Regarding the Death of Leelah Alcorn

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t fully understand gender identity. I know that it is a very complex, nuanced issue. I know that I have never struggled with gender dysphoria. I know that my experiences are not every person’s experiences. I know that life can be complicated and painful and difficult. I know that life’s problems and pain, for those whose experiences differ from mine, can be much worse. So much so that research suggests, as adults, transgender people attempt suicide at an astounding rate of 41% – even higher for those who come out to their communities as transgender, 50%. Continue reading


Teen Suicide, The LGBT Community, And The Church

Recently, I wrote a paper about adolescent suicide as an assignment for a counseling class. While researching this topic, I came across some startling statistics that I feel like I need to share. First, did you know that suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States?[1] In adolescents (15-24), suicide is the third leading cause of death[2]! That means that, after accidents and murder, suicide kills more of our young people than any other factor.[2] This blows my mind! Still crazier, this rate skyrockets for adolescents in the LGBT community, with suicide being the number one cause of death.[3] In fact, LGBT youths are “two or three times more likely to commit suicide” than there straight peers, typically as a result of “the debilitating effects of growing up in a homophobic society”.[3]  Some research suggests that upwards of 50% of LGBT adolescents attempt suicide.[4] I think it obviously points to a larger societal issue when nearly half of any one demographic attempts suicide.  Continue reading