By: Myeshia Price-Feeney (she/her), PhD, Research Scientist
At Trevor, we hear from LGBTQ youth every day about the positive effects of having an accepting person or supportive environment in your life. In fact, our research shows that acceptance can literally save lives.
Research also shows that youth with multiple marginalized identities might make them more susceptible to negative experiences and decreased mental health. And yet, there’s a significant lack of research specific to Black LGBTQ youth mental health.
We see these two concepts come together in our latest research report, “Mental Health of Black LGBTQ Youth,” representing the experiences of over 2,500 Black LGBTQ youth. The report shows that Black LGBTQ youth who had high levels of support among friends, a special person, and family members all showed lower rates of suicide attempts in the past year. And Black youth who had access to at least one LGBTQ-affirming space attempted suicide at 50% lower rates compared to Black LGBTQ youth without access.
From a public health perspective, this shows that support and affirmation can make a significant difference in the lives of Black LGBTQ youth. So we teamed up with celebrities Heidi N Closet, Ashlee Marie Preston, Vincint, and Jay Jurden to share their messages of support for Black LGBTQ young people.
Jurden continued, “I was extremely fortunate and blessed to have a mother who cultivated an environment at home that was very nurturing. Maybe she always knew I wasn’t going to be ‘like other boys’ and maybe it was because I was a little skinny kid with asthma OR maybe it was because she knew her son was queer but she always led with love. She always just wanted my siblings and I to be happy and as a single mom in Mississippi that felt like an act of radical love when I came out.”
Like Jurden, Trevor’s research shows that family support is a particularly powerful protective factor to help prevent suicide. For Black transgender and nonbinary youth, rates of attempted suicide reduce from 1 in 3 to 1 in 10 with family support.
If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, contact The Trevor Project's TrevorLifeline 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386. Counseling is also available 24/7 via chat every day at TheTrevorProject.org/Help, or by texting START to 678-678.