LGBTQ youth who had access to an LGBTQ-affirming school reported lower rates of attempting suicide than those who did not.
February 23, 2023 — The Trevor Project, the leading suicide prevention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people, condemned the passage of HB1608 by the Indiana House of Representatives, which would ban classroom instruction on LGBTQ topics in K-3 classrooms, and require teachers to “out” transgender and nonbinary students to their potentially unsupportive parents without their consent.
“LGBTQ students deserve to learn in safe, affirming school environments – not have their history, culture, and very identities erased from classroom discussion,” said Gabby Doyle (she/her pronouns), Advocacy Campaigns Manager at The Trevor Project. “The Trevor Project’s research found that 45% of LGBTQ youth in Indiana seriously considered suicide in the past year. However, research has also consistently found that LGBTQ students who have access to LGBTQ-affirming schools, and trans and nonbinary students who have support from their teachers and peers, report lower rates of suicide risk. We urge lawmakers to reject this harmful bill and, instead, work to create school environments in which all students have the opportunity to thrive.”
The Trevor Project’s 2022 U.S. National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health by State found that 45% of LGBTQ youth in Indiana seriously considered suicide in the past year, including 54% of transgender and nonbinary youth. However, research consistently finds that LGBTQ youth who have access to an LGBTQ-affirming school report significantly lower rates of attempting suicide than those who do not. Additionally, learning about LGBTQ people or issues has been associated with significantly lower odds (23%) of a past-year suicide attempt in LGBTQ students.
According to a new poll conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of The Trevor Project, 86% of transgender and nonbinary youth say recent debates about state laws restricting the rights of transgender people have negatively impacted their mental health. When asked about proposed legislation that would require schools to tell a student’s parent or guardian if they request to use a different name/pronoun, or if they identify as LGBTQ at school, 67% of transgender and nonbinary youth said they feel angry, 54% feel stressed, 51% feel scared, 46% feel nervous, and 43% feel sad.
If you or someone you know needs help or support, The Trevor Project’s trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386, via chat at TheTrevorProject.org/Get-Help, or by texting START to 678678.