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Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Suicide Problems in England, Scotland, and Ireland?
Note: - The First GLB Suicide Web Page for an Individual European Country Became Available in August, 2000: Norway's Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Suicide Problems

To "Attempted Suicide" Results For Homosexually Oriented and Transgender  Males & Females: More Than 140 Studies!
(On Another Website & Includes Transgender Study Results)

To "Attempted Suicide" Study Results For European Homosexually Oriented Males & Females!
(On Another Website & Includes Transgender Study Results)

To "Attempted Suicide" Study Results For Homosexually Oriented Males & Females in The United Kingdom!
(On This Webpage & Includes Transgender Study Results)

Contents:

A 1989 British GLB Youth Suicide Problem Summary of Studies.

Some Recent Commentaries / Reports: GLB Individuals at High Risk for Suicide Problems. - Suicide Problems as Result of Anti-Gay Bullying. - In Prisons. - Homophobia and Mental Health. - Suicide Problems Ongoing?

Suicide Problems Experienced by GLB Adolescent and Other Adolescents Abused in Schools and Elsewhere Because They are Known or Believed to be Homosexual. A Collection of Related Information.

What is the "ABUSE" situation for gay, lesbian, and bisexual people in in smaller cities and towns in the UK? Excerpts from an Investigative Report by ABC on the Autralian Situation. Would the situation not be quite similar in the UK? Why have such investigative reports not been done in UK?

GLB Suicide Problems Likely In Ireland.

GLB Suicide Problems In Scotland?

Suicide Prevention Resource Center (2008). Suicide risk and prevention for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth. Newton, MA: Education Development Center, Inc. Prepared by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center for the Center for Mental Health Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Download: http://www.sprc.org/library/SPRC_LGBT_Youth.pdf.

King et al. (2008). A Systematic Review of Mental Disorder, Suicide, and Deliberate Self Harm in Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual People. BMC Psychiatry. Full Text. Full Text. Abstract.

Richardson N, Clarke N, Fowler C (2013). Young Men and Suicide Project: A Report on the Young Men and Suicide Project. Ireland: Men’s Health Forum &  the Institute of Public Health. Full Text.


A 1989 British GLB Youth Suicide Problem Summary.

Ken Plummer, from the University of Essex, reported on the GBL youth problem: "For instance, the negative self-image and worry may be so extreme as to lead to thoughts of attempted suicide. Indeed, in the London survey, nearly 1 in 5 [20%] had made a suicide attempt; in the Bye's survey of isolates, it was nearly 2 in 5 [40%] ; and in the survey conducted by Parents Enquiry in 1982, some 55% had made a suicide attempt. These are desperate acts and worrying figures that have been indicated in other research studies too." Note:  The reported attempted suicide rates are similar to the 20 to 42 percent results from an assortment of North American G(L)B youth samples studied between 1970 and 1994. Related studies to 2009.

From: Plummer K (1989). Lesbian and gay youth in England. In: Herdt G, Ed.. Gay and Lesbian Youth. Harrington Park Press, New York. Also published in The Journal of Homosexuality, Vol. 17 (3/4), 195-223.  (PubMed abstract)

Ken Plummer describes a situation likely associated with youth suicide problems in England (2002): "The kind of behaviour we are seeing against kids, who may not even be gay, just different (and therefore labelled) is savage and unrelenting. It is more what we might expect of a jail system than the supposed safe haven we expect schools to be for our kids. It is not a safe place for kids who are perceived to be gay. School culture is virulently anti-gay.". (SMH 5/4/97) A remarkable similar situation exists in Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries.

References:

London Gay Teenage Group (1983, December). Experience and participation: A response by the London Gay Teenage Group.  Related information may also be located in Trenchard L (1984). Something to tell you... The experiences and needs of young lesbians and gay men in London. London Gay Teenage Group. The Mental Health Foundation Briefing No 1 (1997) - Suicide and deliberate self-harm Reports that "The London Gay Teenage Project (1984) found that 19% of their sample of 415 respondents had attempted suicide."
Bye SL (1984). An investigation into the lives of socially and geographically isolated teenagers. Unpublished B.A. Project, Sociology Department, University of Essex.
Note 24: "An important group established by Rose Roberson to deal with parents inquiries, but which also receives calls from and counsels many young people."

Some Recent Commentaries / Reports: GLB Individuals at High Risk for Suicide Problems.

Rates and predictors of mental illness in gay men, lesbians and bisexual men and women: Results from a survey based in England and Wales (Pub Med 2004 Abstract) (Full Text): "Of the 1285 gay, lesbian and bisexual respondents who took part, 556 (43%) had mental disorder as defined by the revised Clinical Interview Schedule (CIS - R). Out of the whole sample, 361 (31%) had attempted suicide. This was associated with markers of discrimination such as recent physical attack (OR=1.7, 95% CI 1.3-2.3) and school bullying (OR=1.4, 95% CI 1.1-2.0)..." - Boy, 10, hangs himself after telling his mother: 'I want to be a girl' (2008). - Another Gay Male Suicide in Cornwall (with Police involvement?) (2008). - Lesbian couple found dead in suspected suicide pact (2009). - Gay torment drove me to suicide bid (2008-1996). - Frazer M (2005)Some Queers are Safer Than Others: Correlates of Hate Crime Victimization of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People in Britain. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Philadelphia, PA. Readable online a unformatted document text.

Study: Mental health and quality of life of gay men and lesbians in England and Wales (Abstract) (PubMed Abstract) (Full Text): "Gay men and lesbians were more likely than heterosexuals to have consulted a mental health professional in the past, deliberately harmed themselves and used recreational drugs. Lesbians were more likely to have experienced verbal and physical intimidation and to consume more alcohol than heterosexual women." - New Study Indicates Gays and Lesbians Prone To Psychological Symptoms and Substance Abuse - But School Harassment Rates Not Higher for Gay Males. - Boy, 15, lay down in front of train after gay taunts (2007). - Suicide teen told to stop wasting taxpayer's money (2009).

Mental health of the non-heterosexual population of England (2011): The Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2007 (n = 7403) was representative of the population living in private UK households... Self-reported identification as non-heterosexual (determined by both orientation and sexual partnership, separately) was associated with unhappiness, neurotic disorders overall, depressive episodes, generalised anxiety disorder, obsessive–compulsive disorder, phobic disorder, probable psychosis, suicidal thoughts and acts, self-harm and alcohol and drug dependence. Mental health-related general practitioner consultations and community care service use over the previous year were also elevated. In the non-heterosexual group, discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation predicted certain neurotic disorder outcomes, even after adjustment for potentially confounding demographic variables. - Related articles: In UK, Non-Heterosexual People Experience More Mental Health Problems (2011). - Higher Risk of Mental Health Problems for Homosexuals (2011).

Browne K (2007). Count Me In Too: LGBT Lives in Brighton & Hove: Initial Findings: Academic Report. PDF Download. Download Page. 819 people completed the questionnaire. 86% of the sample lived in Brighton & Hove and the remaining did not live in the city but 14% worked or used services in Brighton & Hove. 56% of the sample were male, 34% lesbians and gay women, 53% gay men, 6% bisexual, 3% queer. Questioning, unsure and heterosexual, added up to under 2% of the sample and ‘other’ just over 2%.  60% of respondents were aged between 26 and 45, 15% (n. 122) were defined as young people (under 26) and those over 55 (10%, n. 78) were classified as older people. 30% of those who identified with any of the mental health difficulties listed have had serious thoughts of suicide in the past five years (see table 11.3 a [= 80% fo sample]). This is 23% of the overall sample but it should be noted that only those who identified with one or more of the mental health difficulties, including suicidal thoughts, were posed this question. The proportion who had serious thoughts of suicide rose to 45% for bisexual respondents, 44% for queer (44%) and 48% for otherwise coded. Trans people (56%) were almost twice as likely to have considered suicide in the last five years than non trans (28%) respondents who had mental health difficulties in the past five years. Those who identified as having a disability (54%) were over twice as likely as those without a disability (25%) to have had serious thoughts of suicide. Young people (46%) were also more likely to have had serious thoughts of suicide than any other age category, although the figure is also higher for older people (35%). Those on a low income (49%) are twice as likely as those on a higher income (17%) to have serious thoughts of suicide. Respondents who said that they felt isolated or felt isolated sometimes (47%) were also more than twice as likely to say that they had serious thoughts of suicide as those who did not feel isolated (20%)... 26% of those who have had serious thoughts of suicide in the last five years have attempted suicide (6% of the overall sample). 37% of these (3% of the sample) attempted suicide in the past year. Browne K, Lim J (2008). Count Me In Too: LGBT Lives in Brighton & Hove: Mental Health: Additional Findings Report. PDF Download. Download Page. 26% (n. 55) of those who have had serious thoughts of suicide in the last five years, have attempted suicide (7% of the overall sample). 37% of these (3% of the sample) attempted suicide in the past year (n. 23). Related: Johnson K, et al. (2007). Suicidal distress & survival in LGBT Communities. PDF Download. Young people were effected by the current trend to use ‘gay’ as a term of insult or reference to something ‘rubbish’ and denied as problematic by the BBC: "I knew I had those feelings and stuff but I didn't ever admit or label myself as gay because then I'd be, you know, admitting to what everyone was calling me and that was kind of, that disgusted me - I didn't want to become what they thought I was, that they'd made such a horrible thing out of." (Allsorts, male, Interview 12). 

Cull M, Platzer H, Balloch S (2006). Out On My Own: Understanding the Experiences and Needs of Homeless Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Youth. Brighton & Hove, England: Health and Social Policy Research Centre, Faculty of Health, School of Applied Social Science, University of Brighton. Internet: PDF. Research Summary: PDF: Nearly all the young people in our study reported a history of mental health problems or substance misuse. Over two thirds had a history of attempting suicide and half reported alcohol or substance misuse.

Ignoring the evidence dictating the practice: sexual orientation, suicidality and the dichotomy of the mental health nurse (Pub Med 2004 Abstract): "Until recently in England, Section 28 of the Local Government Act (1988), forbidding the promotion of homosexuality, further reinforced negativity towards this group of people. This compounded the negative mental health consequences for those developing a gay sexual orientation in a climate of heterosexism. Current health care policy in England concerns itself with the rising number of suicides among young people but fails to acknowledge the importance of the research findings relating to gay people by integrating them into the development of mental health policy. This paper reviews the literature relating to homosexual people and suicidality, and addresses the seriousness of a policy rhetoric which results from ignoring the evidence while dictating mental health nursing practice." - A greater awareness of the mental health needs of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people is required.

Suicide problems after becoming part of gay community: No Way Out - "The shocking statistics for suicide amongst gay teenagers have traditionally been attributed to the pressures of coming out in a hetero-defined society. Murray Healy discovers an alarming new trend amongst twenty-somethings who find the promised land of the urban gay community isn’t all they expected it to be... Last year, six friends of mine tried to kill themselves. All men in their twenties, all intelligent, attractive, popular, and seemingly happy; and all, to a greater or lesser extent, identifying as gay. I started the year never having known anyone who’d attempted suicide. By christmas it felt like my world had been struck by an epidemic:" Three cases are described.  "The Project for Advice, Counselling and Education N/A (PACE) recognize that gay suicide is not a problem restricted to the pre-coming-out years of adolescence. "It’s an ongoing problem", one counselor told me. Many gay men don't find the support they need on the gay scene." It's a telling indictment of gay society that, far from providing a solution to the homophobia of conventional life, the gay scene, and it's me-generation hedonism, makes gay people feel more isolated and alienated. - Warning over gay community's suicide rate (2007): Gay and transgender people are up to three times more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexuals, a charity has claimed. MindOUT, a mental health group for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Brighton, says it deals with at least 150 people a year who have either made suicide attempts or had suicidal feelings... "If you come with high expectations of lovely LGBT Brighton and then don't fit in or are confronted with as much homophobia than ever it seems like there is no hope at all"... MindOUT has been working on a suicide prevention project which culminated with planting a weeping cherry tree in St Ann's Well Gardens, Hove, last month."  - LGBT Suicide Prevention Strategy for Brighton & Hove (2008, PDF). - Community Psychology and LGBT Suicide Prevention in Brighton and Hove (2008, PPT): A central concern for participants at MindOut was ‘double stigma’ being alienated from the LGBT community because of mental health issues was as problematic as being isolated, and sometimes pathologised, within mental health services because of their LGBT identification. - MINDOUT & The Stigma (2009): MindOut was created as a response to the poor service LGBT people received from mental health service providers and to change the way LGBT people were being treated at the time. It now reaches 300 people a year in every part of the community including trans people. It has recently launched BlackOUT for BME people in the community. 

Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association News Release - 1999 (Alternate Link): - "Take the case of Simon Harvey, son of George Harvey who runs a so-called counselling service for gays in East Anglia. Simon killed himself because he couldn't reconcile his homosexuality with the stance taken by his evangelical Christian father. More recently, a young man in Rotherham killed himself after listening to the American evangelist Pat Robertson condemning homosexual relationships - a tragedy brought to light by the coroner at the inquest. - Gay star reveals suicide attempt (2006): "Gay actor Stephen Fry will reveal his struggle with depression and suicide contemplation in a new BBC documentary highlighting the condition later this year."

The cultural context of youth suicide: Identity, gender, and sexuality (2005, PDF. Research in Progress: (PDF Download (Alternate Link) - Downloads): "There is growing international evidence that young people struggling with issues of sexuality and gender identity face increased likelihood of attempting suicide. This has been raised repeatedly as an issue in the U.K. though not yet researched in detail. The proposed study will explore the cultural context of youth suicide in England and Wales, with a focus on the significance of gender identity and sexuality." On The Edge Project: Research on young people in distress: Project Summary. Handout: One-Day Workshop. - LGBT young people's experiences of distress: resilience, ambivalence and self-destructive behaviour (2009): The empirical basis for the paper is qualitative research that was carried out in the North West of England and South Wales. Focus groups and interviews were conducted with a total of 69 young people, with a purposive sample to reflect diversity of sexual identity, social class and regional and rural-urban location. The paper presents a thematic analysis of the data specifically relating to the experiences of LGBT young people. A range of strategies that LGBT young people employ in the face of distress are described. These are categorised as resilience, ambivalence and self-destructive behaviour (including self-harm and suicide). The potential implications for health and social care of these strategies include the need for ecological approaches and for sexual cultural competence in practitioners, as well as prioritisation of LGBT risk within suicide prevention policies. - Avoiding shame: young LGBT people, homophobia and self-destructive behaviours (2008): Data from interviews and focus groups with young LGBT participants suggest a strong link between homophobia and self-destructive behaviours... The paper argues that these strategies of shame-avoidance suggest young LGBT people manage homophobia individually, without expectation of support and, as such, may make them vulnerable to self-destructive behaviours.  

'Suicide wish' of gay bullying victims (07/18/00, BBC): "A large proportion of lesbian, gay and bisexual pupils who are bullied by their classmates try to commit suicide, according to research.  A study suggests that half of them contemplate killing or harming themselves, and four in 10 actually harm themselves at least once... The research also indicates that 17% - nearly one in five - display symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder later in life... The findings by Dr Ian Rivers, of the College of Ripon and York St John, were being presented to The British Psychological Society's Lesbian and Gay Section Conference at the University of Surrey on Tuesday. " - Rivers I (2000). Social exclusion, absenteeism and sexual minority youth. Support For Learning, 17(1): 13-18. Abstract. Study Results. - Victims of gay bashing suicide link. - Rivers I (2004). Recollections of bullying at school and their long-term implications for lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals. Crisis, 25(4):169-75. PubMed Abstract. Full Text. Full Text.  

On October 6, 1998, in a news item titled "UK 'Teachers bully gay pupils'" BBC News reported that some teachers abuse boys known (or believed) to be gay, thus creating and/or exacerbating problems - including suicide problems - for these adolescent. Anecdotal suicide-related information is given. (Alternate article link.) - A 1996 double lesbian youth suicide.

At the time of his suicide Fashanu was wanted by police after fleeing America, where he had a coaching job, in the wake of charges that he performed a sexual act on a 17-year-old boy N/A. - Peter Tatchell says it was homophobia that ultimately destroyed the career and life of football star Justin Fashanu (1998). - The last days of a footballer, by Brian Deer. - Darren Steele (N/A, 1998) had suffered a five-year ordeal of taunting and beating from fellow pupils at de Ferrers High in Burton because he was thought to be gay, purely because of his love of cookery and drama classes. Darren left a suicide note naming those he blamed for his death, and this resulted in the arrest of 11 pupils, although the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to prosecute them. Choirboy [Darren Steele] hanged himself after years of bullying. More related items: 1, 2, 3, 4. - Let's talk about sexuality (1998): The Samaritans and the London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard have been building bridges to improve services available to the despairing and suicidal. - Student who died under train told family he was gay (2002): "A gifted Cambridge University student was killed under a Tube train hours after revealing his homosexuality to his parents, an inquest was told yesterday.... An argument erupted after Frederick Hodder, 21, made his announcement and he had left the family home in a "distressed state". His family did not learn until the next day that he had died after drinking the equivalent of a bottle of whisky."

Straight Talk (2000):  One of the top four causes of young people committing suicide is conflict due to sexual orientation (according to the Department of Health booklet  Sometimes I Think I Can't Go On Anymore published in 1995). If young gay men and lesbian women were to receive supportive education, and their peers were encouraged to become more understanding of homosexuality, many of the suicides committed by young people will be avoided.

The UK Childline states (1998): "Groups particularly at risk of suicide include unemployed or homeless young people, young gay men and lesbians and young people who have problems with drugs."

Suicide and deliberate self-harm N/A (2001): The Fundamental Facts from The UK Mental Health Foundation. Includes some information on gay and lesbian suicide problems.

Gay Health Issues: In 1992 The Department of Health set a target to reduce the suicide rate among the general pollution by 15 per cent by the year 2000.. A group called 'Esteem' is currently researching attempted suicide rates among the lesbian, gay and bisexual young people as it is believed that the rates are alarmingly high.

The Community News" May 1999: "Young gay men have the highest percentage of attempted suicide. A recent study (Toner et al 1999) found that 54.1 % of their sample of gay men had made at least one suicide attempt. Indeed their sample was 30 times more likely to attempt suicide than the generic population." (From the "AIDS Education Unit N/A (Archive Link): HIV health promotion in Barnet and surrounding areas..." web site, London).

  Suicide Is Everyone's Concern: A Thematic Review by Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons (1999). - Inquest opens into lesbian prison suicide (2009).

Gay prisoners: "5.19 Young people who are gay can be seen as particularly vulnerable to the risk of suicide or self-harm. This is not because of their sexual orientation as such, but due to their isolation, fear of being misunderstood or abused, and lack of people to trust and talk to. Again we stress the importance of increasing understanding and tolerance of diversity.

Discrimination Hurts: New Research Reveals the Damaging Impact fo Homopnobia on Mental Health (1998). "More than half of mental health workers have helped gay men and lesbians left emotionally scarred by discrimination because of their sexual identity, according to a national survey by the Health Education Authority for World Mental Health Day... Fifty three per cent of those surveyed said they had helped patients who had been discriminated against because of their sexuality, accounting for nine per cent of the patients of psychiatrists, 13 per cent of Community Psychiatric Nurse cases and a third of primary care specialist cases." ... A spokesperson for PACE said: 'We are pleased that this campaign recognises that the discrimination and homophobia faced by lesbians and gay men can have detrimental effects on their mental health.' ... According to those surveyed, the most common results of discrimination were: * lower self esteem (94 per cent) * social isolation/exclusion (89 per cent) * depression and anxiety (77 per cent) * drug and alcohol misuse (58 per cent)* suicidal feelings (51 per cent)  

Lesbian Information Service reports on "a qualitative study conducted 1990-1991." IT "found high levels of attempted suicide and self-harm ( 14 out of 20 participants: Word Download )." Study Results are reported in Bridget J and Lucille S (1996). Lesbian Youth Support Information Service (LYSIS) : Developing a distance support agency for young lesbians. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 6 (5), 355-364. (Note: The study also reports high levels of abuse of the young lesbians studied by older lesbians). - Meads C, Buckley E, Sanderson P (2007). Ten years of lesbian health survey research in the UK West Midlands. BMC Public Health, 19(7): 251. Full Text. Abstract: Results: The mean age of respondents varied between 29–33 years and 5–7% were from a non-white ethnic background. The smoking rates varied from 42% o 55%, being twice the West Midlands regional average of 21% for women aged 16 or more. Similarly, problems with alcohol were reported in 25–37% of respondents, higher than the West Midlands regional average of 7% for women aged 16+. The prevalence of any mental health problem varied between 31–35% and any suicide attempt between 20–31%. Only 29–45% had revealed their sexual orientation to their GP and of these, approximately 50% had experienced a positive reaction. 

Inaugural European Conference: Gay and Lesbian Identities N/A: Working with Young People, their Families and Schools - University College London - 29-30 March 1999 -- ‘Improving and Informing Theory and Practice’ - Changing Families: Lesbian, gay, and bisexual identity work in mental health: An evidence-based guide for people who work with families (2006, PACE: PDF Download).

Beddoes D, Sheikh S, Pralat R, Sloman J (2010). The Impact Of Drugs on Different Minority Groups: A Review Of The UK Literature. Part 2: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) groups. London: The UK Drug Policy Commission (UKDPC). PDF Download. In the absence of reliable data, treatment and service providers are likely to find it difficult to understand the particular needs of these groups and hence to be able to tailor provision effectively. The form and content of information, where it is available, and the nature of treatment, support and advice offered and who is offering it all need to be developed on the basis of an understanding of the different drugs used by LGBT groups, how and in what setting they use them and the factors that inhibit or promote use of services. Absence of reliable evidence also means that a strategic approach to drugs interventions among this community itself, and in relation to other groups, can neither be developed nor properly evaluated.

2008 National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Conference: Children who do not fully conform to traditional gender stereotypes (whether or not they self-identify as lesbian, bisexual or transgender are frequently emotionally, verbally and physically bullied not only by their peers but even by the adults in their lives. This can lead to children becoming withdrawn, social outcasts and in some cases result in severe depression and suicide. The effect on self-esteem, social interaction, confidence and academic achievement can often continue into adulthood and significantly reduce future employment prospects and workplace confidence. Institutional transphobia and lack of recognition of gender diversity within families by educational and social service provider's often results in lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender (LGBT) families receiving discriminatory or inappropriate service provision. Conference is extremely concerned that the United Kingdom (UK) Government currently fails to recognise the need for protection of children and families from transphobic discrimination and harassment in education service provision.

Roen K (2007). The cultural context of youth suicide: identity, gender and sexuality: Full Research Report. ESRC End of Award Report RES-000-22-1236. Swindon: ESRC. PDF Download. Download Page.

3) How LGBT youth talk about self-destructive behaviors: LGBT young people suggested a strong link between homophobia and self-destructive behaviours. Participants discursively constructed homophobia as punishment for the transgression of heterosexual norms. The punishment was through physical and verbal abuse, rejection or isolation and worked at a deep individual level to create psychological distress. The strongly articulated connection between homophobia, emotional distress and self-destructive behaviours was not straight-forward. An important factor in LCiBT young people's negotiation of homophobia in everyday interactions is to avoid being shamed. The young people employed three prominent strategies to negotiate homophobia and avoid shame: 1. The routinization and minimizing of homophobia: Homophobia was expected, and constructed as routine by the young LGBT people. Constructing homophobic abuse are routine served to minimize its effects. This strategy enabled the young LCiBT participants to position themselves as unaffected by the abuse and deflect the shaming effects of homophobia. 2. Maintaining individual 'adult' responsibility: A significant influence on the young LGBT participants' attempts to negotiate homophobia and avoid shame was their desire to position themselves as adults. Deborah was one participant who clearly situated herself in relation to both her sexuality and her adult status: "I'm not 10 years old anymore I'm 16, I've grown up and I'm leaving home soon so just get over the fact that I am what I am, that I like girls as well as lads" (Deborah, bisexual, focus group). By drawing upon individualising discourses ot the neo-liberal self that demonstrate adult status by being rational and self-reliant they took individual responsibility for coping with homophobia, and were able to position themselves as adult. 3. Constructing 'proud' identities: The young people drew upon discourses of pride in order to position themselves with a positive gay identity. The 'proud' LGBT subject position can be a strategy of resilience in the face of homophobia and deflect shame and distress. However, sustaining a proud sexual-identity requires resilience, experience, expertise (of the self) and resources. 'Possible Related Danger': These strategies of shame avoidance suggest young LGBT people manage homophobia individually, without expectation ol support, and this may make them vulnerable to sell destructive behaviours.

 

Anti-Gay Bullying in Schools and Related to Suicide Problems.

Schools accused of abandoning thousands of gay children to classroom bullies: Homophobic abuse is driving many pupils out of education, researchers say. (The Guardian, May 9, 2005): " "This sort of thing happened pretty much every day for 18 months," said the 15-year-old, who left school a year early because of the relentless bullying. "I often had chairs thrown at me in class and was kicked and punched in the corridor. It was something I just had to deal with." Steven, from Birmingham, is one of tens of thousands of gay pupils who have been forced to abandon their studies because of what campaigners describe as the "endemic" abuse of gay and lesbian pupils across the country. The gay rights group Stonewall estimates that more than 60,000 gay and lesbian pupils are victims of homophobic abuse that can range from name-calling to serious physical and sexual assaults..." - A survey of UK teachers has found a "deeply alarming" amount of homophobia in schools (2009). - FIT against homophobic bullying (2010): In an ongoing battle to tackle homophobic bullying in British schools, LGBT charity Stonewall will be sending every secondary school in Britain a copy of FIT, the first feature film for schools to tackle homophobic bullying.

Growing up gay in the UK, (2011): What may come as a surprise to some of you is that the picture isn’t quite as rosy as you’d perhaps expect. Research from Stonewall (the UK charity named after the Stonewall Inn) has painted a picture of the homophobic bullying that’s endemic in our schools. In particular, the word ‘gay’ remains the generic derogatory term of choice (‘that’s so gay’) for secondary and even primary school students. Many claim that’s it’s just a word (a certain proverb about sticks and stones is often mentioned), or that it’s clearly not intended as bullying, so it’s surely not a problem? This couldn’t be further from the truth. The impact of homophobic bullying – intended or not – has led to a number of high profile and tragic suicides by teenagers, both here in the UK, but even more so in the US. Like Dominic Crouch, a 15 year old schoolboy from Cheltenham who jumped to his death over rumours that he was gay. No-one knows whether he was or not, but homophobic bullying clearly destroyed his life.

Non-Normative Gender and Sexual Identities in Schools: An Exploration of the Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual (and (Transgender) Individuals in British Schools (Dissertation, 2008, Amy Macmillan, PDF, PDF): Yes, explicit queerphobic bullying needs to be challenged and we need pro-active and preventative anti-bullying campaigns, rather than isolated and inconsistent reactions to specifics events, but this needs to be accompanied by understandings of why this behaviour is wrong and why LGBT identities should not be marginalised or discriminated against. No more policy is needed, the framework is there, instead we need to look at how Safe to Learn (DCFS, 2007a [Safe to Learn: Embedding anti-bullying work in schools, PDF]) can be successfully integrated into schools antibullying cultures, how schools can learn from past failures by recognising and understanding the experiences of their past and current LGBT pupils and how cultural shifts can be encouraged to create an inclusive environment for everybody. - Homophobic bullying at the centre of election debate (2010): Labour have today revealed their election manifesto, which promises that more money will be invested in tackling homophobic bullying in schools and a commitment to compulsory "high quality" sex education if the party is returned to power. - An inclusive culture: challenging homophobic and sexist bullying (2010).

The softening of masculinity in English sixth forms (2011): However, my recent research shows that things have changed for today’s youth. Even if poisonous articles occasionally appear in newspapers like the Daily Mail, social attitudes towards homosexuality have markedly improved. And this change is most profound in the most unlikely of demographics - heterosexual male students. To complete my research into three sixth forms in the south of England, I spent a year hanging out with 16-18 year old boys. I discovered a world that was markedly different from the homophobic and aggressive one I experienced during my school days. Contrary to the ‘epidemic of homophobia’ that Stonewall argues still occurs in schools even today, I found that heterosexual male students explicitly support gay rights. I was surprised not just by these students’ pro-gay attitudes, but also by the passion and intensity with which they held them... While these positive changes are welcome, they are not the most surprising aspect of how straight male students are behaving in these schools. The most dramatic change is with respect to how young men physically interact. Rather than being rough and aggressive with each other, there is a great deal of physical closeness between these boys... None of this physical closeness is accompanied, as I might have expected, by homophobic language. These boys don’t care if their actions could be interpreted as gay...

What do you say to them?” investigating and supporting the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and questioning (LGBTQ) young people (2011): This study explores the experiences and support needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people living in Sussex (UK), and the training needs of practitioners working with LGBTQ young people. The aims were to explore the experiences of young people including bullying, “coming out,” social service and educational needs, and to investigate how practitioners view the needs of LGBTQ young people. Twenty-nine interviews were conducted and analyzed thematically. Participants stressed the social and health impact of discrimination and bullying on young people as well as barriers faced in accessing services. Young people require support, yet practitioners lack the training to provide that support. Practitioners are open to this training and both groups of participants believe effective training should include youth in the development and delivery. There is an urgent need for the development of appropriate and dedicated LGBTQ youth training for all practitioners working with young people.

'Suicide wish' of gay bullying victims (07/18/00, BBC): "A large proportion of lesbian, gay and bisexual pupils who are bullied by their classmates try to commit suicide, according to research.  A study suggests that half of them contemplate killing or harming themselves, and four in 10 actually harm themselves at least once... The research also indicates that 17% - nearly one in five - display symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder later in life... The findings by Dr Ian Rivers, of the College of Ripon and York St John, were being presented to The British Psychological Society's Lesbian and Gay Section Conference at the University of Surrey on Tuesday. " - Information related to research carried out by Ian Rivers.  - Summary of River's Research Related to Homophobic Bullying and its Long-Term Negative Effects N/A.

Dispelling the Myths by Chris Morris: "I was 15 when I decided to come out at school. The first step was pretty easy: I told a gossip who I knew would spread the word quickly. I knew he had finished when he joined the growing crowd and played his part in the macho performance - 'We don't like your sort!' As the insults turned into threats to my life, one teacher was heard sneering, 'Oh well, he did say he was a homo. What else did he expect?'" - Homophobia and heterosexism (2008): There are those who are overtly homophobic, those who are subtly homophobic and those who are perpetuating the problem without even realising it. Report investigates homophobic bullying in education. - British Teen Driven To Suicide Over Gay Taunts (2008) N/A: British police are investigating the suicide of a 14-year girl who had been subjected to constant bullying by classmates who called her a lesbian. The body of Belinda Allen was discovered by a man walking his dog in Southwater. Police said the teen had tied a scarf around her neck and hanged herself from a tree. It is not known if the girl identified as being gay but she had suffered taunting and bullying for more than a year friends said on Thursday.- 'Lesbian' jibes drive 14-yr-old to suicide (2008). - Girl is second pupil found hanged after suffering taunts by bullies (2008). - ‘This is why we need a GSA’ (2008).

Teachers denounce bullying of gay pupils (04/19/00, BBC, by Gary Eason): "Teachers have deplored homophobic bullying by schoolchildren and say few schools acknowledge it or have policies to tackle it.  At the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) annual conference, being held in Belfast, parents were also criticised for condoning or even encouraging their children's bullying of homosexual pupils. Delegates overwhelmingly called on the government to see through its promise to repeal Clause 28 of the Local Government Act, which prevents local authorities from promoting homosexuality... 'It makes the victims' school lives a misery. It destroys their self-confidence. At worst it can lead to suicide,' he said. " Courage To Care: Submission on homophobic bullying by Leicester Lesbian and Gay Action (1998): Results of the Ian Rivers study are given, and some case studies.

Anti-gay bullies 'given free rein' (07/02/00, BBC): (Alternate Link) - "Homophobic abuse and bullying is rife in schools because teachers are inhibited by the law banning the promotion of homosexuality [by Clause 28], according to research from a leading educational institute. Confidential interviews with teachers have revealed that they choose to ignore the problem because of uncertainty regarding their legal position - so bullies feel they can act with impunity, the research suggests... Consequently gentle boys or 'tomboy' girls become targets.  'Boys struggle to avoid being called 'gay', 'poofta', 'bumboy', 'queer' or whatever the local term of abuse is,' said Dr Epstein." - Takling Homophobic Bullying: an issue for every teacher (2004, PDF Download. PDF Download.

Note: The reason given for ongoing anti-gay bullying - Clause 28 - may NOT be true. Teachers in Canada, US, Australia, and other countries all have a general history of ignoring - even encouraging - and sometimes participating in - anti-gay bullying of students, and especially students manifesting any behavior (usually gender non-conformity) or attitudes indicating / suggesting that they may NOT be heterosexual. Example: Teen sues school district over anti-gay harassment (Associated Press - 06/26/00):  "A 17-year-old northwestern Pennsylvania boy is suing a school district for failing to intervene with anti-gay harassment he said drove him to try to commit suicide... The lawsuit, brought June 8 in federal court in Erie, says Dahle realized he was gay or bisexual when he was in sixth grade. He claimed that since that time he was subjected to name-calling, obscene jokes and physical assaults. Dahle said in the suit that he reported the harassment to school administrators, but no one did anything to help."

He's Not A Freak, He's My Son: "After the tragic suicide of a 15 year old boy, taunted by homophobic bullies at school, a mother tells us HER story... He was about four years old when I first noticed he was different... He went on to say that it was because my son behaved DIFFERENTLY that he was being bullied. 'Some pupils seem to attract the bullies,' the teacher said. ' Your son doesn't behave like the other boys.' ...One thing that sticks in my mind more than anything is the day I saw a teenage boy point to me and say 'That's the 'FREAK'S' mother.'

Straight Talk - Newsletter of the Gay Men's Health Wiltshire and Swindon (2000) - "Try to imagine yourself as a young person going through the emotional turmoil of  puberty. Add to this the feelings of being different, or actually being attracted to    people of the same sex. All your life you have been told that gay men are perverted and are the object of ridicule. How do you feel? You can’t change what you are feeling inside, so what can you do?"

For information about adolescent suicidality as related to anti-gay harassment, see Bagley C, D'Augelli A (2000). Suicidal behaviour in gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth (Editorial). British Medical Journal, 320, 1617-8 (Full Text).

Bullied [in the workplace] because you're gay or lesbian? Anti-homosexuality related bullying begins in childhood / adolescence, and especially in schools, and it continues after leaving school and entering the workplace. "People get bullied and harassed for all sorts of reasons. A commonly reported reason is because you're "different" in some way. And especially if you're gay or lesbian... A survey in 1999 by a Scottish health and safety unit found that over 80 per cent of gay and transsexual people have been victims of verbal abuse, victimisation and assault at work. Most of those surveyed said they had experienced discrimination both from their colleagues and from staff in other organisations. The main culprit organisations were the health service, the police, insurance companies and local authorities. The report for the City of Edinburgh’s community safety unit described the 300 respondents as “an extremely fearful and highly victimised group of people”.
 

A Similar Anti-Gay School / Society Situation In Australia.


Daniel Witthaus: Challenging Homophobia In A Town Near You (2010):  Gay rights advocate and education activist Daniel Witthaus is an extraordinary man with an extraordinary mission to eliminate homophobia in Australia. This passionate Victorian from Geelong is about to embark on an incredible 38 week journey all around rural Australia, taking his anti-homophobia training, called Beyond That’s So Gay’, to schools, organizations and individuals. Daniel will be documenting his journey for Same Same giving us all a genuine snapshot of what life is really like if you’re a queer and living in the country. We catch up with him just days before his amazing journey begins... What inspired you to write Beyond ‘That Is So Gay’? What is the book exactly? (Related Google Search) For many years I had noticed people getting very engaged and excited when I told stories of the work I did with young people and teachers. That was when I decided to make storytelling the basis for a lot of my training. It’s something I call edu-tainment. When I realized that teachers needed more than the Pride & Prejudice education package to actually support sexual diversity and challenge homophobia in their classrooms, I started putting together ideas on what I could write about that teachers did not already have. The book is everything a teacher or health professional would need to know to challenge homophobia in their own school. It takes teachers on a journey, assuming they know nothing about the topic, from pre-awareness through to action. Rather than being dry and formal, I’ve attempted to make it practical and full of stories and examples that people can relate to. In that sense non-teachers have found it useful reading for their own lives. - Homophobia: that's so gay (2010)  

Addressing homophobia and sex-based discrimination in schools - by Darryl Murray (Youth Studies Australia, 20(1), 2001. Abstract: "Homophobia in secondary schools in Australia has a major impact on the health and well-being of many young people. However, with the help of programs such as Family Planning Queensland's Out With Homophobia Workshop, teachers can affect changes in the attitudes of their students and contribute to organisational changes to provide a safe and non-homophobic school environment." - Issues for schools (2003) - The effects of Homophobia: Boy Talk - Diverse Masculinities.- What macho means? - Boys' experiences of masculinity.  

One of the Boys Masculinity, Homophobia, and Modern Manhood by David Plummer - Haworth Press, 1999 (Abstract / Contents) (Review). - Homophobia starts in the schoolyard: study. (Smith's online: The newsletter of the University of New England, 40(9), May 1999): "Australian boys as young as seven years of age learn to be homophobic, according to a new book by School of Health Associate Professor David Plummer... Homophobic words start being used in mid to late primary school... 'poofter' was ranked as the worst thing a boy could be called... homophobia usually peaked in the mid to late teens." - An Analysis of the New South Wales Department of Education and Training's Anti-Homophobia Policy (1997). - School's Out: Homosexuality, Bullying and Suicide (2002). - Australian Human Rights Commission (2010, PDF). Protection from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity: Discussion Paper. Australian Human Rights Commission (2010): Documents: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Equality. - Australia to improve gay rights (2008): The Australian government has announced plans to remove about 100 laws it says discriminate against gay couples. 

What do they think? Queerly raised and queer-friendly students - by Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli (Youth Studies Australia, 19(4), 2000 (December): 34-40. Abstract: "Homophobia and heterosexism still rule in most classrooms and playgrounds although an increasing number of children and young people are being raised to be queer friendly. Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli discusses the insights of primary and secondary queer friendly students into the questions of why homophobia is still an issue among student populations; what kind of anti-homophobic strategies work; what strategies and approaches are required; and what they believe their role is in a whole-school approach to homophobia and heteronormativity."

Book shows how homophobia starts in the schoolyard (New Release 11/11/99, University of Maryland): "In primary school, boys are likely to be accused of being a poofter if they mix with girls too often, and accused of the same thing in high school if they don't mix with them enough... homophobia peaks in the mid to late teens, with boys in years 8 and 9 reporting that they use the word 'poofter' 25 to 50 times a day. These attitudes, he said, were often an exaggerated expression of heterosexual identity, and thus effected everyone... Boys who aren't targeted by others observe what goes on and make sure they don't do anything that might be considered suspect or that would make them stand out. Masculine behaviours are exaggerated and these lead to all sorts of lifestyle and risk behaviours which endure later in life... At the furthest behaviour extreme were gay-hate murders, with some research suggesting that as many as one in four murders involving strangers in New South Wales over the last 20 years were in some way related to homophobia.

Flood M, Hamilton C (2005). Mapping Homophobia in Australia. Australia: The Australia Institute for a Just, sustainable, Peaceful Future (PDF)... The effects of homophobia on young people are especially worrying as harassment and violence against same-sex attracted youth (SSAY) can scar them for life. According to a recent study, SSAY in Australia account for between five and 11 per cent of the relevant population. It has been estimated that they are six times more likely to attempt suicide than the population as a whole. Homophobic attitudes and behaviours have been shown to be prevalent in schools, putting SSAY at risk of discrimination, victimisation and violence. According to one study:

… the place at which the abuse was most likely to occur was school (69%) with boys more likely to be abused there than girls (81% vs 53%). The streets were the second most likely place of abuse (47%) followed by social (34%) and sporting events (9%). … Fifty nine percent of those who had been verbally or physically abused named other students as the perpetrators. Added to this, 10% named friends, some of whom were also likely to be school students. - Reference: Lynne Hillier et al., Writing Themselves In: A National Report on the Sexuality, Health and Well-Being of Same-Sex attracted Young People, Melbourne, Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society, Latrobe University, 2002 [PDF]. See also NSW Teachers Federation, Education Online: Creating safe and supportive environments, 2003. http://www.nswtf.org.au/edu_online/51/createsafe.html. [See:Writing Themselves in Again 6 years on, 2005, PDF, Download Page]. Related Article: Student gay bashing rife, says report (2005). - Coming out getting easier for gay teenagers (2005). Summary of the Hillier et al. (2005) study in the National LGBT Health Alliance Submission (2009, PDF): Hiller et al. concluded from their Australian survey of the health and wellbeing of same-sex attracted young people, that the high prevalence of family and peer rejection, harassment, and bullying fuelled feelings of isolation, self-loathing and shame - all of which have been shown to substantially increase vulnerability to suicide and self-harm. Specific findings of the study included that: • over half the respondents had been verbally or physically abused because of their sexuality; • school was the place where most of that abuse took place; and • the majority of respondents felt unsafe in many different environments including school, at home and in the community. The levels of violence experienced by same-sex attracted young people increased between 1998 and 2005, escalating in schools particularly.


Speaking Out: Stopping Homophobic and Transphobic Abuse in Queensland - 2010 - by Alan Berman & Shirleene Robinson.

Based on the largest survey of gay, lesbian, bisexual, intersex, transgender and queer reactions to violence and harassment ever undertaken in Australia, this book gives voice to the many victims who have suffered in the state once recognised as Australia's most homophobic. It tells of the barriers people face in dealing with the legal system, the reasons why some do not report their experiences , and the complex historical, religious and educational factors affecting the perpetuation of homophobia across the country. Most importantly it provides a roadmap forward for all Australian legislative, policing, and judicial jurisdictions via a wide ranging set of recommendations, from the individual's understanding of their rights and responsibilities, to the responses of police, legal professionals and judicial officers.
  Sainsbury J (2009). Talking Straight: Finding new ways to challenge homophobia in Australian schools. PDF.
Comparable countries are dealing with homophobia in schools much more effectively than we are. While we have good work happening across disparate sectors, we need to anchor these initiatives and focus this work with strong campaigns in the education sector. Working with the education sector, the health sector, as well as human rights and equal opportunity initiatives and the justice system is imperative. We need to generate multiple leverage points for positive social change in this area. The development of a Safe Schools Coalition is an appropriate and effective implementation of this approach. It will allow a range of organizations and interest groups to work towards a clear and irrefutable goal - a young person’s right to a safe and inclusive education. This will include inviting young people to actively shape school culture, strategies and policies around sexual diversity and challenging homophobia... The basic tenet of the Australian education system is that all young people have the right to be educated in an  environment in which they feel safe and valued. Research shows that the reality is quite different. School is an unsupportive and unsafe place for many young people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT), or who are either perceived to be LGBT or challenge heterosexist norms .
Dalley-Trim L, Cook J (2009). The Call To Critique ‘Common Sense’ Understandings About Boys And Masculinity(Ies). Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 34(1): 54-68. PDF. PDF.
The homophobia expressed towards boys who do not ‘measure up’ to dominant forms of masculinity is frequently related to their similarity to girls, and commonly in terms derogatory to females (Epstein, 1997: Kenway & Willis, 1998: Lees. 1997). Drawing upon what Lees (1993) identifies as a “vocabulary of abuse,” these boys are, for example, commonly labelled and referred to as: “sissies,” “girls,” “poofs,” “poofters,” “faggots,” “fags,” “bumboys,” and “Nancyboys.” Essentially. engagement with these homophobic practices -  along with other normalising techniques of surveillance - are clearly used by boys to enhance their heterosexual masculine reputation, and to police the boundaries of acceptable male behaviour and identity as well as homosexual behaviour (see Jordan, 1995: Kessler et al., 1985: Mac An Ghaill, 1994: Mahony, 1989: Martino, 1995a, 1995b, 1995c, 1995d, 2000a, 2000b, 2000c, 2000d: Martino & Frank, 2006: Nayak & Kehily, 1996, 1997: Redman & Mac An Ghaill, 1996: Skeggs, 1991: Stanley, 1986: Stanworth, 1983). Clearly, to resist dominant codes of masculinity within the school site, and more specifically within the classroom, is a precarious business - it is to risk being labelled “gay.” Given this, boys are, as Nayak & Kehily (1996) suggest, encouraged to “perform their gendered identities in particular ways to survive the prospect of homophobic abuse” (p. 216) and to cultivate a “hyper-hetero sexual identity” (p. 212). As is later demonstrated in this paper, the use of heterosexist language practices serves as a tool in the achievement of this masculinist identity.   

Factors influencing the risk of suicide for gay and lesbian people include (NZ Site: Awareness of being gay or lesbian and first sexual experience - Total rejection by family over coming out - Rejection by society - Promiscuity and unsafe sex - Homophobic assaults and cruel taunts.


GLB Suicide Problems Likely in Ireland & Northern Ireland.

A fifth of gay people tried suicide - study (2009): Almost 20 per cent of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people have attempted suicide and almost all saw this as related to their sexual identity and the experiences of being abused and feeling isolated, a report to be published today has found. The study, Supporting LGBT Lives: A Study of the Mental Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People, also found almost one-third of respondents had self-harmed at least once. Report Download Page: Report PDF, PDF. Report's Key Findings (PDF): Supporting LGBT Lives: A Study of the Mental Health and Well-being of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People (Mayock et al, 2009) is the most significant and comprehensive study of LGBT people and their lives in Ireland to date, and it has a special emphasis on young people. The online survey gathered data from 1,110 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, and face-to-face interviews were carried out with 40 people. The study was commissioned by BeLonG To Youth Services and GLEN (Gay and Lesbian Equality Network), funded by the HSE’s National Office for Suicide Prevention (NOSP), and conducted by the Childrens’ Research Centre, Trinity College Dublin, and the School of Education, University College Dublin.- Irish president warns of link between anti-gay bullying and suicide. - I'm gay myself -- but even I was shocked by this new Irish survey. - LGBT Health: Towards meeting the health care needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (2009, PDF). - A framework to support social inclusion for lesbian, gay & bisexual people (2008, PDF).

Mudiwa, Lloyd (2013). RCSI Research Day: Greater risk of acquiring mental ill health linked with sexual orientation. Irish Medical Times, March 15, 2013. Full Text. Researchers from the Department of Psychiatry, RCSI, Emmet Power, Mary Clarke, Ian Kelleher, Hanneke Wigman, Michelle Harley and Mary Cannon, conducted an analysis from an Irish sample of young adults... They observed a sample of 189 young people aged 19-23 (mean age=20.8 yrs) from North Dublin, who had previously been interviewed at age 14/15 years and 80 per cent of whom had been traced and re-interviewed. All participants were interviewed using the SCID interview schedule and the Stressful Life Events Schedule. Researchers used logistic regression analysis and controlled for sex, age and socioeconomic status. Some 6 per cent of the sample were identified as bisexual or homosexual during the Stressful Life Events Schedule interview. “Our results show the following significant associations between sexual orientation and psychiatric disorders: deliberate self harm (OR=10.2, CI=2.5-42.2); suicidal thoughts and behaviours (OR=7.3 CI=1.7-29.9); lifetime mood disorders (OR=7.27, CI=1.7-31.0); lifetime polydrug use (OR=6.7 CI=1.3-34.1); current SCID 1 diagnoses (OR=4.1, CI=1.1-15.3); and lifetime contact with psychiatric services (OR=10.7, CI=2.4-48.3),” they noted. Binge drinking, alcohol misuse disorders and drug misuse disorders were not associated with sexual orientation in this sample. “These findings indicate a significant excess of psychiatric disorder among young adults of bisexual or homosexual orientation. In particular, the findings for suicidal behaviours are concerning,” they concluded. - Gay people in Ireland seven times more likely to attempt suicide (2013). Full Text. In 2001, 212 students aged 13-15 were randomly selected at several northside Dublin schools in a study to assess levels of mental disorder. About 80% agreed to take part in the recent follow-up survey. About 6% identified themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual. The study found the mental health of this group was far worse than that of heterosexual peers. “There were high rates of depression and about 50% had engaged in an act of deliberate self harm, such as minor cutting and overdoses, compared with less than 20% for the rest,” said Cannon. “It appears if you are of minority sexual orientation you are at a tenfold risk of self-harm behaviours.” - Related Information: Cannon M, Coughlan H, Clarke M, Harley M, Kelleher I (2013). The Mental Health of Young People in Ireland: a report of the Psychiatric Epidemiology Research across the Lifespan (PERL) Group Dublin: Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. PDF Download.
 
Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Students in Post-Primary Schools: Guidance for Principals and School Leaders (2009, PDF, Download Page). School leaders often find themselves having to deal with these challenges without supports and resources being readily available. In response to this, the Department of Education & Science has worked collaboratively with GLEN (Gay and Lesbian Equality Network) to produce this resource. It is intended to support school leaders when addressing the challenge of homophobic bullying and when addressing other sexual orientation issues in their school. The resource is set out in stand-alone sections and provides information and practical suggestions on how school leaders can support young people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual. - Minister for Lifelong Learning Speech (2009, Word Download, Download Page). - Comments by Sandra Gowran, Director of Education Policy, GLEN at the launch (2009, Word Download, Download Page). Related Press Release (2009, Word Download, Download Page).

Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual People: The Irish Institute of Mental Health Nursing: A Good Practice Guide for Mental Health Nurses (2010, PDF, Download Page): "This good practice guide has been developed by the Irish Institute of Mental Health Nursing (IIMHN) in collaboration with GLEN (Gay and Lesbian Equality Network) to inform mental health nurses of what they need to know when providing a service to a lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) person. In recent years, a number of national policies have highlighted the need for lesbian, gay and bisexual people’s needs to be considered by health professionals and for health care providers to be more inclusive of lesbian, gay and bisexual people in their practice. There are specific issues that mental health nurses need to be aware of when providing a services to LGB people. By being aware of these issues nurses can help to reduce or eliminate the barriers to accessing support services that LGB people face. This guide is intended to support mental health nurses to provide services that are accessible for LGB people and one that is appropriate to theirneeds." Suicidality Study Results Given: "17.7% of respondents had attempted suicide, just under two thirds of whom had tried to end their lives on more than one occasion. 85% of those who had attempted suicide saw their first attempt as in some way related to their LGB identity and almost 50% saw it as very or very much related to their LGB identity. A quarter of all female survey participants and fifteen percent of male participants had attempted suicide at least once in their lifetime. A higher proportion of those identifying as bisexual (25%) had attempted suicide than those who identified as gay or lesbian (17%). 13% of participants had actually made a suicide plan during the previous twelve months and almost a fifth of these had gone on to attempt suicide. The average age of first attempted suicide was 17.46 years (with an age range of 8 to 42 years), which supports existing evidence that it is young LGB people who are most at risk of suicidal behaviour. Over half of those aged 25 or younger admitted to ever having given serious consideration to ending their own lives while just under a fifth admitted to ever having attempted suicide. Over a third of those aged 25 years and under had thought seriously about ending their lives within the past year. This indicates that a significant sub-group of young of LGB young people in particular are at risk for suicidal ideation and attempting suicide.

Supporting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) Callers: An Introduction for Samaritans Volunteers (2010, PDF, Download Page): This guide is written for Samaritans volunteers to support them in providing a confidential, non-judgemental listening service to LGBT callers. It aims to advance their understanding of the circumstances and experiences of LGBT people in Ireland so that they may better understand the issues callers may be dealing with. In addition to the general reasons for someone calling Samaritans, there are specific issues that LGBT callers may be facing. They can also face challenges and barriers which Samaritans volunteers can help reduce or eliminate. The guide includes good practice guidelines for Samaritans volunteers and the appendix contains a list of LGBT organisations and services in Ireland as well as a reading reference list.

Report: Suicide prevention plan largely ignored (2009): Only a fifth of recommendations from a major suicide prevention plan have been properly acted on three years after it was first published, it emerged today. The report – The High Level of Suicide in Irish Society – was launched in July 2006 by the Oireachtas Health Committee with 33 actions aimed at tackling the country’s high suicide levels. But a review found work has been carried out on just seven, with limited or no progress made on the rest by the agencies responsible, including the Department of Health, HSE and gardaí. “We absolutely have to challenge it because it can result in young people, who are trying to come to terms with their sexual orientation, self harming or worse and that’s not acceptable,” he said. “There are a lot of people who would consider this to be inappropriate in certain schools. “I think some places don’t even have proper sexual education never mind discussions about the danger of homophobic bullying so we do have a bit work to do.” Mr Andrews said he was concerned over reports teachers have victimised youngsters over their sexual orientation. “If it exists at all it’s a real worry to me,” said Mr Andrews. “I was a school teacher myself and I find it hard to believe that teachers would be, in the first instance, that ignorant about homosexuality but also to bully children about it. - A fifth of gay people tried suicide – “Step up and Speak out”

Invitation to Tender (2010, Word Download): The Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) in collaboration with Age & Opportunity wish to commission a research project entitled, Identifying the experiences and needs of older Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people in Ireland and recommending positive ageing strategies and actions to promote their full participation and inclusion in Irish society. Full details, including tender guidelines, are attached... No large-scale research has been carried out in Ireland that specifically identifies the experiences and needs of older LGBT people in Ireland.  As a result, the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) wish to commission a research study to identify the circumstances and needs of older LGBT people in the Republic of Ireland (55 and over).  The research will also recommend mechanisms for addressing the identified needs of older LGBT people in an Irish context... In an Irish context, the most significant research to-date on LGBT people is the Supporting LGBT Lives study (Mayock et al 2009).  This study was commissioned by BeLonG To Youth Service and GLEN and was funded by the National Office for Suicide Prevention.  The aim was to examine LGBT mental health and well-being, including the identification of suicide risk and resilience factors among Irish LGBT people... While the findings of Supporting LGBT Lives give an in-depth picture of what it is like to grow up and live as an LGBT person in Ireland, LGBT people over 50 were under-represented in the sample.  This further highlights the need to examine the particular circumstances, experiences and needs of older LGBT people and to carry out research on this sub-group of the LGBT population.

Responding to the needs of vulnerable lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered youth (2005, Word Download). By: Michael Barron, Belong To Youth Project  and Eoin Collins, Gay and Lesbian Equality Network. Paper Presented to: Irish Association of Suicidology 5th National Conference ‘Partnerships for Reducing Youth Suicide’: One of the most alarming findings from research on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people has been evidence of elevated rates of suicide and attempted suicide, and mental health problems among young LGBT people. The 2004 ShOut Report, commissioned by the Department of Education in Northern Ireland for example, found that that among young people surveyed across Northern Ireland, those who identified as LGBT were: •    At least three times more likely to attempt suicide;   •  Two and half times more likely to self harm;   •  Five times more likely to be medicated for depression; and  • Twenty times more likely to suffer from an eating disorder than their heterosexual counterparts (YouthNet, 2004). These problems are directly linked to the additional challenges that LGBT youth face in their lives, challenges that others of the same age may not experience, or experience to the same degree. These include:... 

Suicide shocks Derry gay community (2007): "Eamon Johnston, the winner of Mr Gay Derry 2003, has committed suicide. He was 22... Mr Johnston was a hairdresser and support counsellor for gay group Rainbow Project... His mother told Derry Journal that her son was a "lovely wee boy" and appealed to other suicidal peopleto seek help instead of taking their lives...- Ireland’s First Gay & Lesbian Awareness Week for Young People (2010). 

GLBT suicide problems are expected to be similar in magnitude to the situation existing in countries where related research had been carried out (1998). - The Irish Times (1998): Mr Kieran Rose of the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN), which made a submission in 1996, accused the task force of willfully ignoring the issue of gay and lesbian suicide (Must subscribe). - Ulster's Young Gay men 30 Times More Likely to Attempt Suicide: An alarming report, conducted by the Northern Ireland Science Shop, has recorded that young gay men are 30 times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual counterparts: some have made as many as nine unsuccessful attempts to kill themselves. - Study: 1 in 4 young Irish gays tried suicide. - Call for research into gay-suicide link (2001). - Suicide Creates Waves of Sorrow: With his pink hair and polished nails, teen's shortlife was gay but hardly happy (2006, PDF Download, Must Scroll: The Irish Associatoion of Suicidology Newsletter, 2006). - School bullies forcing gay students to drop out early (2006): He said 90pc of teachers reported that their school's anti-bullying policy did not include any reference to gay and lesbian issues.

Kelleher C (2009). Minority stress and health: Implications for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) young people. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 22:4, 373-379 (PDF).  The sample consisted of 301 self-identified LGBTQ youth aged 16-24 years, who were residing in the Republic of Ireland. Respondents had a mean age of 20.78 (sd 2.486) years, and identified their sexual identity as lesbian (15%), gay (55%), bisexual (19%), questioning (9%), heterosexual (1%) and ‘other’ (1%), and their gender identity as female (25%), male (69%), transgender (3%), and questioning (3%). Participants were recruited via a recruitment advertisement placed on community resource websites and linked to an online survey, which was available for 12 weeks... The current study addressed the link between sexual/transgender identity and psychological distress among LGBTQ youth in Ireland. Clearly it is necessary to identify socially induced stressful conditions and to further understand their negative impact on LGBTQ youth. Attention needs to be focused on changing the oppressive cultural context in which LGBTQ youth live and so interventions need to address challenging heterosexism at both the cultural and individual level and to promote social change toward an inclusive society. The knowledge created through this research can contribute to the development programmes aimed at ameliorating the effects of stigma and heterosexism. In addition to challenging heterosexism, appropriate support for young LGBTQ people in Ireland must be developed. While attitudes to LGBTQ identities appear to be improving, identifying as LGBTQ remains highly stigmatising and often elicits negative reactions. However, many young LGBTQ persons cope effectively with stigma. This highlights the resiliency of LGBT youth and emphasises the need to fully understand the complex processes in operation. The minority stress framework recognises the power of the individual to respond to adverse conditions. Clearly, further research, education and training are required.

Study: Suicide rate high for Irish gay teens (Alternate Link): "Inside Story January 20, 2004 - Belfast, Northern Ireland | Nearly a third of young lesbian and gay people in Northern Ireland have tried to kill themselves because of ongoing persecution and bullying, according to a new survey. Just over 29 percent of gay respondents to the Department of Education (news - web sites) poll said they had attempted suicide, with as many as 50 percent saying they suffered some sort of bullying regarding their sexuality. Additionally, 26 percent of young people self-harmed as a way of dealing with the pressures they faced regarding their sexuality." -  Boys Don't Cry: How many gay Irish men have taken their lives in the last year? Nobody knows (2003, Alternate Link): "The report's findings on the experiences of gay men and women show an increased risk of suicide - though this varies considerably according to individual, social, economic and sociopolitical circumstances... Will Peters of Gay HIV Strategies says: "Personally I believe the rates have always been very high. It is a hard thing to say publicly because of the families who have been bereaved by suicide, but I think that a lot of these young men who are being mourned were gay. And they were gay 20 or 30 years ago." ..."People had plenty of anecdotal evidence. Schools, for example, told us that most bullying manifests itself in homophobia." - Mental health: lesbians and gay men: Developing Strategies to Counter the Impact of Social Exclusion and Stigmatisation (2003, PDF) by Brian Dillon & Eoin Collins. Report prepared for Gay HIV Strategies and The Northern Area Health Board.

Gay Suicide problems (Ireland) N/A: "Ross White, the winner from The Queen's University of Belfast, undertook his research with The Rainbow Project. Together they looked at the incidence of suicide among gay men in Northern Ireland. Both students have now undertaken further study at their respective Universities... Ross's project looked at the relationship between factors associated with a gay lifestyle and attempted suicide. "The number of suicide attempts among the people we spoke to was very high, with some reporting four, five and even nine attempts to take their own life. Thirty-two percent of those who took part in the study had attempted suicide. Although the project stands on its own as a body of work, my involvement with the Rainbow Project and the gay men who participated in the study educated me over and above what can be written in a report. The experience had a profound effect on me and the stories of those I met will stay with me forever." - Ulster's Young Gay men 30 Times More Likely to Attempt Suicide (1999): "The number of suicide attempts among the people we spoke to was very high, with some reporting four, five and even nine attempts to take their own life. Thirty-two percent of those who took part in the study had attempted suicide. According to Ross, most of those who tried to kill themselves had taken a drug or alcohol overdose: Men who had been sexually assaulted or bullied at school were more likely to attempt suicide. Those who had lost a friend through suicide or who had low-self esteem/high hopelessness were also more likely to try and kill themselves. It is clear that problems exist and they are not being adequately addressed."

Research into Male Suicide (2008, Ulster):  Researchers at the University of Ulster are urging young men in north and west Belfast who have considered suicide to speak to them in a bid to help others in this situation. They hope to speak confidentially to men aged between 16 and 34 who have thought seriously about or acted with the intention of suicide, in order to develop care and support programmes for those at risk. During the interview the men will be asked to talk about issues in their lives that have influenced their thoughts about suicide and the types of help and support that they have used when feeling suicidal. Around 50 of the 242 people registered in 2007 in Northern Ireland as taking their own lives were men in this age group according to statistics released this month by NISRA... Dr Joanne Jordan, from the School of Nursing and Midwifery at QUB, is leading the study, which is entitled Providing Meaningful Care: Learning from the Experiences of Suicidal Men. - Related Conference Presentation: Engaging Men in Research on Service Improvement around Sensitive Issues: Some Insights from a Study on Suicidal Behavior amongst Young People in Northern Ireland (2009, PDF): In seeking to engage potentially emotionally vulnerable young men, efforts to date have concentrated on establishing the necessary infrastructure to ensure a methodologically rigorous and ethically sound approach to understanding suicide. Consequently, this study has consulted with a diverse range of agencies, organizations, and individuals within both the statutory and non-statutory sectors in Northern Ireland. These consultations have been invaluable in ensuring that researchers are cognizant of, and respond appropriately to, the needs of all those involved in the study. Discussion: The presentation discusses a number of issues encountered in the course of preliminary research activity and the steps taken by way of research design, associated training activity, and support mechanisms put in place for the young men, the clinicalinterviewers, and wider research team.

NI survey shows extent of gay suicide issue (2006): early two-thirds considered killing themselves and 30% self harmed, according to the survey, which was carried out over three years by the Rainbow Project in Belfast. The survey of 190 young gay or bisexual men revealed one third were diagnosed as having a mental illness at some time in their lives with almost as many having had a potential psychiatric disorder. A quarter had attempted suicide and over two thirds thought about taking their own lives. Four out of five who had thoughts of suicide indicated those were related to same sex attraction. Among the key factors which contributed to suicidal thoughts and self harm were negative experiences in school such as bullying. The findings of 'Out On Your Own' were released at a conference in Belfast opened by the Chief of the Equality Commission, Bob Collins. 

McNamee H (2006). Out on Your Own: An Examination of the Mental Health of Young Same-Sex Attracted Men. Belfast: The Rainbow Project. Internet: Download Page. PDF Download. Alternate Link, Alternate Link: Over one quarter (27.1per cent) of the respondents had attempted suicide and over two thirds (71.3 per cent) of respondents had thought about taking their own life. Four out of five (80.5 per cent) of the respondents who had suicidal thoughts indicated that the suicidal thoughts were related to their same-sex attraction. Within the survey, 30.7 per cent of the respondents had self harmed. One fifth (20.6 per cent) of the respondents had self harmed more than once and 11.1 per cent had self harmed once. Two-thirds (64.4 per cent) of those who had self harmed indicated that the selfharmingwas related to their same-sex attraction. - The USL GLBT Mental Health Campaign: ""A recent survey carried out in Northern Ireland showed over ‘one quarter (27.1 per cent) of respondents had attempted suicide and over two thirds (71.3 per cent) of respondents had thought about taking their own life’ (Out on You Own, McNamee). This is a huge problem within the LGBT community and further research and initiatives are needed to help solve the problem."

Carolan F, Redmond S (Youthnet, 2003). ShOut: Research into the Needs of Young People in Northern Ireland Who Identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and/or Transgender (LGBT). Commissioned by the Department of Education. Belfast, Ireland: Youthnet. Internet:  Full Text. Full Text. Full Text. Download Page. Full Text. Full Text: N = 362, 14 (4%) = Trannssexual/Transgender, 52 (14%) = Bisexual - Lifetime Suicide Attempt Incidence: Males (28%, N = 232) - Females (30%, N = 130) - TS/TV (64%, N = 14).

On Tuesday 19th March, OUThouse at 105 hosted a Panel Discussion on the topic of LGBT youth suicide (Word Download).  To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time a discussion has been held to discuss the issue of suicide in the Gay community, and particularly among younger members of that community... During his input on the evening, Cathal Kelly spoke of his disappointment and that of other Community groups who made a submission to the Government’s Task Force in 1996.  This Task Force purported to look at the higher rates of suicide and identify what might be done to reduce them.  Submissions were requested via the media, and the NLGF and Lesbian Line Dublin responded.  Submissions were based on research conducted abroad, and by the Combat Poverty Agency.  They included a list of recommendations such as specifically mentioning LGBT’s in targeted activities to reduce suicide rates.  In relation to LGBT youth, the submission identified key people in the Community, Gardaí, doctors, youth workers etc. who particularly needed to be made aware that clients they encounter could potentially be LGBT, and this needs to be factored into how these clients are dealt with.  Despite this submission, there was a resounding silence on the issue of LGBT suicide when the Report was published... Fergal Carroll based on his own research and clinical experience, outlined some of the factors contributing to this increased vulnerability.  While it is obvious that LGBT adolescents will face the same stressors as any adolescent, in the case of LGBT youth, these stressors are enhanced by the lack of positive role models and positive messages about their sexuality.  There are also issues around the education system and the lack of gay positive messages, and anti-homophobic policies in the school system.  These means that as well as internalised negative images, there are external factors that may come into play such as bullying or harassment.  All of this at a time of life when pressure to conform is at its highest can increase suicide risk for LGBT youth.     

Growing up as a gay young person in Ireland - so what's the story? (2000) "I feel so trapped and isolated that my life doesn't feel worth living... He attempted suicide by overdosing deliberately on paracetamol. He survived and is lucky to have suffered no long term effects on his health... To pretend the problem of homophobic bullying does not exist as an issue in every school is just naive... The levels of gay youth suicide are alarming and if one looks at these type of situations, is this surprising? A report in Northern Ireland, conducted by the Science Shop - a joint initiative by the University of Ulster and Queen's University - revealed that: "YOUNG gay men are 30 times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual counterparts." "Some have made as many as nine unsuccessful attempts to kill themselves. About 54 per cent of those interviewed had seriously considered suicide and one in three had attempted suicide. More than half had been bullied at school as a result of being gay." Queen's student Ross White carried out the research for the Rainbow Project, a health organisation for gay and bisexual men. He looked at the relationship between factors associated with a gay lifestyle and attempted suicide. "The number of suicide attempts among the people we spoke to was very high, with some reporting four, five and even nine attempts to take their own life," Mr White said. "Thirty-two per cent of those who took part in the study had attempted suicide." Most of those who tried to kill themselves had taken a drug or alcohol overdose. "Men who had been sexually assaulted or bullied at school were more likely to attempt suicide," Mr White said. "Those who had lost a friend through suicide or who had low self-esteem/high hopelessness were also more likely to try and kill themselves." The Rainbow Project has launched an anti-bullying campaign in the north. Adrian McCracken of the Rainbow Project said: "We knew there was a problem but didn't realise how big it was. "It's particularly high here because a lot of young gay men are not able to come out at school, there are no support services."

Statements on Suicide Prevention Strategy - 24th October 2007: "[Homosexuality for young gay men] is a discovery, not a decision and for many it is a discovery which is made against a backdrop where ... they have long encountered anti-gay attitudes which will do little to help them deal openly and healthily with their own sexuality. The multiplier effect relating to suicide is significant for young gay people and is an established fact so I will put supporting research on the record of the House of which I hope the Minister of State is aware..."

The gay youth suicide issue is noted in the article Young, Queer & Proud!, published in Worker's Solidarity, No. 53. Jan. 1998). A Workers Solidarity Movement position paper titled Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Oppression is also available at the same web site: The Gay Liberation movement has been active in Ireland since the early 1970s. A small number of activists have been successful in putting the issue of discrimination at work, in housing, and socially on the public agenda. Two public sector trade unions passed anti-discrimination policies. In the late 1980s this position was adopted officially by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.  

The 1995 report - Poverty - Lesbians and Gay Men: The Economic and Social Effects of Discrimination - published by the Combat Poverty Agency, Ireland (ISBN 1 871643 53 8 reports facts possibly implicated in suicide problems. "The study found that 21 per cent of respondents were living in poverty and over half (57 per cent) of respondents said they found it difficult to make ends meet. The findings also outlined clearly the range of effects of harassment and discrimination, and the extent of social exclusion experienced by lesbians and gay men."

Gay + Lesbian Equality Network (2011, Ireland). Lesbian, Gay & Bisexual Patients: The Issues for Mental Health Practice. PDF Download.

Researching lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues in Northern Ireland (2004, PDF Download).



GLB Suicide Problems in Scotland?

Live To Tell: Finding of a study of suicidal thought, feelings and behavior amongst young gay and bisexual men in Edinburg (2003, PDF Download. Download Page. PDF)

Research highlights: 95 Gay/Bi Males aged 15-26 (Average age = 20.8 years). 28% of respondents had at some point deliberately injured themselves with no suicidal intent. This compares to 2% of men in the general population.. 54% of respondents had seriously considered taking their own life, compared to 13% of men in the general population who have ever considered suicide. 51% of respondents who had previously considered suicide now no longer felt suicidal. However, 15% of respondents still seriously considered suicide at least once a month. 27% of young gay/bisexual men have attempted suicide compared to 4% of the general population. Suicide attempts were most common in those young gay/bisexual men aged 14 to 20. 58% of those who had attempted suicide made only one attempt. 35% had made three or more attempts. 23% made five or more attempts. 54% of respondents who had attempted suicide had at some point deliberately injured themselves without wanting to take their own life.

Overview of mental health services: Ausit Scotland (2009, PDF): Edinburgh Crisis Centre: Edinburgh Crisis Centre was established in August 200 to provide support to people who are using, or have used, mental health services in Edinburgh and their carers.The service is community-based and can be accessed 24 hours a day, 3 5 days a year. The Centre provides crisis support through a free telephone helpline, face-to-face support and also has facilities for people who need to stay overnight... Monitoring data based on 78 callers show that 23 per cent of Centre users define themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender and 4 per cent identified themselves as disabled.

Truth Hurts: Report of the National Inquiry into Self-harm among Young People (2008, Mental Health Foundation). PDF. Download Page. GLBT issues mentiones, nothing that there is a lack of related research specific to Scotland.

Challenging Prejudice: Changing Attitudes Towards Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People In Scotland: Recommendations of the LGBT Hearts and Minds Agenda Group (The Scottish Government, 2008, PDF).

Whittle S, Turner L, Al-Alami M (2007). Engendered Penalties: Transgender and Transsexual People’s Experiences of Inequality and Discrimination. Manchester Metropolitan University. A Research Project and Report Commissioned by the Equalities Review. PDF Download.

Investigating the links between mental health and behaviour in schools (2005, PDF): A report to the Scottish Executive Education Department Pupil Support and Inclusion Division. "Agencies such as the Mental Health Foundation, Stonewall and LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Youth Scotland have found levels of suicide among young gay men to be higher than among the male population generally. Equally, homophobic bullying has been recognised as a major issue within schools but little systematic work has taken place on this. Levels of understanding about the experiences of young lesbians in schools remains poorly understood. Particular fears about disclosure are likely to influence the ways in which research with these groups takes place.

Towards a Healthier LGBT Scotland’ - report [October, 2003] on LGBT health in Scotland: (Alternate Link) (Alternate Link) "The INCLUSION Project, working for LGBT Health, was launched in October 2002, a partnership between Stonewall Scotland, representing Scotland’s LGBT communities and the Scottish Executive Health Department. The project has been gathering available evidence, undertaking new research, co-ordinating demonstration activity and supporting community capacity building, to identify the support needed by local NHS services to better meet the needs of individuals from LGBT communities... 25% of respondents in a Scottish survey of LGBT people had experienced inappropriate advice or treatment due to sexual orientation or gender identity and 24% had experienced homophobic staff... Research investigating the link between suicide and sexual orientation suggests unusually high rates of attempted suicide in the range of 20 – 42%... 75% gay men under 36 yrs have tried drugs compared to 47% general population - 80% lesbians / bi women stated they had been affected by their own drug / alcohol use or someone close to them...

Scottish Government Publication: The case for LGBT equality (2008): Results of studies given.

On the basis of a report on the Equality for All Conference held on June 20th 1997 in Edinburgh City Chambers, the following problems negatively affecting GLB youth - listed in the "youth" section - are similar to the ones negatively affecting their North American counterparts who are at high risk for having suicide problems.

General social and legal discrimination.

Becoming "homeless after coming out to parents." "Parent support - often absent for young LGBT people." "Often when coming out they may face rejection from family and friends, they may need to become independent at an early age and this may lead to financial problems, leading to prostitution and abuse."

Ignorance of GLBT issues in education, and anti-gay abuse by peers ("bullying"). "Gay bashing."

"Lack - a general lack of services for young LGBT people... Support networks - support networks are mostly heterosexist for young people."

"Gay scene - baptism of fire, expensive and predatory... off-putting, exploitative... lack of diversity on the gay scene."

"Prostitution - need for money for living, confirmation of sexuality in absence of school or other support."

"Marginalisation - young people's needs marginalised, high priority on needs of older men especially i.e. fucking."

Summary Excerpt: "The workshop raised a number of issues in terms of interconnections between various areas not noted above: ...Most young LGBT people are not out and so have no access to information, little positive imagery or support networks, this will normally lead to low self-worth, lack of confidence, under achievement, isolation, development of damaging emotional defences, participation in damaging relationships, self-harm, premature independence and associated effects."

Scottish Parliament Scraps Clause 28 (June 2000)

A Suicide Problem Indicator: Robertson AE (1998). The mental health experiences of gay men: a research study exploring gay men's health needs. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 5(1), 33-40. (A PubMed abstract)

From the Abstract: A study of 37 gay men reports that they "faced profound social difficulties when coming to terms with their sexuality, a process that can occur throughout their life time." Married gay males were especially at risk and "cited alcohol misuse and depression amongst the effects of this stressful [double] lifestyle."

ScotsGay Magazine has an occasional mention of suicide issues related to a number of situations.

Morrison C, Mackay A (2000). The Experience of Violence and Harassment of Gay Men in the City of Edinburgh. The Scottish Executive Central Research Unit. Internet: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2000/07/6540/File-1 .

McManus, Sally (2003). Sexual Orientation Research Phase 1: A Review of Methodological Approaches (National Centre for Social Research). Internet: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2003/03/16650/19351 .

The Highland Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Forum: Making the LGBT community more visible: Document and Resources.

Conference Report: Policy into Practice - making LGBT equality happen: 25th European Conference of the International Lesbian and Gay Association 15-19 October 2003 - Glasgow, Scotland, UK. Host: Stonewall - Scotland. Word 97 Download.

Two men in Stirling, Scotland, have killed themselves after being caught on video-tape in a police sting operation at a cruisy toilet in Beechwood Park (1996). 

LGBT Research in Scotland: Download Page for Studies & Reports.

United Kingdom / Ireland: GLB Suicidality Study Results


Lifetime "Self Harm / Attempted Suicide" Incidences
Non-Random GLB Study Populations:
United Kingdom
Study
Sample
Size (N)
GLB
Compa-
rison
Group
Self Harm /
Attempted
Suicide
% (n / N)
Sampling Information
Age
Comments
Rivers
(2000)
116 (MF*)
92 (M)
None
37.1% (43 / 116)
Self Harm /
Suicide Attempt(s)
Lifetime
Volunteers: Advertising in GLB Community Venues. Follow-up Questionnaire to 190 United Kingdom Participants in a Previous Study. Mean Age = 28 Years, 16 to 54 Years
Men: 16 to 54 years, Women: 16 to 44 Years
Age Range Information: Rivers (2004)
Cant
(2002)

85
(MF)
None
32%
Attempted Suicide
35%
Self-Harm
The Metro Centre in Greenwich that is accessed by some young lesbian, gay and bisexual people from Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham. Data collected on 85 youth registered there from October 2001 to April 2002: 85 young people.
Carragher
& Rivers (2002)
93 (M)
None
33.7% (29 / 86)
Self Harm /
Suicide Attempt(s)
Lifetime
Male Part of Rivers (2000) UK Sample.
Mean Age = 28 Years, SD: 9.0 Years
Age Range:
16 to 54 Years
Webb &
Wright (2001)
1145
(MF)
None
Attempted S.
18.3% (210 / 1145)
Lifetime
90% Living in Brighton & Hove. Women: significantly more likely than men to have self-harmed. No significant differences for attempting suicide. Serious thoughts of suicide, ever: declines from 53.1% to 21.6%, from age group 16-25, to age group 65+
Age = 16 - 65+

Self Harm: 10.6%
(121 / 1145)
Lifetime
Hutchison
et al.
(2003)
95 (M)
None
Self Harm: 28.4%
(27 / 95)
Lifetime
Volunteers: Gay Venues (Edinburgh, Scotland)
Age = 15 - 26 Years
Self Harm = No Intent To Die
42% of Suicide Attempters: Repeat Attempters
Compared to National Male Statistics:
Self Harm: 5.6 Times More likely
Attempted Suicide: 6.7 Times More Likely
Attempted S.
27.4% (26 / 95)
Lifetime
King
et al.
(2003)*
&
Warner
et al.
(2004)*
656 (M)
Gay
505 (M)
Hetero-
sexual
Self Harm**
25%
vs. 13.5%
Snowball Sampling (England, Wales): Gay / Lesbian Venues, Publications, Advertisements,
Followed by Recruitment: Friends, etc.
Mean Age = 36.4 Years
Self-Harm: Lifetime
84 (M)
Bisexual
505 (M)
Hetero-
sexual

Self Harm**
27%
vs. 13.5%
Snowball Sampling (As Above)
Mean Age = 35.5 Years
430 (F)
Lesbian
588 (F)
Hetero-
sexual

Self Harm**
31%
vs. 16.5%
Snowball Sampling (As Above)
Mean Age = 34.2 Years
111 (F)
Bisexual
588 (F)
Hetero-
sexual

Self Harm**
33%
vs. 16.5%
Snowball Sampling (As Above)
Mean Age = 29.8 Years
Cull et al.
(2006)

44
GLBT
Homeless
Youth
None
Attempted
Suicide:
> 66.7%
Lifetime
Volunteer: GLBT Presently/Past Homeless in Brighton and Hove, England - Age = 16 - 25 Years. 'Nearly all reported a history of mental health problems or substance misuse. Half reported alcohol or substance misuse. Over two thirds had a history of attempting suicide.'
Aitken
et al.
(2007)
138 (F)
110 (M)
Mostly
GLB
None
Attempted Suicide:
31 / 224
13.8%
Lifetime
224 GLBT Participants from the City of
Edinburgh, the Lothians and the Borders in Scotland..
Age: 14 to 75, mean = 37 Years (Approx.)
Meads
et al.
(2007)

449 (F)
93.5%
LGB
Identified
None
31.3%
Attempted
Suicide, Lifetime

Volunteer: Measure for Measure 1 Study (2002) Commissioned by the West Midlands
South Strategic Health Authority
166 (F)
77%
LGB
Identified

None
20.0%
Attempted
Suicide, Lifetime

Volunteer: Measure for Measure 2 Study (2005) Commissioned by the West Midlands
South Strategic Health Authority
Hunt &
Fish
(2008)

5,053 (F)
81%
Lesbian
Identified
None
5.0%
Attempted Suicide,
Past Year
England: Volunteer Sample: Online & Pencil/Paper - 82% White British. Age Range: 14 to 84 Years. - Attempted Suicide Incidence Range, in the Past Year, in 10 Regions: 3.5% to 7.4%. See Table Below.
Self-Harm, With No Intention of Killing Self, in the Past Year: Incidence Range: 15.9% to 22.9%, in 10 Regions. See Table Below.
Results Similar for Wales:
See Table Below.
None
20.0%
Self-Harm,
Past Year
Hunt &
Fish
(2008a)
510 (F)
77.8%
Lesbian
Identified

None
4.8%
Attempted Suicide,
Past Year
Scotland: Volunteer Sample: Online & Pencil/Paper - Age Range: 15 to 72 years.
Attempted Suicide Incidence Range, in the Past Year, in 10 Regions: 1.1% to 10.2%.
See Table Below.
Self-Harm, With No Intention of Killing Self, in the Past Year: Incidence Range: 14.6% to 39.1%, in 10 Regions. See Table Below.

None
20.8%
Self-Harm,
Past Year
Guasp
(2012a)


6,861
Gay /
Bisexual
Males
None
3% (Gay)
5% (Bisexual)
Attempted Suicide,
Past Year
Britain: England, Scotland & Wales Internet Sample: 6,861 gay (92%) & Bisexual (8%) Males. Age Range: 16-85.
77% Between Ages 21-50.
95% Caucasian.
Other Attempted Suicide Rates, Past Year:
5%: Black & Ethnic Minorities
10%: Ages 16 to 19
5%: Ages 16 to 24

None
7%: Gay/Bi
11%: Bisexual
21%: GB, Ages 16 to 19
15%: GB, Ages 16-24
Self-Harm,
Past Year
Guasp
(2012b)


633
Gay /
Bisexual
Males

None
3% (Gay)
7% (Bisexual)
Attempted Suicide,
Past Year
Results for Scotland: a part of above sample of 6,861 males. Internet Sample, 633 gay (91%) & Bisexual (9%) Males.
Males. Age Range: 16-84.
79% Between Ages 21-50.
99% Caucasian.

Other Attempted Suicide Rate, Past Year:
6%: Ages 16 to 19

None
6%: Gay/Bi
14%: GB, Ages 16 to 19
Self-Harm,
Past Year
** Described as "Self Harm" in 2003 Paper, but as "Attempted Suicide" in 2004 Paper.
* M = Males - F = Females



Attempted Suicide & Self-Harm: Lesbian & Bisexual Women in United Kingdom
"Prescription For Change" Studies by Hunt & Fish (2008 & 2008a)
Categories /
Strategic Health Authority (SHA)
N's
%
Lesbian *
% Bisexual
Women *
% Attempted
Suicide,
Past Year
% Self-Harm,
No Death Intent
Past year
All England
5,043
80.9%
15.7%
5.0%
20.0%
East of England
415
81.2%
17.6% 7.4%
22.2%
East Midlands
377
82.5%
14.9% 4.2%
17.3%
London
1,330
79.9%
15.7% 3.5%
18.1%
North East
224
79.9%
16.5% 6.4%
22.6%
North West
638
81.3%
15.4% 5.1%
22.0%
South Central
369
78.3%
17.9% 4.9%
23.5%
South East Coast
449
81.1%
15.1% 5.8%
19.0%
South West
376
82.4%
14.4% 5.6%
22.9%
West Midlands
425
81.6%
15.8% 5.2%
15.9%
Yorkshire & Humber
418
82.2%
14.2% 4.6%
19.7%
England (SHA unknown)
22
86.4%
13.6% 31.8%
45.5%
All Wales
267
81.3%
16.1% 6.4%
22.7%
South East (Wales)
135
80.7%
16.3% 4.5%
20.3%
Mid & West (Wales)
81
80.2%
17.3% 11.1%
24.7%
North Wales 51
84.3%
13.7% 3.9%
26.0%
Scotland
510
77.8%
18.2%
4.8%
20.6%
Greater Glasgow & Clyde
157
81.5%
15.9%
5.2%
14.6%
Lothian
149
73.8%
20.8%
3.4%
17.6%
Other Areas
204
74.0% to 81.8%
15.9% to 21.2%
1.1% to 10.2%
19.5% to 39.1%
* Those not Identifying as Lesbian or Bisexual are Classified as "Other".  Study Commentary: "One in five lesbian and bisexual women have  deliberately harmed themselves in the last year, compared to 0.4 per cent of the general population. Half of women under the age of 20 have self-harmed compared to one in fifteen of teenagers generally. Five per cent have attempted to take their life in the last year and sixteen per cent of women under the age of 20 have attempted to take their life. ChildLine estimatethat 0.12 per cent of people under 18 have attempted suicide."



Lifetime "Self Harm / Attempted Suicide" Incidences
Non-Random GLB Study Populations: Ireland
Study Sample
Size (N)
GLB
Compa-
rison
Group
Self Harm /
Attempted
Suicide
% (n / N)
Sampling Information
Age
Comments
Carolan & Redmond
(2003)
362
232 (M)
130 (F
None
Self Harm
26.2%
(95 / 362)
Volunteers: Questionnaire promoted  through youth, community and gay organisations, and online.  Northern Ireland
Age = <= 25 Years
Self-Harm / Attempted Suicide: Lifetime
Attempted S.
28.7%
(104 / 362)
McNamee
(2006)
190 (M)
93.4%
Gay
Bisexual
Identified
None
27.1%
Attempted
Suicide
30.7%
Self-Harmed
Volunteers: Northern Ireland
Mean Age: 20.6 Years, 15 to 25 Years
60% Live in Belfast or Derry/Londonderry.

Self-Harm / Attempted Suicide: Lifetime
CCL
(2006)

107 (F)
85%
Lesbian
Identified
None
14.2%
Attempted
Suicide
23.8%
Self-Harmed
Volunteers: Cork Region,  Northern Ireland
Age: 8.5% (< 23 years),  45% (23-49 Years), 44% (. 49 Years)
Self-Harm / Attempted Suicide: Lifetime
Mayock
et al.
(2009)

Internet
Sample

Age Range:
14-73 years
Mean Age:
30.5 Years
Ireland
Residents:
90%*
Male
n = 707
None 105 / 707
14.8%
Attempted Suicide in Past 12 months, 6 months, 30 days:
1.6% (n = 11), 1.0% (7), 0.42% (3), respectively
Female
n = 377
None 89 / 377
23.6%
Attempted Suicide in Past 12 months, 6 months, 30 days:
3.7% (n = 14), 2.4% (9), 0.79% (3), respectively
Other
n = 22
None 3 / 22
13.6%
Attempted Suicide in Past 12 months, 6 months, 30 days:
0.0% (n = 0), 0.0% (0), 0.0% (0). respectively
All
n = 1,110
None 197 / 1,110
17.7%
Attempted Suicide in Past 12 months, 6 months, 30 days:
2.3% (n = 25), 1.4% (16), 0.54 (6),  respectively
Trans-
gender
n = 46
None
12 / 46
26.1%
Attempted Suicide in Past 12 months, 6 months, 30 days:
6.5% (n = 3), 6.5% (3), 0.0% (9), respectively
Interview Sample
n = 22
None
13 / 22
59.1%
Qualitative Part of the Study.
For Above Qantitative Study: First suicide attempts were Very Much (12%), Very (35%) and Somewhat (25%) related to LGBT Identification
* Over 90% were residents in the Republic of Ireland. 4% were living in Northern Ireland.



"Attempted Suicide" Risks: Random Samples,
United Kingdom / Ireland
Homosexually vs. Heterosexually Oriented Youth/Adults
Study
Sample
Size (N)
GLB
Compa-
rison
Group
Attempted
Suicide
% (n / N)
Sampling Information
Age
Odds Ratio (95% CI)
Hawton
et al.
(2002)

82 Males:
Worries
about
SO ***
2,973 Males:
No Worries
About SO
(Sexual Orientation)
11.0%
vs.
3.0%
Representative Sample (N = 6,020): 16- to 17-Year-Old Secondary school Students Living in England.
Data Collected in 2000-01.
Lifetime Prevalence of Self-Harm: Boys (6.9%), Girls (19.9%)
Greater Risk for Lifetime Self-Harm for Those Reporting Sexual Orientation Worries in Bivariate Analysis:
OR, Boys: 2.0<4.0<8.3
OR, Girls: 1.6<2.7<4.3
No Contol Variables.
Not Significant in Multivariate Analysis
101 Females:
Worries
about
SO ***
2,590 Females:
No Worries
About SO
(Sexual Orientation)
23.8%
vs.
10.5%
O'Connor
et al.
(2009)
Males:
Worries
about
SO ***
Males:
No Worries
About SO
(Sexual Orientation)
??
Deliberate
Self-Harm
Representative Sample (N = 2,008): 16- to 17-Year-Old Secondary school Students Living in Glasgow, Scotland.
Data Collected in 2006-07.
Lifetime Prevalence of Self-Harm: Boys (6.9%), Girls (19.9%)
Greater Risk for Lifetime Self-Harm for Those Reporting Sexual Orientation Worries in Multivariate Analysis:
OR, Boys: 1.5<3.8<9.5
OR, Girls: 1.3<2.6<5.2
Using about 9 Contol Variables.
Bivariate ORs: Not Given
Females:
Worries
about
SO ***

Females:
No Worries
About SO
(Sexual Orientation)
??
Deliberate
Self-Harm


McMahon
et al.
(2010a)
Males:
Worries
about
SO ***
Males:
No Worries
About SO
(Sexual Orientation)
Deliberate
Self-Harm:
Definition
Below
Cross-sectional study, 3881 adolescents in 39 schools, anonymous questionnaire. Part of the Child and Adolescent Self-harm in Europe (CASE) study. Equal genders, 53.1% of students were 16 years old.
Ages: 15 to 17 Years.
Greater Risk for Lifetime Self-Harm for Those Reporting Sexual Orientation Worries in Bivariate Analysis:
Males, Age Adjusted OR:
7.08 (4.10–12.23)
Females, Age Adjusted OR:
5.01 (3.46–7.25)

Females:
Worries
about
SO ***
Females:
No Worries
About SO
(Sexual Orientation)
Deliberate
Self-Harm
:
Definition
Below
Self-Harm
Definition in
McMahon
et al.
(2010a)
(2010b)
"[Participants reporting] self-harm were asked to describe, in their own words, the method(s) they had used to harm themselves. This description was later coded according to a standardized definition of deliberate self-harm : ‘An act with non-fatal outcome in which an individual deliberately did one or more of the following: initiated behaviour (for example, self cutting, jumping from a height), which they intended to cause self-harm ; ingested a substance in excess of the prescribed or generally recognizable therapeutic dose; ingested a recreational or illicit drug that was an act that the person regarded as self-harm; or ingested a non-ingestible substance or object ’ (Madge et al. 2008). Episodes of DSH were classified as a ‘yes’, ‘no’ or ‘no information given’ by three independent raters using the standardized definition above (Cohen’s k=0.77). When participants reported that they had harmed themselves in the past but did not describe the act, they were classified ‘no information given’ and were not included as a DSH case. The definition used allowed for a wide range of motives and levels of suicidal intent." (p. 1812-3)
McMahon
et al.
(2010b)
Males: Worries
about SO ***
School Bullying
History
Males: No Worries About SO (Sexual
Orientation)
School Bullying
History
Deliberate
Self-Harm
:
Definition
Above
Cross-sectional study, 1870 boys in 39 schools, anonymous questionnaire. Part of the Child and Adolescent Self-harm in Europe (CASE) study. 53.3% of boys were 16 years old.
Study Sample Ages: 15 to 17.

Greater Risk for Lifetime Self-Harm for Boys Bullied in School and Reporting SO Worries in Bivariate Analysis: 5.59 (2.63-11.88)

Greater Risk for Lifetime Self-Harm for Boys not Bullied in School and Reporting SO Worries in Bivariate Analysis:
4.70 (1.89-11.71)
Males: Worries
about SO ***
No
School Bullying History
Males: No Worries About SO (Sexual
Orientation)
No School Bullying History
Deliberate
Self-Harm
:
Definition
Above
Chakraborty
et al.
(2011)

Non-Heterosexual
N = 659
Includes: All,
from "Mostly
Heterosexual" to "Entirely Homosexual" and "Other"
100% (Entirely)
Heterosexual

N = 6,811
Attempted
Suicide, Lifetime
8.9% vs. 5.3%
1.7<2.3<3.1
a
1.6<2.2<3.0 b
The Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2007 (n = 7403): representative of the population living in private UK households.
a. Unajusted OR. - b. OR Adjusted for gender, age, ethnicity and education.
Note: Study also reports results for "Self-Harm, Lifetime" and for "Suicidal thoughts, lifetime."
Chakraborty
et al.
(2011)

Life Sexual Experiences:
All Same-Sex to Some Same-Sex.
N = 667
Life Sexual Experiences:
Only With Opposite Sex,
Never Same-Sex

N = 6,794
Attempted
Suicide, Lifetime
9.2% vs. 5.1%
1.4<1.9<2.6
a
1.3<1.8<2.5 b
The Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2007 (n = 7403): representative of the population living in private UK households.
a. Unajusted OR. - b. OR Adjusted for gender, age, ethnicity and education.
Those reporting no sexual partners in lifetime were removed from the analysis.
Note: Study also reports results for "Self-Harm, Lifetime" and for "Suicidal thoughts, lifetime."

* M = Males - F = Females
-- ** RR = Risk Ratio, Estimated - "ns" = Not Statistically Significant
*** Somewhat of a proxy for having a homosexual orientation. SO: Sexual Orientation.






Irish Transgender Study
An Internet Sample: N = 106

Frequency
Attempted Suicide, Lifetime
n = 85
Once
12%
Two to Five Times
22%
More Than Five Times
6%
One or More Times
40%
Data Source: TENI: Transgender Equality Network Ireland (2012)
Additional Suicidality & Self-Harm Data is Given




Transgender and Transsexual People in the United Kingdom
An Internet Sample, N = 872**
Frequency
Attempted Suicide / Self-Harmed in Adulthood*
Once
14%
Twice
7%
Three or More Tmes
14%
One or More Times
34.4%
*Resulting from being a crossdresser, transgender/transsexual person or because of other people’s reactions to them being trans.
Note: Data was solicited on suicdality before the age of 21 years, but the results were not reported. In Whittle et al. (2008), the incidence in this category was reported to be also 34%. ** Sample may include duplicates?
Data Source: Whittle et al. (2007)

Bibliography


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Site Index
Subject index: GLBT Information in 21 Categories.




More Information at: The Original Site on GB Male Suicide Problems