Although it may feel difficult to support your child as they explore their gender identity (sometimes called “coming in”) and disclose to others (also known as “coming out”), there is a higher risk to your child’s health and safety if you don’t.
LGBTQ children who are rejected or cut off from family support are more likely to experience physical and mental health problems. Here are some statistics from research with transgender youth and adults:
From the 2015 US Transgender Survey (USTS) – the largest transgender survey to date:
– 81.7% reported seriously thinking about suicide.
– 48.3% had done so in the past year
– 40.4% attempted suicide in the lifetime, and 7.3% in the past year
Most teen suicides are impulsive with little or no planning and 70% occur in the victims’ homes.
A 2019 report from the Mental Health Commission of Canada reported:
– 1 in 3 trans youth attempted suicide in the past year
– Trans people are twice as likely to think about and attempt suicide than LGB people
– 67% of transitioning people thought about suicide pre-transition and only 3% post-medical transition
A survey of 6000 transgender adults revealed that 45% of 18-24 year olds attempted suicide, compared to 4.6% of the overall U.S. population.
Violence and Bullying
Nearly 3 in 4 transgender and gender non-conforming youth hear their family make negative remarks about LGBTQ people.
Over half of transgender or gender non-conforming youth say they have been mocked by their family for their identity.
For K-12 students in the USTS 2015 Survey:
– 54% were verbally harassed
– 24% were physically attacked
– 13% were sexually assaulted
– 17% left school due to severe mistreatment
In 2022, over 150 anti-transgender bills were submitted in state legislatures.
Drug and Substance Abuse
Four percent (4%) of transgender respondents used illicit drugs (not including marijuana and nonmedical use of prescription drugs) in the past month.
Overall, 29% of transgender respondents reported illicit drug use, marijuana consumption, and/or nonmedical prescription drug use in the past month, which is nearly three times the rate in the U.S. population (10%).
Parent support and strong family attunement can protect transgender kids, adolescents, and young adults. Continue reading to learn more about what they are experiencing and how your reactions can help or hurt.
“We just needed time to get used to the idea, what a fool I would have been to lose that precious son of mine.”