In the US, more teens than previously thought are transgender or identify themselves as non-gender conforming, a 2016 survey found. The study surveyed teens in two grades, but the rates of identifying as transgender turned out to be higher (0.7%) than government data previously estimated (0.6%). With that in mind, we clearly see that teens are rejecting binary thinking and adults have to keep up.
Unfortunately, real-life examples show that not everyone seems to be on the same page yet. “The first time our child said he felt like a boy, he was 8,” wrote the dad on the “Am I An A-hole?” subreddit, where he shared an incident from his family.
It turns out, mom refused to accept her son’s transition, doing everything she could not to let go of that girl her son was born as. Luckily, the dad stood up for their son and told the wife to “get over herself” and support him. His post amassed 4.2K upvotes and counting, and 351 comments from people sharing their views on this sensitive family case.
Image credits: Throw_away4679
Identifying your gender, realizing your sexuality, and coming out are the most mentally and physically challenging experiences a human has to go through. Especially if it happens at one’s most vulnerable time, during the childhood and teenage years when everyone is already struggling with finding their true selves in this relentless world.
Bored Panda reached out to Rob Todaro, the communications manager at The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning young people. Rob said that the recent 2020 Trevor Project National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health showed that LGBTQ kids are going through extremely serious challenges.
“6 out of 10 LGBTQ youth said that someone attempted to convince them to change their sexual orientation or gender identity. And those who had experienced attempts to change their sexual orientation or gender identity reported twice the rate of suicide attempts as those who did not experience change attempts.”
He also said that the survey showed that 1 in 3 LGBTQ youth reported that they’ve been physically threatened or harmed in their life due to their LGBTQ identity. 29% of LGBTQ youth, due to their identity, have even experienced homelessness, been kicked out, or run away.
Support from friends and family plays a key role in mental wellbeing of LGBT youth
Rob explained that affirming LGBTQ youth in their identities is essential to their mental health and wellness. This especially has to do with support from family and friends. “The LGBTQ youth who reported high levels of social support from family and friends were significantly less likely to attempt suicide compared to those with lower levels of social support.”
Incredibly, “transgender and nonbinary youth who said that their pronouns are respected by all or most of the people in their lives attempted suicide at half the rate of those who did not have their pronouns respected,” Rob explained, highlighting the healing power transgender acceptance can bring.
And at least a single accepting adult can make a whole world of difference. “We’ve also found that just one accepting adult can reduce the risk of a suicide attempt among LGBTQ young people by 40 percent,” Rob concluded.
And this is what people had to say about it
Showing support for LGBTQ youth is crucial and makes a huge impact on a person in a mental crisis. Please see The Trevor Lifeline for youth in need of immediate support, which can be life-saving.