Risks for Your Child

LGBTQ children who are rejected or cut off from family support are at very high risk for physical and mental health problems.1


  • In the US, suicide is the number one cause of death among gay and lesbian youth2, compared to the 3rd cause of death for US teens3 and the 10th cause of death in the general population. 4
  • Gay and lesbian individuals are two to six times more likely to commit suicide than heterosexuals.2
  • LGBTQ youth rejected by family are 8 times as likely to attempt suicide.4
  • Transgender young adults (18-24) are at even higher risk, with 45% having attempted suicide.5

Drug and Substance Abuse

  • LGB students were up to 3.4 times more likely than other students to report using several illegal drugs.1
  • 20 to 30 percent of LGBTQ people abuse substances, compared to about 9 percent of the general population.7
  • Twenty-five percent of LGBTQ people abuse alcohol, compared to 5 to 10 percent of the general population.7
  • LGBTQ people smoke tobacco up to 200 percent more than their heterosexual and non-transgender peers.7

Violence and Bullying

  • Compared to heterosexual students, LGB high school students are more likely to report8:
    • being forced into having sex (18% vs. 5%)
    • experiencing sexual dating violence (23% vs. 9%)
    • experiencing physical dating violence (18% vs. 8%)
  • They also are 2-3 times more likely to be bullied8:
    • at school: 34% vs. 19%
    • online: 28% vs. 14%
  • More than 10% reported having missed school because of safety concerns8

Parents can lower ALL these risks. Continue reading to learn how.

“You can be your child’s anchor, their safeplace. Don’t ever drop your end of the rope.”

Dr. Phil

“This moment of coming out to parents is a crossroads in the life of an LGBTQ person and the parent response is a major predictor for the child’s future drug use, homelessness and suicide attempts.”

Dr. Caitlin Ryan

Family Acceptance Project, San Francisco State University