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CDC, meanwhile, reportedly engaging in bizarre vernacular change dialing back LGBT civil rights
The nation’s first large study assessing teen suicide risk by gender and self-identifying sexuality shows sexual minorities are at an exponential risk of taking their own lives, compared to their heterosexual peers.
Even more concerning is that the research published today in JAMA leaves out transgender youths altogether. Transgender teens long have been believed to be the most vulnerable to suicide of all for being shoved to the margins of our society.
It’s a revelation that shows these children may be even more vulnerable than their fiercest advocates feared.
The timing of the study is alarming in light of another bizarre development this week in the U.S. medical community.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is supposed to be a non-partisan government agency charged with protecting our nation’s public health, reportedly is changing its vernacular in ways that suffocate LGBT civil rights.
“The Washington Post recently reported that the Trump administration is prohibiting officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from using a list of seven terms, including ’transgender’ and ‘diversity,’ in official documents being prepared for next year’s budget,” the newspaper posted Monday in a second-day follow-up story. “Policy analysts at the nation’s top public-health agency were told that the other terms they would not be able to use are ‘fetus,’ ‘vulnerable,’ ‘entitlement,’ ‘evidence-based’ and ‘science-based,’ the newspaper continued.
The story quoted gay rights leaders who believe that an apparent effort by the Trump administration to undo sexual minority progress by the Obama administration will be the downfall of the party in mid-term elections.
It’s as though everything is being set up to create new guidelines based on political beliefs instead of research. Indeed, the LGBT community, many of whom supported Trump despite what the MSM would have the nation believe, is shuddering.
But don’t be fooled. I’ve been a health reporter in the mainstream medical establishment, even writing branded content for two Fortune 500 healthcare companies, long enough to know another truth: Former LGBT employees of the CDC have been accusing the organization of being homophobic for years.
With this added caveat, LGBT people should be shuddering. Ignoring science and sexuality has the potential to create a public health crisis. Please see my first embedded link at the top of this story: Why you need to get behind the transgender equality movement.
What today’s research says
Today’s JAMA report, a research letter written by a team that included a doctor and two other public health experts from the University of California San Diego, University of Pennsylvania and Cal State San Diego, used data from the 2015 National Youth Behavior Survey.
Among gay male teens, 25.5 percent had considered suicide as opposed to 10 percent of heterosexual males – still shocking.
Across the board, girls, straight or gay, were even more likely to consider suicide. A staggering 40 percent of lesbian teens had considered taking their own lives, as opposed to 20 percent of heterosexual teen girls.
Even bisexual teens were at greater risk for suicide, even after adjusting for confounders.
“This study is limited by the lack of data for suicide risks among transgender adolescents and a 60 percent response rate that may limit generalizability,” the team of researchers explained. “Further study is also needed to understand the mechanisms underlying elevated suicide risk behaviors for sexual minority adolescents.”
They concluded the letter with a call to action.
“The substantial suicide risks among sexual minorities merits a comprehensive reaction,” they explained. “Policymakers should invest in research to understand and prevent suicide among sexual minorities. Clinicians should discuss sexual orientation with patients, and allocate appropriate mental health resources. Caretakers should watch for signs of suicide risk behaviors.”
If you would like to support transgender rights, consider making a donation to an organization run by a longtime source of mine, Bamby Salcedo, or your local transgender advocacy group if you have one.
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