What A Disasterous Community Failure: LGBTQ Youth Face Homelessness & Suicide

It was only 17 years ago that then-President Bill Clinton designated June as Pride Month.   Each year since then, individuals who identify as LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) and their allies organize events that promote visibility and demand equality throughout the month.   http://www.thespectrum.com/story/news/2017/06/22/why-lgbt-youth-utah-consider-suicide/411364001/    However, in those 17 years, the amount of hate crimes against LGBT individuals — the most targeted minority group in the country — hasn't budged much.  The deadliest mass shooting in the nation's history was the  attack on Pulse Nightclub in Orlando last year, killing 49 and leaving another 53 wounded.    Earlier this month, a 12-year-old member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — Utah's overwhelmingly predominant religion — was silenced by ecclesiastical leadership in front of her congregation while she bore her testimony and came out as a lesbian in a video that quickly went viral.    Lesbian, gay and bisexual youth are more than twice as likely to attempt to kill themselves than their heterosexual peers.   According to River Beatty's obituary, a 22-year-old Southern Utahn who committed suicide in May, she was transitioning from male to female and was "antagonized" throughout her life because she struggled with her gender identity.   One 15-year-old Californian in the LDS faith was sent to St. George in 2011 by her parents who believed her homosexuality could be cured with treatment. Alex Cooper, coauthor of "Saving Alex," was subjected to emotional and physical abuse at an unlicensed treatment center run by fellow Mormons who "used faith to punish and terrorize her."  She was subjected to emotional and physical abuse, including being forced to face a wall while wearing a backpack full of rocks for extended periods of time.  These few of many examples show just how dangerous it is, still, to identify as LGBT in the United States, not only because hate crimes and speech are rampant, but also because LGBT individuals are often a danger to even themselves.   LGB youth are more than twice as likely to attempt to kill themselves than their heterosexual peers, according to the Centers for Disease Control, while  youth who identify as transgender are 8 times more likely to attempt suicide with parent rejection.    More surprising is the "exceptionally high prevalence" of lifetime suicide attempts of LGBT youth across all demographics, according to the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention.   Members of the Southern Utah LGBT community report facing issue after issue, but perhaps the most important question is:  Are we willing to lose our children over this? 

It was only 17 years ago that then-President Bill Clinton designated June as Pride Month. 

Each year since then, individuals who identify as LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) and their allies organize events that promote visibility and demand equality throughout the month. 

http://www.thespectrum.com/story/news/2017/06/22/why-lgbt-youth-utah-consider-suicide/411364001/  

However, in those 17 years, the amount of hate crimes against LGBT individuals — the most targeted minority group in the country — hasn't budged much.

The deadliest mass shooting in the nation's history was the attack on Pulse Nightclub in Orlando last year, killing 49 and leaving another 53 wounded. 

Earlier this month, a 12-year-old member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — Utah's overwhelmingly predominant religion — was silenced by ecclesiastical leadership in front of her congregation while she bore her testimony and came out as a lesbian in a video that quickly went viral. 

Lesbian, gay and bisexual youth are more than twice as likely to attempt to kill themselves than their heterosexual peers.

According to River Beatty's obituary, a 22-year-old Southern Utahn who committed suicide in May, she was transitioning from male to female and was "antagonized" throughout her life because she struggled with her gender identity. 

One 15-year-old Californian in the LDS faith was sent to St. George in 2011 by her parents who believed her homosexuality could be cured with treatment. Alex Cooper, coauthor of "Saving Alex," was subjected to emotional and physical abuse at an unlicensed treatment center run by fellow Mormons who "used faith to punish and terrorize her."

She was subjected to emotional and physical abuse, including being forced to face a wall while wearing a backpack full of rocks for extended periods of time.

These few of many examples show just how dangerous it is, still, to identify as LGBT in the United States, not only because hate crimes and speech are rampant, but also because LGBT individuals are often a danger to even themselves. 

LGB youth are more than twice as likely to attempt to kill themselves than their heterosexual peers, according to the Centers for Disease Control, while youth who identify as transgender are 8 times more likely to attempt suicide with parent rejection. 

More surprising is the "exceptionally high prevalence" of lifetime suicide attempts of LGBT youth across all demographics, according to the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention. 

Members of the Southern Utah LGBT community report facing issue after issue, but perhaps the most important question is: Are we willing to lose our children over this?