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Acceptance of trans, nonbinary youth associated with lower rates of attempting suicide

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A new study from The Trevor Project shows that acceptance of one’s gender identity from adults and peers was associated with significantly lower odds of attempting suicide among transgender and nonbinary youth.

The Project said the results come from a on a national sample of more than 8,000 transgender and nonbinary youth from across the United States.

“The findings of this study are clear: transgender and nonbinary young people who feel accepted by the people in their lives, are less likely to attempt suicide,” said Dr. Myeshia Price, senior research scientist at The Trevor Project. “So much of the research that has been conducted on the topic of gender identity acceptance has focused exclusively on parents. While that relationship is critical to understand, our data emphasize the need to analyze the impact of other adults and peers in the lives of trans and nonbinary young people, as they also have a key role to play in fostering acceptance and creating safe spaces. Doing so will help save young lives.” 

Key findings from the article, “Association of Gender Identity Acceptance with Fewer Suicide Attempts among Transgender and Nonbinary Youth,” include:

  • Transgender and nonbinary (TGNB) youth who reported gender identity acceptance from at least one adult had 33% lower odds of reporting a past-year suicide attempt.
    • Transgender youth with acceptance from at least one adult had 39% lower odds of attempting suicide in the past year compared with their transgender peers who were not accepted.
    • Nonbinary youth with acceptance from at least one adult had 33% lower odds of attempting suicide in the past year compared with their nonbinary peers who were not accepted.
  • TGNB youth who reported gender identity acceptance from at least one peer had 34% lower odds of reporting a past-year suicide attempt.
  • TGNB youth who reported high gender identity acceptance from a variety of adults had significantly lower odds of attempting suicide in the past year, including: from their parents (43% lower odds), from other family members (49% lower odds), from school professionals (33% lower odds), and from health care professionals (32% lower odds).
  • TGNB youth who reported high gender identity acceptance from a variety of fellow young people also had significantly lower odds of attempting suicide in the past year, including: from their peers (34% lower odds), from their straight friends (34% lower odds), from their LGBTQ friends (33% lower odds), from their classmates (42% lower odds).

2020 study, published by The Trevor Project’s researchers in the Journal of Adolescent Health, found that transgender and nonbinary youth were 2 to 2.5 times as likely to experience depressive symptoms, seriously consider suicide, and attempt suicide compared to their cisgender LGBQ peers.

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