It's Pride Month! Let's Talk About Mental Health and Suicide

It seems that with each new day that the media blasts announcements of celebrities taking their own lives we put a spot light on mental health and suicide for a moment and when the next piece of news or popular culture comes out we’ve forgotten that there are still so many in the world who are struggling with their mental health and suicidal tendencies. The last decade we have seen a flood of incidents in the world with suicide, predominately with LGBTQ+ youth.

Just last month, we wrote about a 17-year-old who shared the most heartbreaking suicide note.

In 2010, the It Gets Better Project was started by Dan Savage and his partner Terry Miller as a global movement to promote empowerment of LGBTQ+ youth in response to an increase in LGBTQ+ suicides that were surfacing via the internet and with the rise of social media.

And while the media may be inundated with stories of a new life cut short because of mental health and suicide, it is the media’s duty to continue to tell these narratives in hopes that we can save at least another life.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recently released their Youth Risk Behavior Survey that includes extensive surveys that span over the decade (2007-2017), tracking trends in LGBTQ+ violence victimization, bullying, and mental health issues in ages 13-24. The CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) routinely monitors youth health behaviors, conducts research, and evaluates innovative prevention strategies.

According to the YRBS:

  • 1/10th of LGB students reported not attending school because of safety concerns
  • 1/3 of all LGB youth are bullied at school, and are more than 2 times more likely to be electronically bullied than their straight peers
  • LGB youth are more than 2 times more likely to experience persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness than their straight peers
  • LGB youth are almost 4 times more likely to seriously consider attempting suicide than their straight peers
  • LGB youth are almost 4 times more likely to have made a suicide plan than their straight peers
  • Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are more than four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers
  • LGB youth are more than four times more likely to be injured in a suicide attempt than their straight peers

The Trevor Project CEO and Executive Director, Amit Paley says:

This new data highlights that suicide is a continued public health crisis for young people in this country, especially among LGBTQ youth. That’s why it’s important for us to continue reaching out to LGBTQ youth to let them know that they are valued and never alone.

The Trevor Project is the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ young people.

As we celebrate Pride month with friends and family we should keep in mind that the true essence of our existence as a community relies heavily on our internal and external allies. We must support one another and come together toward ending bullying, violence against the LGBTQ+ people, and the stigmas related to mental health.

The Trevor Project is here for you 24/7. Call TrevorLifeline at 1-866-488-7386 or visit www.thetrevorproject.org 

h/t: The Trevor Project, It Gets Better Project, Youth Risk Behavior Survey

Gay Bunny Outsells Mike Pence!

Gay Bunny Outsells Mike Pence!

John Oliver’s Gag Book Battles The VP!

#SHADE! You may be familiar with the Easter Bunny or Peter Rabbit, but have you heard of Marlon Bundo? Inspired by iconic actor, Marlon Brando, Bundo is the pet rabbit of painfully awful Vice President, Mike Pence, and his family. I’m a regular watcher of ABC’s The View and recently had to suffer through Charlotte Pence plugging the children’s book. The only time I had a reaction was listening to the audience barely clap upon discovering they would all be going home with a complimentary copy! The book goes through a “day in the life of the Presidential bunny”. Is this bunny trying to escape? Are there armed guards, a love story, crazy owls?! No, unfortunately it is not a reboot of the terrifying children’s film The Secret of NIMH, instead it’s just a drawn out, lame attempt at a connection with society. So, of course it get’s parodied by a handful of celebrities, but…girl, why did the parody of Bundo – a gay bunny – OUTSELL the original material?!

As it turns out, Comedian and Late Night Television Host, John Oliver, accompanied himself with writer, Jill Twiss, and Illustrator, EG Keller, to create a gay version of Pence’s bunny who has a completely different adventure in his day at the White House. Literally – hilarious! Oliver revealed his parody of the children’s book after speaking of Pence’s horrible view of the LGBTQ community.

According to the Huffington Post, Oliver's version hit number one on the Amazon Children’s chart and even has an audiobook narrated by The Big Bang Theory’s, openly-gay actor, Jim Parsons, among other celebrity voices.

For what it’s worth: Pence’s book money will head to charities such as Tracy’s Kids and A21, an art program for children and fighting human trafficking, respectively. I believe this is a win for everyone, since we get to take yet another stab at the Trump Administration…and all of the proceeds of the book are going to The Trevor Project as well as AIDS United Charity, which support LGBTQ youth. So, in the event, we’re all kind of winning.

Whether we want to admit it or not, Charlotte Pence seemed to have a sense of humor over the book’s parody. She posted a photo to her social media claiming she believes her Bundo looks great in a bow tie and complimented the charity donations. Check out the photo below:



If you want to hear more, you’ve got to check out Oliver hilariously telling Ellen DeGeneres all about the parodied book in the clip below:

If you’d like to get your hands on a copy of A Day In The Life Of Marlon Bundo: You know, the good one which will donate to The Trevor Project, head HERE!

New Survey Says Over Half of LGBTQ Youth Have An Eating Disorder

The Trevor Project says over half of LGBTQ youth have an eating disorder.

The Trevor Project, the National Eating Disorders Association, and Reasons Eating Disorder Center joined together to conduct a survey.

They asked 1,305 people between the ages of 13 and 24 about the topic of eating disorders and body issues. Each one of the US based respondents also identified as LGBTQ people.

The report found that 54% of respondents said that they were diagnosed with an eating disorder. Compare that to the reported 5% of straight youth and you’ll see that we have a problem here.

Other results were:

  • 71% of Trans people who identified as straight were diagnosed with some sort of eating disorder. Also, anorexia was the most common eating disorder within the group.
  • 58% of LGBTQ youth who were diagnosed with an eating disorder considered suicide at one point.
  • Half of LGBTQ youth who weren’t diagnosed with an eating disorder say that they think they have one anyway.

As you might imagine, both the Trevor Project and the National Eating Disorders Association had some thoughts on these results.

Trevor Project CEO and Executive Director Amit Paley says they were stunned by the numbers.

“We need to do far more to help the alarming number of LGBTQ youth living with eating disorders and struggling with thoughts of suicide,” he added.

Clair Mysko, the CEO of NEDA, also said:

“The results make it clear that troubling numbers of LGBTQ youth are affected by eating disorders and self-harm. Together, we are working to raise awareness and put live-saving resources into the hands of those in need. It’s time to get real about these issues and ensure that everyone has access to the support they deserve.”