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2SLGBTQ+ Education Guide

A primer on 2SLGBTQ+ identities for the curious, questioning, teachers and allies, and a guide to further resources for research, assignments and interests.

Mental Health for 2SLGBTQ+ People

Mental Health for 2SLGBTQ+ People

"For decades, we’ve known that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals experience a range of social, economic and health disparities — often the result of a culture and of laws and policies that treat them as lesser human beings. They’re more likely to struggle with poverty and social isolation. They have a higher risk of mental health problems, substance use and smoking. Sexual minorities live, on average, shorter lives than heterosexuals, and L.G.B.T. youth are three times as likely to contemplate suicide, and nearly five times as likely to attempt suicide.

Some of these disparities have interpersonal roots: social exclusion, harassment, internalized homophobia. But often they stem from an explicit denial of rights: same-sex marriage bans, employment discrimination, denial of federal benefits. Discrimination in any form can have serious health consequences: Sexual minorities living in communities with high levels of prejudice die more than a decade earlier than those in less prejudiced communities." Dhruv Khullar, New York Times  

"Many transgender people do not experience their gender as distressing or disabling, which implies that identifying as transgender does not constitute a mental disorder. For these individuals, the significant problem is finding affordable resources, such as counseling, hormone therapy, medical procedures and the social support necessary to freely express their gender identity and minimize discrimination. Many other obstacles may lead to distress, including a lack of acceptance within society, direct or indirect experiences with discrimination, or assault. These experiences may lead many transgender people to suffer with anxietydepression or related disorders at higher rates than nontransgender persons." - American Psychological Association

"There can be a lot of stigma around talking to a mental health professional about your sexuality or gender, like it makes you seem ‘crazy’ to be doing so, or like there’s something ‘wrong’ with you, but people of all genders, sexualities, bodies and lives see therapists and doctors for a range of reasons. It’s a very normal and healthy thing to do. Mental health professionals are trained to provide you with resources, tools and ideas for managing stress, fear and difficult times! They are legally also required to keep your confidence, unless they believe you are a danger to yourself or others." - Scarleteen

Resources for Practitioners

Immediate Help Resources