A Summary of Data on LGBT Suicide for Suicide Prevention Month

Author: The Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law
Published: Sunday 6th September 2020
Summary: Research shows that anti-LGBT discrimination and victimization contribute to an increase in the risk of suicidality and that LGBT people are at disproportionate risk of suicidal ideation, planning, and attempts.


In recognition of Suicide Prevention Month, the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law is providing a summary of current data on suicidality among LGBT people. Scholars are available for comment.

1 - Research has shown a high prevalence of suicidal behavior among LGB people.

2 - A recent report from the Generations Study, a nationally representative study of cisgender LGB people, found that LGBQ people who experienced conversion therapy were at higher risk for suicide behavior compared with their peers who didn't undergo the practice.

3 - The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey (USTS), conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality, found that the prevalence of suicide thoughts and attempts among transgender adults is significantly higher than that of the U.S. general population.

4 - A 2019 analysis of the USTS found that respondents who faced discrimination, rejection, and violence were more likely to report suicide thoughts and attempts.

5 - Some factors were associated with lower risk of suicide thoughts and attempts for transgender people.

6 - A 2014 report found that LGBTQ youth are at heightened risk for suicidal outcomes, but risk varies based on sex and race/ethnicity.

7 - A 2019 report found that anti-bullying laws that explicitly protect youth based on sexual orientation are associated with fewer suicide attempts among all youth, regardless of sexual orientation.

"Experiences of discrimination and bullying can lead to suicidal behavior in LGBT people," said Ilan Meyer, Distinguished Senior Scholar of Public Policy at the Williams Institute. "Policies and interventions that effectively reduce stigma and discrimination while strengthening support networks and community connectedness could help reduce the risk of suicide for LGBT adults and youth."

The Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, a think tank on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy, is dedicated to conducting rigorous, independent research with real-world relevance.


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