Today, on March 11, 2016, Bisexual Health Awareness Month remembers all those bisexual+ youth who have died by suicide or violence.
Bisexual+ (e.g. bisexual, pansexual, fluid, queer, no label) youth experience higher levels of suicidality than their gay, lesbian, and straight peers. One study found that bisexual teens are at the highest risk of bullying, truancy, and suicide, while another study found that 22% of bisexual youth attempted suicide over the past year compared to 20% of gay/lesbian and 4% of straight youth. Additionally, it may not “get better” for bisexual+ youth when it comes to suicidal thoughts and attempts.
Sadly, the bisexual+ community has lost too many of its youth to violence and suicide, including:
- Juan Ceballos, a bisexual college student, who was allegedly killed by his coworker in an apparent hate crime.
- Nick Hawkins, a bisexual teen, was killed last month, and police have arrested six individuals in connection with his murder.
- Alyssa Morgan, a bisexual youth who was experiencing depression and bullying, died by suicide last year.
- Adam Kizer, a bisexual teen, was taken off life support and died following a suicide attempt.
Today we remember all bisexual+ youth who have been lost, and we honor them. Rest in peace and power.
Building inclusive, safe environments (that address biphobia, racism, transphobia, and ableism) in schools and communities can improve the well-being of bisexual+ youth drastically. Bisexual-specific mental health prevention and treatment services are also needed to improve the mental health of bisexual+ youth. After all, bisexual+ youth are worth affirming and protecting!
If you are a bisexual+ youth who is experiencing suicidal thoughts, there are many organizations out there to help and support you:
- The Trevor Project Hotline at 1-866-488-7386
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255
- GLBT National Talkline at 1-800-246-7743
- Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860 (US) or at 877-330-6366 (Canada)