A Word About Gay Teen Suicide and Someone Who Can Help…..

“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the third leading cause of death amongst [all] young people 15 to 24 years of age.  It is the sixth leading cause of death amongst [all] children 5 to 14 years old.  According to the Center for Disease Control/Massachusetts Department of Education Youth Risk Behavior Survey (1999),  33% of gay youth will attempt suicide.  In fact, gay teen suicide attempts are four times that of heterosexual youth.” 

(sources: http://www.kidshealth.org/parent/emotios/behavior/suicide.html, http://privateschool.about.com/cs/students/a/teensuicide.htmTeenSuicide, http://gaylife.about.com/od/gayteens/a/gaysuicide.htm

Teenage years are crazy and emotionally charged enough with hormones racing through the bloodstream, urges coming over you like there’s no tomorrow, everyone’s expectations setting up seemingly impossible standards of questionable import , etc….add to that mix the confusion of questioning one’s sexual orientation and you have a recipe for disaster!

I can remember having feelings and attractions for my girl friends as early as elementary school. We’re talking the mid to late 1950’s here, folks — there were no campy TV shows like Queer as Folk or The L Word; there were no Ellen Degeneres’ or Rosie O’Donnell’s, or any of the countless other performers and celebrities who can serve as positive role models for youth today.

I grew up afraid of my feelings – and terrified to share what I was feeling and thinking for fear that if I did, I might be taken away from my parents (or sent away) and locked up somewhere forever! I grew up afraid of myself. I didn’t understand, and there was no place, no one, to go with my questions. Such was the pain, the shame.  In some ways, even with the visibility of “out” public personalities today, the pain and confusion can still be very real. And the stigma. Face it, you can walk by any playground in America and what is the favorite insult?  “Oh, he’s so gay” “She’s queer.”  (Elevate the playground to the workplace breakroom and the atmosphere can seem identical).

Gay kids get bullied, harassed and beaten routinely. Even if a kid is suspected of being gay .. you know, because of all those tell tale signs that mark a “queer” — they’re likely to come under fire. Peer insults and intent to hurt can be relentless. Confusion? If that’s all they’re feeling, they’re lucky. More often it leads to alienation and self-contempt. Nobody deserves to grow up under that kind of stigma.

Fortunately there is a 24/7 helpline that kids can call where they will receive confidential counseling from peers who understand.  This is the only such national helpline specifically to help gay and questioning youth. -MsQueer

Call 1-866-488-7386  (1-866-4-U-TREVOR)

Learn more about The Trevor Project:Trevor Project Queer As Folk PSA 
The TREVOR Trailer 
Here! Focus – The Trevor Project 
Ellen Degeneres Honored by The Trevor Projec t 


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6 Responses

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