Since I’ve been working with LGBTQ people who have been disowned or rejected by their families, I’ve been thinking a lot about what the long term effects might be. I have my own opinions, based on my observations. Of course, there is no scientific basis for my opinion! 🙂 I thought I’d see if there was any research on the subject.
I found there was a study titled “Supportive Families, Healthy Children: Helping Families with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Children,” authored by Dr. Caitlin Ryan, director of the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University, right in my own backyard! It’s too long to tell everything it found but I found some findings very interesting.
“Rejection greatly heightens the risks of depression, suicide attempts, substance abuse, as well as exposure to HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
“For example, Ryan said that LGBT youth are three and a half times more likely to be at risk for HIV infection as young adults when they experience “high levels of family rejection.” Lifetime suicide attempts are also much increased, making them eight and half times more likely to attempt suicide, she said, when rejection is high.” Quoted from an article in the Washington Blade.
These statistics sadden me more than I can adequately express. This is what drives me to do what I do.
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