According to a study by The Trevor Project in 2022, over 60% of LGBTQ+ youth struggle with anxiety and over 50% with depression.
“I felt like I was living two different lives,” said Dillon Dixon, Tri-Cities community member. “I felt like I could be myself in high school but when I came home, I didn’t really feel like I could be myself. It was almost like I was living two different lifestyles.”
The Trevor Project is the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ+ young people. Every year, it does a national survey that is taken by LGBTQ+ youth about a wide variety of topics from mental health to sources of joy.
According to The Trevor Project, 45% of LGBTQ+ youth considered suicide and 14% attempted it. When those statistics are broken down by ethnicities, the two with the highest numbers are Black and Indigenous LGBTQ+ youth.
“Who wants to feel set apart; that they don’t belong to something? That’s a lonely, sad, scary life,” said Charelle Woods, Tri-Cities community member. “To walk around and feel like I don’t belong anywhere and that I have no one to relate to.”
While there could be multiple factors for these statistics one thing is clear, representation matters, especially to the LGBTQ+ youth in the community. The survey reports that 89% of LGBTQ+ youth felt good seeing some sort of representation both in tv and on the silver screen.
“People are seriously hurting and broken, just because they don’t know who they are and how beautiful, special and wonderfully created they are because they have judgment of who they are, the color of their skin, their culture,” said Woods. “But to have some representation like ‘oh my goodness that person looks like me, that person has those same feelings, that person feels the way that I felt…’ and maybe that can help the hurting people that we have to know that we are special.”