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.
- Family Rejection of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Adolescents & Negative Health Outcomes (2009). Family Acceptance Project, San Francisco State University.
- Mortality Among Teenagers Aged 12-19 Years: United States, 1999-2006. National Center for Health Statistics, NCHS Data Brief No. 37, May 2010
- Suicide Statistics. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
- Centers for Disease Control, Disparities in Suicide
- Suicide Attempts among Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Adults. Haas, A., Rodgers, P. (2014) American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
- Family rejection as a predictor of negative health outcomes in White and Latino lesbian, gay, and bisexual young adults. Ryan, C., Huebner, D., Diaz, R. M., & Sanchez, J. (2009). Pediatrics,123, 346-352.
- Why the Gay and Transgender Population Experiences Higher Rates of Substance Use (2012). Hunt, Jerome. Center for American Progress.
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.