LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning) youth often face a variety of challenges at school, home, and in their communities. For the last 20+ years, research (Russell & Horn, 2016) has continued to show that LGBTQ+ youth have higher rates of depression and anxiety, as well as suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. LGBTQ+ youth are more likely to be truant and are less likely to graduate from high school. They are more likely to struggle with substance abuse and have higher rates of sexually transmitted infections. And, of the thousands of homeless youth across the country, it is estimated that 40% of them are LGBTQ+.
Despite the many risk factors LGBTQ+ youth face, there are also stories of hope, strength, and resiliency. A key factor in these lesser-heard stories is family support and acceptance. It’s OK if you’re unsure of what to say or if you’re struggling to fully understand what this means. Below are resources parents and guardians can access to learn more general information, as well as strategies about how you can support LGBTQ+ youth’s overall health and well-being: