×LGBTQ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and questioning
youth experience serious challenges. They are learning about their identities for the first time. “Coming out” as LGBTQ could lead to rejection or judgment from others. It can make them feel pressured to reject their identity or that they need to leave home to feel safe. These issues can impact their mental health.

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How Alex Overcame Stigma within Religion

Alex shares how an unexpected moment at a museum led to a conversation with her father about her identity and sexual orientation.

The Challenge in Finding LGBTQ-Trained Counselors

LGBTQ youth may also encounter health practices and policies that are not inclusive. For example, not all health providers have non-discrimination policies. Not all protect the confidentiality of minors. Conversion therapy is still legal in many states.

It is especially challenging for LGBTQ youth of color to get the care they need. They may face both LGBTQ-related discrimination and racism. Learn more about this intersectionality here.

These experiences – and laws and policies that limit the rights and protections of LGBTQ people – can lead youth to feel distressed and unable to cope. They deserve urgent action.

Improving LGBTQ Well-being

It’s also important to remember that LGBTQ youth are resilient. They find many sources of strength and joy. Research shows that inclusive policies and everyday interactions can improve LGBTQ well-being. Youth activists can make a difference. Call for researchers, policy-makers, and youth-serving groups to better support LGBTQ youth. [source]

*LGBTQ = Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and questioning

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Key Stats

Many LGBTQ youth experience negative impacts to their mental health as a result of discrimination (75%), inaccessible mental health care (48%), food and housing insecurity (30%), and conversion therapy (13%). [source]

86% of LGBTQ youth reported being harassed or assaulted at school, which can significantly impact their mental health. [source]

42% of LGBTQ youth overall and more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the last year. [source]

Policies and environments that respect and affirm pronouns, sexual orientation, and gender identity save lives. [source]

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