A new study released by the American Academy of Pediatrics shows alarming levels of attempted suicide among transgender youth. The study documents the highest rates of attempted suicide among transgender boys and non-binary youth.

  

The study 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  [ie, non-binary] (41.8%), male to female adolescents (29.9%), questioning adolescents (27.9%), female adolescents (17.6%), and male adolescents (9.8%). Identifying as non-heterosexual exacerbated the risk for all adolescents except for those who did not exclusively identify as male or female. For transgender adolescents, no other sociodemographic characteristic was associated with suicide attempts.

 

Data were collected over a 36-month period from June 2012 to May 2015 across gender identity groups. A dichotomized self-reported lifetime suicide attempts (never versus ever) measure was used.

 

The findings suggest that suicide prevention efforts can be enhanced by attending to variability within transgender populations, particularly the heightened risk for female to male and non-binary transgender adolescents.

  

"These harrowing statistics lay bare the urgency of building welcoming and safe communities for LGBTQ young people, particularly for transgender youth," said Ellen Kahn, the HRC Foundation's Director of Children, Youth and Families Program. "The distressing reality reflected in this study is preventable, and our nation's schools, political leaders and communities can take concrete steps to combat this epidemic. HRC will continue to work with schools, faith communities, health care facilities, policy-makers and families to ensure that LGBTQ youth are able to live full, healthy lives."

 

Earlier this year, HRC released its 2018 LGBTQ Youth Report, which detailed similarly alarming experiences, but also significant perseverance among LGBTQ young people in the face of significant challenges. 

 

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