(WYTV) – The month of September brings school, a new season and Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.
“We hear things such as, you know, my parents kicked me out. I was living with a friend and the friend now hates me,” said Daniel Tirabassi from Full Spectrum.
Daniel Tirabassi helps run Full Spectrum, the LGBTQ+ community outreach center in the Valley. He says periodically they’re asked to help homeless youth.
“Sexual assault actually for especially transgender kids that live on the street is actually at a high rate,” Tirabassi said.
According to the National Network for Youth, 40% of kids who are homeless are LGBTQ+, but they account for under 10% of the total population.
“It’s very challenging for them because I mean, they’re minors, first of all. So like those are the whole legality of whether they’re emancipated,” said Tirabassi.
Homeless youth are more likely to engage in sex work for survival. All of these are contributing factors to higher suicide rates in LGBTQ+ youth.
“Obstacles range from mental health issues, such as suicide attempts and and things like that. Bipolar disorder tends to kind of stem from that as well, at least signs of it, as well as depression,” said Tirabassi.
Tirabassi says if children feel accepted and validated in their gender identity, they will be far less likely to engage in harmful behaviors.
“Your child’s going to be like, hey, can I get this dress at the store? Sure. Maybe put the guidelines on early on that maybe they just do it at home and see how it feels before we branch out,” said Tirabassi.