Trans And Non Binary Teenagers At Greater Risk Of Suicide Than Cis Gender Peers

Research carried out in the US shows that non binary and trans teenagers have a far higher risk of attempting suicide than their straight and binary counterparts.

A teenagers seen from behind in a dark tunnel with light at the end

A disturbing new report, the Transgender Adolescent Suicide Behavior report released by the American Academy of Pediatrics has revealed that the rates of trans and non binary teenagers who have attempted suicide are far higher than what may have been initially suspected.

The report’s authors, Russell B. Toomey, Amy K. Syvertsen, and Maura Shramko stated: “Our primary objective was to examine prevalence rates of suicide behavior across 6 gender identity groups: female; male; transgender, male to female; transgender, female to male; transgender, not exclusively male or female; and questioning. Our secondary objective was to examine variability in the associations between key sociodemographic characteristics and suicide behavior across gender identity groups.”

One of the authors, Toomey, described the researchers reasoning for the category breakdown: “Research on transgender adolescent suicide behaviors has really focused on comparing transgender youth as a whole group to cisgender youth as a whole group, rather than looking for any within-group differences that might exist, which we know might be beneficial knowledge for prevention and intervention efforts.”

Data for the study was collected from the Student Life: Attitudes and Behaviors survey, looking at young people aged 11-19. The survey covered a 36 month period: June 2012 to May 2015.

The study of teenagers found “nearly 14% of adolescents reported a previous suicide attempt; disparities by gender identity in suicide attempts were found. Female to male adolescents reported the highest rate of attempted suicide (50.8%), followed by adolescents who identified as not exclusively male or female (41.8%), male to female adolescents (29.9%), questioning adolescents (27.9%), female adolescents (17.6%), and male adolescents (9.8%). Identifying as nonheterosexual exacerbated the risk for all adolescents except for those who did not exclusively identify as male or female (ie, nonbinary).”

September 10 was World Suicide Day. To raise awareness for LGBT+ mental health issues, Years & Years frontman, Olly Alexander, unveiled a reworked version of the Pride flag with two of the stripes missing entitled “The Flag We Shouldn’t Be Proud Of”.

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