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A Surprising Fact about Gay Suicide and What We Can Do

Lesbian, Trans, Bi and Gay suicide

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness month. Lesbian, trans, bi and gay suicide and suicide attempts happen disproportionally more than the general population, and people who die by suicide are eight times more likely to have debt.

Lesbian, Trans, Bi and Gay Suicide and Queer Money

We partner with our friend, Melanie Lockert of Dear Debt, who’s bringing more attention to Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and highlighting the effects that debt has on those who become or are severely depressed. As suicide disproportionally affects the LGBT community and queer people have more financial struggles than the general population, we think it’s important to cover these important topics this month.

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Queer suicide

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. People who die by suicide are eight times more likely to be in debt. LGBTQ people disproportionately attempt suicide relative to the general population.

The fifth leading cause of death of all men, queer or straight, is suicide. The problem is so severe that the rate of suicide among men is currently three and a half times that of women. Middle-aged, white men account for seven out of 10 suicides. Suicide rates for men over the age of 75 are nine to 12 times higher than women. 

Suicide and suicide attempts are higher in the queer community than the general population. Queer teens and young adults have the highest rate of suicide attempts.

Many lesbian, trans, bi and gay suicides happen because the victims feel they have nowhere else to turn or that they have no other options, whether they struggle with their sexual orientation, their finances or both. The more we become aware of the signs and risks of suicides the better we can help prevent them.

Substance abuse and the queer community

The Advocate announced in 2015 that “gay men have a drinking problem” because the CDC reported that “[queer] people are more likely to use alcohol and drugs, have higher rates of substance abuse, and are more liable to continue drinking into later life.” The CDC further said the reasons for increased stress and depression among queer people are the same reasons they turn to drugs and alcohol.

Another reason is that to self-medicate, many queer people find refuge with drugs and alcohol. That refuge is only temporary at best and most drugs, including alcohol, are depressants. Therefore, the self-medication only exacerbates their depression, and the cost of drugs and alcohol add to their financial troubles.

Resources to prevent lesbian, trans, bi and gay suicide:

While we’re talking about being healthier and living better lives this month, we can’t forget about those who feel their lives have no worth. We can’t forget about those who struggle to get out of bed in the morning, let alone make it to the gym. We can’t forget about those who have been conditioned to feel inadequate, disappointed or worthless. 

If you or someone you know suffers from depression, substance abuse or thoughts of suicide, talk about it and know that others care.

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