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LGBTQIA+: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, asexual, all sexual & gender minority people... [paragraph]
National research suggests approximately 40% of homeless youth are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered.
(T.A. Partnership for Child
& Family Mental Health, 2013)
LGBTQ young adults who experience high levels of rejection are more than three times as likely to use illegal drugs, almost six times as likely to have high levels of depression, and more than eight times as likely to have
(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2011)
Compared with other youth, youth who are LGBTQI2-S are two to three times more likely to attempt suicide.
They are more likely to drop out of school and become homeless.
West Virginia has collected little data on this population, and has yet to address this issue effectively, primarily due to the lack of information about LGBTQ health needs and LGBTQ-specific training for primary and behavioral health care providers. (BBHHF, 2013)
Youth who are LGBTQI2-S frequently encounter numerous challenges and may feel isolated, alienated, depressed, and fearful as they attempt to navigate their emerging awareness of their sexual and/or gender identity.
They are more likely than their peers to suffer from depression and use or
Bullying and rejection by peers and family members due to a youth’s LGBTQI2-S identity may exacerbate mental health challenges.
Nationally, 50% of gay teens experience a negative reaction from their parents when they come out. According to BBHHF, West Virginia ranks above the national average in religiosity (Pew Research Center 2009), which correlates negatively with attitudes toward the LGBTQ population (Winter 2011).
For this reason, many parents of LGBTQ youth in West Virginia have difficulty accepting their child’s sexual orientation and 26% are kicked out of their home (Battle 2002).
Youth who are LGBTQI2-S are at risk for a number of negative experiences and outcomes associated with how others react to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
Youth who are LGBTQI2-S may also be more likely to experience harassment from other youth and significant adults in their lives, and to be subjected to verbal, sexual, and physical abuse and other forms of trauma.