Suicide has always been a major issue in many countries but recently the number of suicide has increased at an alarming rate. A specific section of society has always been a victim of suicidal deaths and self-harm. Now LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community is known to be at higher risk of suicide. According to estimates, suicide is the second leading cause of death among youngsters of ages 10 to 24 years. LGBT youth is significantly more prone to suicide than non-LGBT youth. There could be multiple reasons for it and we are going to throw light on some of the main causes of increased risk of suicide amongst the LGBT youth.
Stats Regarding Suicide Attempts by LGBT
According to the results of Youth Risk Behavior Survey of 2014-15, youngsters who identified themselves as LGB had a higher rate of suicide attempts and these attempts were more serious because they resulted in harm or injury. Most of these attempts by LGBT youth (like overdosing or poisoning) caused emergency treatment or medical attention.
Another study revealed the data of suicide for the transgender community and it was more disturbing than the LGBT youth. According to that survey, 40% of transgender have attempted suicide and 92% of these attempts were made before the age of 25.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, males are four times more at higher risk of attempting suicide than females. Moreover, 79% of all the suicide in the United States are attempted by males as it is the 7th leading cause of death for males in the US. LGBT males are at greater risk of attempting suicide especially before the age of 25. Another study has revealed that LGBT youth of ages 7-12 were twice more likely to have attempted suicide as compared to heterosexual peers.
Increased risks of suicide in the LGBT community has become a serious issue in recent years as their sexual orientation makes them vulnerable to stress, anxiety, non-acceptance, depression and ultimately suicide. Some of the predisposing factors of suicide attempts can be following.
It does not matter if the LGBT community is being accepted by the groups on media or there are laws introduced to legalize same-sex marriages. We are still looking for acceptance by our own family members, friends and peers. The stress caused by discriminatory behaviour takes a serious toll on the mental health of our community. This can lead to serious psychological issues and attempts of suicide in the end.
The newspapers are filled with stories of bullying and harassment of LGBT community and this has been a contributing factor in the increased risk of suicide in our community.
This is not only problematic when it is faced by one of the people from our community but if the homophobia is internalized it can lead to severe internal conflicts of one’s own sexual orientation. Moreover, the parental reaction towards a child’s “coming out” can be the root cause of all the troubles for an LGBT member.
What can be done?
There are no simple answers to this question but there are a few steps which can be taken to address the problems of increased risk of suicide in LGBT society.
- According to the Family Acceptance Project’s research “parental acceptance and even neutrality, with regard to a child’s sexual orientation can bring down the attempted suicide rates”.
- There should be detailed information about the LGBT society in every country so more steps can be taken to reduce suicide attempts.
- Awareness should be created to curb homophobia.
It’s high time that the LGBT community should be provided with protection and rights like our heterosexual peers.