Psychological Impact of LGBT+ Discrimination

LGBT+Unfortunately, LGBT+ discrimination is common. In fact, members of the LGBT+ community are 10 times more likely to experience discrimination based on sexual orientation when compared to heterosexuals—and the mistreatment comes in many forms.[1] From jokes to verbal insults, to unequal treatment, to physical violence, the bias can appear anywhere—from home to school to work.1

However, rejection often begins at home.1 Approximately 50 percent of LGBT+ teens experience a negative reaction from their family members when they come out.1 In fact, 30 percent experience physical abuse and 26 percent are kicked out of their home.1 LGBT+ children make up for 40 percent of all the homeless youth, and family rejection is the primary cause.1 These individuals are more likely to become depressed, use illegal drugs, and attempt suicide.1

School is often no better, as bullying of LGBT+ children is common. In fact, 85 percent are verbally bullied during the school year, and 40 percent are physically bullied.1 This can cause LGBT+ children to miss school, as they feel unsafe.1 It also results in depression and a six-fold increased risk of suicide attempts.1

In the workplace, 42 percent of LGBT+ adults experience discrimination.1 They have higher levels of psychological distress and health-related problems.1 They have less job satisfaction, higher rates of absenteeism, and quit positions more often.1

Regarding LGBT+ personal rights, where marital rights are denied, LGBT+ people display higher levels of depression, anxiety, and alcohol abuse.1 Where LGBT+ couples are allowed to adopt, self-esteem is higher than where LGBT+ couples are denied adoption rights.1

Approximately 20 percent of LGBT+ people experience criminal victimization due to their sexual orientation.1 (We have seen such hate in a recent video released by a Russian neo-Nazi group.1) Survivors manifest more symptoms of depression, anger, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress.1

The discrimination of this group has been brought to the forefront, as Russia is hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics.1 The country’s harsh anti-gay laws has proven that LGBT+ discrimination is still prevalent—with many mental health consequences.1 The Winter Olympics has brought this to light, and we must continue to raise awareness of discrimination against LGBT+ people everywhere to correct this serious injustice.1 The suffering of LGBT+ people is tragic and unneeded.1

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