Nearly Half of LGBTQ Teens Considered Suicide in 2021

A new survey has found that 48% of LGBTQ teens, ages 13-17, seriously considered attempting suicide last year.

Nearly Half of LGBTQ Teens Considered Suicide in 2021

Additionally, • 70% of the nearly 34,000 LGBTQ youth surveyed said their mental health was “poor” most of the time or always during the pandemic. Photo via Adobe, by Barry J Brady

In 2021, 48% of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) teens, ages 13-17 and 34% of LGBTQ young adults, ages 18-24, considered suicide, according to the Trevor Project’s latest survey.

The increase disclosed Wednesday in the National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health 2021 is the third consecutive year rates of suicidal ideation have increased among LGBTQ youth (ages 13-24). Last year’s study found that 40% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in 2020. The percentage of LGBTQ youth who seriously considered attempting suicide increased in 2021 to 42%, including more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth.

While 12% of White and Asian/Pacific Islander youth made attempts last year, 31% of Native/Indigenous youth, 21% of Black youth, 21% of Multiracial youth, and 18% of Latinx youth attempted suicide in 2021.

LGBTQ youth who had lower rates of suicide attempts had access to spaces (online, school, and/or home) that affirmed their sexual orientation and gender identity. However, only one in three LGBTQ youth said their homes were LGBTQ-affirming.

Additionally, transgender and nonbinary youth who could change their name and/or gender identification on legal documents reported lower rates of attempted suicide. The rate of suicide attempted among transgender and nonbinary youth whose pronouns are respected were half of those who did not have their pronouns respected.

The rate of generalized anxiety disorder among LGBTQ youth increased in 2021 as well, from 68% in 2020 to 72% last year. More respondents also reported symptoms of major depressive disorder in the past two weeks: from 55% in 2020 to 62% in 2021.

The study also found that:

  • 70% of the nearly 34,000 LGBTQ youth surveyed said their mental health was “poor” most of the time or always during the pandemic
  • 48% wanted mental health counseling from a professional but weren’t able to receive it.
  • 30% experienced food insecurity in the past month
  • 94% said recent political activity negatively affected their mental health
  • More than eight in ten said it’s important for a crisis line to include a focus on LGBTQ youth
  • 27% who were subjected to conversion therapy attempted suicide in the past year, compared to 12% who attempted suicide but were not subjected to conversion therapy

Read the full report.


Individuals struggling with this issue can contact the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386. Additionally, If you or a loved one are struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can text TALK to 741741 or initiate an online chat at suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/. Additional resources can also be found at SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources.

About the Author

Robin Hattersley Gray
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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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