News (USA)

LGBTQ+ youth with guns at home more likely to attempt suicide

Child found pistol in drawer at home.
Photo: Shutterstock

new report from the Trevor Project and Everytown for Gun Safety found that 40% of LGBTQ+ youth have a firearm in their home, and this increases the risk of both suicidal ideation and attempts.

The study found that 44% of LGBTQ+ people between the ages of 13 to 17 reported having a firearm in their home compared to 36% of LGBTQ+ people between the ages of 18-24. Furthermore, queer youth who had a firearm in their home were more likely to have seriously considered suicide in the past year. About 43% of LGBTQ+ youth who had a firearm where they lived said they had thought about suicide seriously, compared to 37% of their queer counterparts who do not have a gun in their homes.

The study further found that reporting the presence of a firearm in the home was associated with 19% higher odds of seriously considering suicide in the past year, compared to LGBTQ+ young people who didn’t report a firearm in their home.

The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project A graph showing suicide risk among LGBTQ+ young people who have firearms in their homes compared to those who don’t

Tragically, LGBTQ+ people who have firearms in their homes had 2% higher rates of attempting suicide compared to those who did not, at 13% versus 11%, respectively.

“Behind every data point in this report, there is a real person whose life was put at risk because they were simply trying to live as their most authentic selves. We can’t accept this,” said Sarah Burd-Sharps, senior director of research at Everytown for Gun Safety. “It is well documented that putting time and space between a person in crisis and a firearm can reduce suicidal risk and save lives. If we, as a society want to address this glaring public health crisis, we have to start with the role that guns play in queer youth suicides.”

Report also examines impact of mass shootings on LGBTQ+ youth

Approximately 21% of LGBTQ+ youth reported that they or someone they know had been affected by a mass shooting. Those aged 18-24 reported a higher impact rate (23%) compared to their peers aged 13-17 (18%). This statistic was higher for nonbinary and transgender youth, 22% of which said they were impacted or knew someone impacted by a mass shooting. Only 19% of their cisgender LGBQ+ peers said the same.

Roughly 85% to 90% of LGBTQ+ youth nationwide reported being worried about a mass shooting happening in their community.

Threat of firearms. Muzzle of gun in man's hand is pointed at camera. Male criminal holds revolver on black background. Attack or defense.

“Pride Month should be a time for all LGBTQ+ people to celebrate our community freely, unapologetically, and safely,” said Derrick Matthews, director of research science at The Trevor Project. “However, these new data suggest that in the midst of these celebrations, a number of LGBTQ+ young people may also be worried about mass shootings.”

“While harrowing, these data serve as a call to action to invest in more research on the impact that mass shootings and firearms have on LGBTQ+ young people,” he continued. “Better understanding and addressing the connections between firearms, mass shootings, and mental health will better allow LGBTQ+ young people to experience the queer joy they deserve not only during Pride Month, but all year long.”

Editor’s note: If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat at The Trans Lifeline (1-877-565-8860) is staffed by trans people and will not contact law enforcement. The Trevor Project provides a safe, judgement-free place to talk for youth via chat, text (678-678), or phone (1-866-488-7386). Help is available at all three resources in English and Spanish.

Don't forget to share:

Support vital LGBTQ+ journalism

Reader contributions help keep LGBTQ Nation free, so that queer people get the news they need, with stories that mainstream media often leaves out. Can you contribute today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated

The Olympics has new guidelines for journalists covering trans athletes in Paris this summer

Previous article

Kyiv shoots down clever idea for a safe Pride March amid Russian war

Next article