Metro Weekly

Transgender youth more vulnerable to depression and suicidal feelings

Transgender and nonbinary youth report higher instances of discrimination, threats, and physical harm

transgender, trans, youth, depression

Photo: Sander van der Wel, via Wikimedia.

A new peer-reviewed study from the Trevor Project’s research team finds that transgender and nonbinary youth are more at risk of depression and suicidal ideation than their cisgender peers.

According to the study’s findings, which are set to be published in the Journal of Adolescent Health next month, transgender and nonbinary youth are two to 2.5 times as likely to experience depression and seriously consider, or even attempt, suicide, compared to their cisgender LGBQ peers. That finding holds up, even when controlling for age, family income, and race or ethnicity.

The article on the study, titled “Understanding the Mental Health of Transgender and Nonbinary Youth,” finds that trans and nonbinary youth report higher rates of perceived discrimination due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.

They are also twice as likely as their cisgender peers to report having been physically threatened or harmed due to their identity.

Transgender males were the most susceptible to depression and suicidal ideation, with 86% reporting feelings of depression, 62% having considered suicide, and more than 1 in 3, or 35%, having attempted suicide over the past year.

Trans males, trans females, and nonbinary youth assigned female at birth were all significantly more likely to consider suicide than their fellow LGBQ peers.

See also: 2 out of every 5 LGBTQ youth have seriously considered suicide, study says

“Prior to this study, there was a clear lack of research on the differences in mental health and suicidality within different sub-groups of LGBTQ youth,” Dr. Amy Green, the director of research at The Trevor Project, said in a statement.

“These results underscore that transgender and nonbinary youth are particularly vulnerable to poor mental health outcomes and suicide risk compared to their cisgender peers within the LGBTQ community,” Green added. “Furthermore, they show how LGBTQ-based discrimination and victimization contribute to these increased mental health disparities.”

“At The Trevor Project, we hear from trans youth in crisis every day and we understand the detrimental impacts discrimination and harassment can have on their mental health and well-being,” Dr. Myeshia Price-Feeney, a research scientist at The Trevor Project, said. “We hope this data will encourage more robust nationwide data collection on LGBTQ youth mental health, and that policymakers and health care providers will use these insights to create policies and safe spaces that protect and affirm trans youth everywhere.”

For more information on The Trevor Project, visit www.thetrevorproject.org. The Trevor Project’s crisis counselors can be reached via phone at 1-866-488-7386, text at 678678, or via chat at www.thetrevorproject.org/help.

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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