“Hey! Could you throw some LGBT suicide stats to show my rude parents? Thanks!”
- Question submitted by Anonymous
Okay listen up. Since I am pretty sure you knew how to google “LGBT Suicide Stats,” I HAVE A FEELING THAT MAYBE JUST MAYBE… you were (are) really angry about the way your parents are treating you and you are on a quest to slap in the face via Tumblr posts, statistics, and anything else you can get your hands on. So, let’s break this down into three parts, shall we?
PART ONE: Your Parents Shouldn’t Disrespect You
I am so fucking sorry that your parents are making you feel shitty. The world at large can be a place that looks us in the eyeballs and says “you aren’t worth it, you don’t make sense, you don’t belong, fuck off”… and for even a shred of that message to be coming from the people who are supposed to love you most, is totally, one hundred billion percent FUCKED. I need to tell you that those messages of disrespect are complete and total bullshit, and are fabricated on some weird-ass structure that was built by a bunch of white dudes who assumed they were better than black dudes and brown dudes and all women and anything else that didn’t walk, talk, and act like they did across history. Apologies to the super awesome, really nice white dudes who are attempting to help fix that shit, but it’s true. All that to say: YOU ARE FUCKING WORTH IT. YOU MAKE SO MUCH FUCKING SENSE. YOU BELONG SO HARD. *huge hug*
PART TWO: Suicide Is Real & Affects LGBT People
You asked for stats, I shall give you a few stats: Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among young people ages 10 to 24; LGB youth are 4 times more likely, and questioning youth are 3 times more likely, to attempt suicide as their straight peers; Nearly half of young transgender people have seriously thought about taking their lives, and one quarter report having made a suicide attempt; Each episode of LGBT victimization, such as physical or verbal harassment or abuse, increases the likelihood of self-harming behavior by 2.5 times on average. I pulled these stats from The Trevor Project’s website, and you can see the sources here. If you are struggling and need someone to talk to, please, please call or chat with someone who can help:
PART THREE: Scaring Your Parents Isn’t The Only Way To Talk To Them
Listen. Parts 1&2 are important, but I need to ask you to stop for a moment and think about your parents, what they know and what they don’t, and why they might be saying shit that hurts your heart. Maybe they are people who will only respond to fear… but I think that in most cases, people respond to compassion, empathy, and help more than being told terrifying facts at the outset and left with zero resources.
There is a good chance that your parents need your help. You can absolutely talk to them about the above statistics, but you should do it in a larger context where you are giving them tools to learn how to support you. If you are feeling suicidal, you should talk to them about those feelings, and you should tell them that you need their help. If you are feeling incredibly hurt, you should talk to them about those feelings, and tell them that you need their help.
Show them The Parents Project, see if there is a PFLAG Chapter near you, urge them to buy a copy of This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids. Dannielle and I created (and continue to create) these resources because we have seen parents do an about face when they suddenly have an outlet for all that they are going through. Your coming out process is also your parents coming out process.
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