Advocates see rise in gay suicide

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  • morningwalk
    Aug. 9, 2010 10:10 a.m.

    The Suicde Prevention Resource Center (US Department of Health and Human Services) reports: "LGB youth as a group experience ore suicidal behavior than other youth. {research from several sources] revealed that LGB youth are nearly one and a half to seven times more likely than non-LGB youth to have reported attempting suicide."

    The report continues, "LGB youth generally have more risk factors. . . . For example, LGB youth often lack important protective factors such as family support and safe schools, and more LGB young people appear to experience depression and substance abuse."

    And "It would be difficult to overstate the impact of stigma and depression against LGBT individuals in the Uniited States. Stigma and discrimination are directly tied to risk factors for suicide."

    The American Journal of Epidemiology (2002, 413-419) suggests that an aggravating factor among young men in Utah is their religiosity. That is, young men who have been active in the church but reduce their activity (which would include gay men who are depressed about their experiences in the church) have a suicide risk 6 to 7 times higher than for men in Utah who are not religious at all.

    Yes, we have an issue.

  • Fred Turpin
    Aug. 8, 2010 12:02 a.m.

    I am a psychoanalyst and clergyman. I have counseled numerous Mormon kids, many of whom are gay and lesbian. The wounds they have suffered have been deep and lasting, causing self-hatred and depression. They feel excluded from the faith of their parents and the official teachings of the LDS communicate rejection not just for their behavior but for who they are.
    It comes as no surprise that there would be a high number of suicides within Utah. For me, there is no greater sin than to harm the spirit of a child of God. Presently there are many within the LDS who will say they offer love but turn around and do everything possible to make the lives of gay people as hard as possible, denying them legal equal opportunity for marriage, acceptance and happiness.

  • jazzlobo
    Aug. 7, 2010 6:37 p.m.

    The ignorance in a lot of these comments is astounding, but shouldn't be surprising coming from so many people who live in a bubble and need a church to tell them how to think and can't think for themselves.

    Al, let me tell you there is no suffering from same gender attraction. Personally, I wouldn't want it any other way. The suffering comes from the contradiction one faces, realizing his/her same gender attraction is not a choice and cannot reconcile it with the teachings of a church they love.

    I was born and raised Mormon and the best thing I ever did was leave the church. I know that's impossible for most people who need a crutch in life and embrace a fantasy to help them cope with the delusion of an afterlife. In the meantime, we continue to needlessly lose our brothers and sisters because the church makes it too difficult to reconcile two strongly opposing forces.

  • Sarah B
    Aug. 7, 2010 2:51 p.m.

    I know a prominent member of the Church whose name would be recognized by probably hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of members of the Church worldwide. His daughter is a lesbian and she hasn't been shunned or ostracized. He trusts that things will be worked out with Christ as the ultimate, all knowing judge.

    Please don't claim all members of the Church are uncaring or claim the Church doesn't love them because of their sexual preferences. The Church cannot change doctrine just because someone feels bad about their life. You either believe God's word on the subject, or you don't. Just because people disagree with one another doesn't mean you hate them.

    Blaming others is a copout. Suicide is a choice. There are resources to help if people avail themselves, regardless of sexual preference.

    Comparing bipolar to pedophilia is like comparing apples to oranges. There is no sexual perversion unless of course the person with it is also a pedophile.

    I know all homosexuals are not pedophiles and I know not all pedophiles are homosexual.

  • Sutton
    Aug. 7, 2010 1:44 p.m.

    I agree with the fact that suicide is a problem that goes beyond sexual orientation... what Susan B. and Livestrong don't understand is that Gay- suicide is mostly somewhat preventable... a little of respect, tolerance, and love would go a long way to prevent some of these suicides.

    How often is a person with Bipolar disorder compared to pedophiles????

  • Sarah B
    Aug. 7, 2010 1:20 p.m.

    The pain a family feels when someone kills themselves is the same, regardless of the reason. To say LGBT are suffering more than say someone with bipolar is insulting. Suicides in ANY community are just too many. Duh.

  • Al Thepal
    Aug. 7, 2010 12:37 p.m.

    I am extremely sorry for people such as Utah Ref's son and the friends of the former Bishop of Cougar Blue. I also don't know what to say. The LDS Church does teach to love people, no matter what, especially if they have such trials in their lives. Unfortunately, the members of the Church are far from perfect.

    However, I do not agree with same sex marriage, and am sure accepting it is not the proper solution to this problem. We in the Church should love those with homosexual tendencies, but if sin is committed, it should never be accepted as being right, just as we will always consider adultery and fornication of straight people a sin. Repentance is available in both cases. I think the proper solution (at least within the LDS Church) would be for Bishops and other local Church leaders to be properly trained on how to help one who suffers from same gender attraction.

  • Cougar Blue
    Aug. 7, 2010 9:20 a.m.

    I cringe in empathy at your pain, UtahRef, and find it difficult to even know what to say.

    My former Bishop, when his oldest daughter, who was a state champion cross country runner, came out to him, related to me an interesting story. He was raised in Cache Valley and recalls two of his very best friends who returned off missions, married quickly and had children. Within 4 years, both had committed suicide because they were gay and could not handle the situation. This was back in the late 60's and they had no one that they knew of to go for help. This has been going on for years and really needs to stop. The anti-gay vitriol amongst the general church population must stop. There will be accountability in the future.

    Deepest sympathy to you, sir.

  • Rod
    Aug. 7, 2010 8:10 a.m.

    There are too many suicides from people of all walks of life. To say that there is an increase in LGBT community suicides is meaningless by itself. I need to know some percentages and how that relates to the population in general. Suicide is a very difficult action to understand and even more difficult to detect. Some segments of society seem to be more prone than others to take their own lives. Maybe this is where we start.

  • UtahRef`
    Aug. 7, 2010 7:09 a.m.

    Livestrong, I appreciate the concern you show for suicide as "a human issue," but I am concerned that you seem to attack the premise of the story.

    My son was a gay Mormon. He served an honorable mission. He was true to his faith and never acted on his same-sex attraction. He lived in sheer agony from the day he realized he was gay until he put a gun to his head this past spring and killed himself.

    Please don't tell us that this issue is "not nearly unique to the LGBT community." Until you've lived it, you have no clue what it is to lose a child or family member to this scourge.

    It makes it that much harder to know that the faith my son loved so much didn't love him back -- at least, not enough to allow him to be who he really was in this life.

    If I sound bitter and angry, it's because I am. My son had to seek peace in the next life to get away from the pain of this one. If this is not a LGBT issue, there is no such thing as an issue.

  • Dixie Mike
    Aug. 7, 2010 4:51 a.m.

    All this angry language must be very upsetting for someone with same-sex attraction, especially if that person is in his or her teen years.

  • Dixie Mike
    Aug. 7, 2010 4:00 a.m.

    All the angry language in same-sex marriage debate must be very upsetting for someone with same gender attraction, especially if that person is in his or her teen years.

  • livestrong
    Aug. 7, 2010 12:59 a.m.

    Suicide is not nearly unique to the LGBT community. Do we write articles about all of the suicide situations?

    We definitely need to reach out to love and support all of our neighbors and family members. But please, this is not a LGBT issue----it's a human issue.