it has negative physical and psychological effects. “Young people belonging to sexual or adolescent minorities who identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual are harassed two to three times more than heterosexuals” and “almost all transgender students have been verbally harassed (eg insulted or threatened in the before [the study] year because of their sexual orientation (89%) and the expression of their gender (89%), “according to the study Harsh Realities, the experiences of Transgender Youth in Our Nation’s Schools (” Harsh realities, experiences transgender youth in the schools of our nation “) of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network . 3

The issue has been heavily discussed in the media in recent years in the United States, and more so in September and October 2010. US President Barack Obama has made a video on the website of The White House as part of the It Gets Better project . The first lady, Michelle Obama , has attributed this type of harassing behavior to the example given by parents, which in most cases is followed by children. twenty

Signs of suicidal tendencies and prevention

Some signs of suicidal tendencies include: 3

  • Increased insulation
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Self-rejection attitudes
  • Expression of despair
  • Irregular behavior
  • Signs of depression
  • Suicidal thoughts and feelings

These thoughts and behaviors can be caused by emotional trauma, such as harassment or rejection , but suicide prevention is possible .

The Trevor Project

” The Trevor project was founded by writer James Lecesne, film director and producer Peggy Rajski and producer Randy Stone, creators of the short Trevor “, winner of the Oscar for the best short in 1994, about a gay boy of 13 years who, After being rejected by his friends because of his homosexuality, tries to kill himself. ” 21 This is an NGO in the United States that manages the only telephone line specializing in LGBTQ suicide youth nationwide, 24 hours a day. The project “aims to end suicide among LGBTQ youth by offering life-saving and life-sustaining resources, including our 24-hour lifeline to save lives 24/7, a digital community and educational programs to create an environment Secure, supportive and positive for all. ” 21


  1. Back to top↑ Mark L. Hatzenbuehler, MS, MPhil, Katie A. McLaughlin, PhD, Katherine M. Keyes, MPH and Deborah S. Hasin, PhD (January 14, 2010). “The Impact of Institutional Discrimination on Psychiatric Disorders in Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Populations: A Prospective Study .” American Journal of Public Health (in English) . Retrieved on December 27, 2010 .
  2. Back to top↑ «LGBT Students Harassed At Colleges Nationwide, New Report Says» . Huffington Post (in English) . September 15, 2010 . Retrieved on December 27, 2010 .
  3. ↑ Jump to:a b c d «Additional Facts About Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth» . The Trevor Project (in English) . Archived from the original on November 24, 2015 . Accessed December 27, 2010 .
  4. ↑ Jump to:a b Campus Pride (September 15, 2010). «College study reveals ‘chilly’ campus climate towards lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender people» . Miami Herald .com (in English) . Accessed December 27, 2010 .
  5. Back to top↑ Marcia R. Feinleib (Ed.) (January 1989). ‘Report of the Secretary’s Task Force on Youth Suicide’ . Education Resources Information Center (in English) . Accessed December 27, 2010 .
  6. Back to top↑ «Definition of Bisexual suicide risk» . (in English) . 27 October 1999 . Retrieved on December 27, 2010 .
  7. Back to top↑ Meyer IH (September 2003). ‘Prejudice, social stress, and mental health in lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations: conceptual issues and research evidence’ . Psychological Bulletin 129 (5): 674-97. doi : 10.1037 / 0033-2909.129.5.674. PMC  2072932 . PMID  12956539 .
  8. Back to top↑ Dr. Gary Remafedi (October 6, 1999). “Sexual Orientation and Youth Suicide” (in English) . Archived from the original on November 24, 2015 . Consulted on May 2, 2010 .
  9. Back to top↑ Philip A. Rutter & Emil Soucar (summer 2002). “Youth suicide risk and sexual orientation – Statistical Data Included”(in English) . Retrieved on December 27, 2010 .
  10. Back to top↑ Jeramy Townsley. «Articles Relating to Suicide by GLB Youth» . (in English) . Accessed December 27, 2010 .
  11. Back to top↑ Lindsey Tanner (May 2, 2007). «Kids’ suicides rise, CDC report finds» . (in English) . Retrieved on December 27, 2010 .
  12. Back to top↑ SERVIMEDIA (January 29, 2009). “56.2% of homosexual students have been harassed in school” . The Public . Archived from the original on November 24, 2015 . Accessed January 29, 2009 .
  13. Back to top↑ FELGTB (December 13, 2007). “In every classroom there is at least one gay and one lesbian .” Website of the FELGTB . Archived from the original on November 24, 2015 . Retrieved on December 15, 2007 .
  14. Back to top↑ (2005). «DecideT publishes the first multimedia guide to avoid homophobia in school» . Enkidu . Retrieved on July 7, 2007 .
  15. Back to top↑ Esteban Ibarra (2007). ‘Fight against homophobia’ . . Retrieved on July 7, 2007 .
  16. Back to top↑ Europa Press (2008). “Madrid is the Spanish city with more aggression against homosexuals .” . Accessed June 28, 2008 .
  17. Back to top↑ Gibson, P. (1989). «Gay and Lesbian Youth Suicide». In Fenleib, Marcia R. Report of the Secretary’s Task Force on Youth Suicide . United States Government Printing Office. ISBN  0160025087 .
  18. Back to top↑ David Badash (October 1, 2010). «UPDATED: September’s Anti-Gay Bullying Suicides – There Were A Lot More Than 5» . The New Civil Rights Movement (in English) . Retrieved on December 27, 2010 .
  19. Back to top↑ Janice L. Habuda (October 29, 2010). «Students learn about bullying» . Buffalo News (in English) . Archived from the original on June 30, 2012 . Accessed December 27, 2010 .
  20. Back to top↑ AP (October 28, 2010). «Michelle Obama On Bullying: Adults Need To Set Example» . Huffington Post (in English) . Accessed December 27, 2010 .
  21. ↑ Jump to:a b «About Trevor» . The Trevor Project (in English) . Archived from the original on November 24, 2015 . Accessed December 27, 2010 .