Sunday, October 13, 2013

LGBT suicide & homelessness in Utah

Excerpts of From the Editor's Desk, Danny Crivello, American Fork / Herald Extra
[[Note: Apparently the article was removed from /]]

At the American Fork cemetery is buried a 21-year-old who took his life because he couldn't handle being gay, according to the note he left. Bryan was a graduate of American Fork High School. He had served an LDS mission and was planning on attending Joseph Patrick Academy of Hair.

Every day two teens are treated for attempted suicide, according to the latest data from the Utah Department of Health. Students who are lesbian, gay or bisexual are eight times more likely to die by suicide, twice more likely to be physically assaulted by their peers, five times more likely to be bullied.

The way we've treated lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders in Utah -- in schools and in churches -- has been terribly shameful.

An American Fork High School counselor said that in more than half of the situations she had personally handled, involving attempted suicide or bullying, the students were harassed by their peers because they were accused of being gay, lesbian -- or just looking like one.

Because some families and clergies have wrongly believed that being attracted to the same sex is a choice, gay teens have paid a steep price: out of the roughly 700 LGBT teens who are currently homeless in Salt Lake County, a stunning 70 percent said they were kicked out of their homes because of their sexual orientation.