Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Tides that Bind Us

Since posting my 2009 resolutions and asking for your comments, I've started to hear from some of you both online and personally. This is exactly what this forum has been designed for and about. It's all about empowerment, information and "Opening Our Minds in 09". As we all await the transition of power, now only 2 weeks away, life still goes on in both big and small ways. And so we continue bringing you our special brand of everything GLBTQ and beyond.....

Statistically Speaking: As the new year has begun, I wanted to continue to offer items concerning important community issues and platforms for your consideration. I discovered these interesting stats from http://www.gayfamilysupport.com/, which gives insight into the wide ranging mental health needs in the face of the ongoing AIDS crisis. If you have personal stories, questions, testimonies or observations to share, click our comment icon and express yourself. As this series continues to develop, links to local professionals will be provided.

* Gibson,P (1989) "Gay Male and Lesbian Youth Suicide" In M. Feineib(Ed), *Prevention in Youth Suicide* (Report Task Force on Youth Suicide, Vol3,pp 110.44) Washington, D.C.: US Department of Health and Human Services. According to this study, gay and lesbian youth are two to three times more likely to commit suicide than other youths and 30% of all completed youth suicides are related to the issue of sexual identity.
* The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force "National Anti-Gay/Lesbian Victimization Report" concludes from its survey: 45% of gay males and 20% of lesbians surveyed reported having experienced verbal harassment and or physical violence during high school as a result of their sexual orientation.
* In a survey of lesbians and gay men in Pennsylvania, 33% of gay men and 34% of lesbians reported suffering physical violence at the hands of a family member as a result of their sexual orientation.
* In a psychological study of 484 students at six community colleges conducted by Dr Karen Franklin, 18% of the men interviewed admitted that they had committed physical violence or threats against men and or women they perceived to be gay or lesbian.
* 28% of gay and lesbian high school students in a national study were seen to have dropped out of school because of harassment resulting from their sexual orientation. (Remafedi. G. Pediatrics. 326-330. 1987)
* 80% of lesbians, gay and bisexual youth reported severe isolation problems. They experienced social isolation, emotional isolation and cognitive isolation. (Hetrick. E.S., Martin.A.D. Journal of Homosexuality 14 (1/2). 25-43. 1987).
* 26% of gays and lesbian youth are forced to leave home because of conflicts with their families over their sexual identities. (Remafedi. G. Pediatrics. 79, 326.30. 1987)
* Approximately 20% of all persons with AIDS are 20-29 years old: given the long latency period between infection and the onset of the disease, many were probably infected as teenagers. (Lehman. M. HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report, 5 (1) 1993)
* 53% of students report hearing homophobic comments made by school staff. (Making Schools Safe for Gay and Lesbian Youth: Report of Mass. Governor's Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth 1993)
* In a study of depression and gay youth, researchers found depression strikes homosexual youth four to five times more severely than other non-gay peers. (Hammelman. T.L. 1990)
* "Homosexuals are probably the most frequent victims of[hate crimes]" (US Department of Justice 1987).
* In a recent Australian study of 1500 gay and lesbian adolescents, 80% had not told their parents of their same sex attraction. Gay statistic studies over the past 7 years have indicated that 25% to 40% of young lesbians and gays have attempted suicide. ("Here For Life" Youth Sexuality Project)
* On any given night there are approximately 19000 young homeless people in Australia. It is estimated that between 5000 and 6250 of these are same sex attracted. Homelessness was due to a range of factors, including family conflict over sexuality related issues. ("Writing Themselves In" Hillier et al NCHSR 1998)
These are only a few gay statistics and I will endeavour to keep adding to them for your interest.
Remember, these gay statistics are just that, 'statistics' and this doesn't mean that your children or loved ones may ever be in any of these groups concerned.

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