by Justin Tanis | Bullying has long been a problem for LGBT youth and the tragic suicides by several young people in the last year have turned people’s attention to the issue in a new way. Yesterday, the New York Times published an article, Together, Phoebe and Tyler Alerted Us to a Crisis, on the topic and the ways in which these suicides have had impacted public policy and individual lives.
Last week, a group of suicide prevention and LGBT and allied organizations released a resource Talking About Suicide & LGBT Populations. The resource was developed because of concerns about the ways in which the reporting of youth suicides may have been oversimplified or increased risks for other young people to also attempt suicide.
It is vital that LGBT adults and our allies speak up clearly about the pain of bullying and the damage that it does to young lives. Far too many young people live in fear of going to school or fail to get the education that they deserve when schools let bullying run unchecked. But we also need to be effective and responsible in the ways we talk about this problem so we can be sure we are having a strong, clear and positive impact. This resource is invaluable in doing that.
Many thanks to the organizations who worked on this important project; the groups include the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), Movement Advancement Project (MAP), The Trevor Project, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), the Johnson Family Foundation, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG National), the Center for American Progress, Services & Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Elders (SAGE) and the National Coalition for LGBT Health.