June is a time of celebration within the LGBT+ community. In June, we remember the bravery of those that fought against the police in the Stonewall Riots, and showed the world that love will always triumph over hate. Pride festivities will be taking place around the globe, and the fight for our basic human rights continues.
However, we must also reflect on the darker sides of this battle. From the pressure of coming out, to the fear of walking proudly through Britain’s streets, stems an ongoing problem – mental illness. If you ask anyone in the community, whatever walk of life, you will find that the individual will be able to recount a period in their life where they have struggled with their mental health, or they will know someone else who is suffering.
The following are some of the most profound statistics, taken from the Stonewall organisation in Britain, about the mental health of our LGBT+ family:
- Over half of LGBT+ people (52%) said that they have experienced depression
- 1 in 8 LGBT+ people aged 18-24 said that they have attempted to take their own life, with almost half of trans people saying that they have attempted suicide
- 41% of non-binary people, 20% of LBT+ women and 12% of GBT+ men had self-harmed
- 1 in 7 LGBT+ people avoided treatment for fear of discrimination because they’re LGBT+
To put this into perspective, a survey by the Daily Mirror (and we’re taking this number with a pinch of salt, because who can fully trust a newspaper?) concluded that there is roughly 9 million LGBT+ people in the UK. This would mean that: 4.6 million LGBT+ people have experienced depression, 6.5 million have self-harmed and over 100,000 are afraid to seek medical treatment.
None of this is okay.
If we are currently living in a society where the government is not taking action to help its own people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, then it proves why Pride is so important. Pride is not about day drinking for Fiat 500 basic bitches, it’s not about rubbing our sexuality in the faces of straight people or for corporations to target a ‘demographic’ (I see you, we all see your games) – its about celebrating how far we’ve come and highlighting how much more needs to be done. And if after all this, you still think that Straight Pride should be a thing…then you can straight up (no pun intended) go and fuck yourself (all tea, all shade).
If you are a part of the LGBT+ community and you’re struggling with your mental health, please visit my Help page, where you can find LGBT+ resources worldwide. The statistics in this post of based upon the British LGBT+ community (so these will not be an accurate representation of global LGBT+ communities).
Featured Image 📷: Mercedes Mehling