Monday, December 19, 2016

LGBTQ+ Youth in Colorado

Everyone knows LGBTQ+ youth have it rough. Everyone knows the rate of being bullied among that group –with transgendered people in particular –is alarmingly high compared to most teens in general. They know this is a national trend present in all states. Less people know that about 50% of LGBTQ+ youth –especially transgendered women –have been raped. Fewer people know that how BAD the suicide rate is among LGBTQ+ -especially transgendered people.

So here’s some clarity and some actual statistics based the “Healthy Kids Colorado Survey”. (If you want to download the survey, first get the Table of Contents which goes over each question asked and each section theme and then look at the survey itself. Website ->

35% of LGBTQ+ Youth have been Bullied
20% of LGBTQ+ Youth have been Raped
87% are generally Depressed
50% have inflicted Self-Harm
46% have Contemplated Suicide
38% Planned to Commit Suicide
25% Did attempt Suicide

In almost EVERY category listed in that VERY extensive document over and over again the sexual-orientation sections shows consistently the disparity between what many teens are going through and what LGBTQ+ teens in particular are going through.

Race is another common theme that comes up a lot and many people forget, LGBTQ+ youth aren’t just white. Race adds another element of further disparity and an increase in the likelihood of harm.

Coming from California I can tell you the climate of that state with regard to the LGBTQ+ community in general. There are people openly supportive of gay people and not afraid to say and then there are people pretty aggressively against gay people –either by siting religious reasons or because they’re a bigoted a**hole in general. In general California acknowledges the gay community prevalently and they have a good amount of representation there –in part because of Harvey Milk and San Francisco.

In Colorado the situation is a lot different. Like California you have central areas of cosmopolitan cityscapes and you have pockets of more isolated agricultural/country areas as well as Mountain/Pine Tree areas. In the cities, it’s pretty commonly understood you don’t have issue with gay people. In kind, the countries and mountain regions are generally understood to be against them. The main difference from California is the LACK of gay history being prevalent as it is in that state. In general there is a LACK of acknowledgment of that community. You can say that they’re out of sight because they’re out of mind. And even talking about gay people is still deemed controversial in some places.

I feel like in the cities LGBTQ+ youth would stand more of a chance and have more resources/support to draw from. But out in the country or in more isolated areas, they’d be screwed. 

And the problem with Transgendered people in general is that unlike gay people who can “hide” their orientation or pretend to be straight to evade abuses, Transgendered people specifically want their gender identity to be recognized mostly by External means. You can hide an orientation if you need to, but hiding your entire Gender is far more of a challenge which leaves a lot of trans youth forced to be more “out-in-the-open” with their true identity and therefore far more at risk of being mistreated because of it.

And transgendered children and teens aren’t stupid. They watch t.v. and see social media and KNOW there are people across the nation calling them pedophiles, perverts, and sinful creations. They KNOW they’re deeply hated. They are aware of it externally on a local AND national level. They see the way people in North Carolina are being treated and how do you not feel like an endangered species being hunted when there are so few people around that are like and so many people around you telling you you’re evil.

And this is what they get. For every person who hates upon members of the LGBTQ+ community to any extent, your dreams have come true. They’re dying. They’re dying swiftly, consistently, and in great number. And when they’re not dying of their own accord, they’re dying at the hands of murderers who feel their “sin” of taking life is lesser than the “sin” of living life as a transgendered person. 

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