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Thoughts of suicide on the rise for LGBTQ youth, according to survey from the Trevor Project

Advocates say Pride should always be celebrated
Posted at 6:24 AM, Jul 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-08 08:14:04-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Pride month may be over but advocates for the LGBTQ community say it’s important to continue celebrating the community. Especially with alarming statistics from the Trevor Project.

The nonprofit is the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for the LGBTQ community.

The Trevor Project found in its 2022 survey that 45% of LGBTQ youth have seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year.

Additionally, the survey found getting help for mental health isn’t always easy. People who participated in the survey said finding access was difficult for a variety of reasons. The top three responses given were fear of discussing mental health, concerns with getting permission from parents, and the fear of not being taken seriously.

The annual survey also found that 73% of LGBTQ youth reported experiencing symptoms of anxiety and another 58% reported experiencing symptoms of depression.

The nonprofit found that LGBTQ youth who live in an accepting community report significantly lower rates of attempting suicide than those who do not.

In communities that are less accepting, they turn to queer spaces and performers to feel accepted and not alone, like to drag superstars Gottmik and Violet Chachki. These two performers are currently on the "No Gorge” U.S. Pride Tour.

They teamed up with Hims & Hers as their exclusive telehealth partner, to provide free access to mental health services with the help of The Trevor Project.

These drag superstars preach to their fans that it does get better.

"You're going to find the people that you're meant to be with and you're going to attract that same kind of energy to you. I always say, as cliche as it sounds, it does get better because you will find your tribe and your queer family,” Gottmik explained.

Advocates and supporters are also worried about the 300 anti-LGBTQ bills that have been introduced in states across the country, including in Tennessee. The newest law here bans transgender athletes from participating in women's sports.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, this year 28 states have introduced anti-LGBTQ bills.

Advocates said the bills are dangerous, discriminatory, and have economic implications.

Many people and groups are worried about the future generation. Chachki said everyone must be louder than ever before and always have pride in who you are as a person — no matter what anyone else thinks.

“I think it's good to think of Pride month as sort of a reset. A chance to take a moment to celebrate all that we've accomplished but also think about all the stuff that needs to happen in the other 11 months. We need to be talking about the stuff that needs to happen that's yet to be done,” Chachki said.

Gottmik and Chachki will be performing in Nashville Friday night at Play Dance Bar. They’ve been hosting their tour in queer bars and spaces across the country to make the show accessible to all. The show was all designed and put together by the two performers — including the costumes, hair, and makeup.

If you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts reach out to someone. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is always available at 1-800-273-8255.

It is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the United States.

On July 16, the number will change to 988. It’s been designated as the new three-digit dialing code that will route callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. While some areas may be currently able to connect to the Lifeline by dialing 988, this dialing code will be available to everyone across the United States starting next Saturday.

The current Lifeline phone number will always remain available to people in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, even after 988 is launched nationally.