Webinar: Perspectives on LGBT Suicide Prevention

hands-imgA webinar on the Prevention of LGBT Suicide and the Role of Health Professionals and Religious/Spiritual Advisors

Despite some improvements in public attitudes toward gay marriages and greater acceptance of homosexuality, disparities in suicide ideation and attempts between LGBT and heterosexual youth persist. New research indicates that few LGBT people sought help prior to attempting suicide and when LGBT people did seek help it was not effective in preventing suicide attempts. Further, counseling from a religious or spiritual advisor was associated with worse outcomes. Compared with individuals who did not seek help at all, those who sought help from a religious or spiritual advisor were more likely later to attempt suicide. Black LGBTs were also more likely than White or Latino LGBTs to seek treatment in religious or spiritual settings prior to a suicide attempt.


Ilan H. Meyer, Ph.D., Williams Senior Scholar of Public Policy, Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law
Abbe Land, Executive Director, The Trevor Project
Ann Haas, Ph.D., Senior Consultant, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Rev. Delman Coates, Ph.D., Senior Pastor, Mt. Ennon Baptist Church

Peter Goldblum, Ph.D., Professor, Director of the Center for LGBTQ Evidence-based Applied Research (CLEAR), Palo Alto University

Dr. Meyer will summarize recent research showing that, at least in the past, few LGBT people sought help prior to attempting suicide and when LGBT people did seek help it was not effective in preventing suicide attempts. Study respondents who sought mental health or medical treatment at some time prior to their suicide attempt (or, among those who did not attempt suicide, prior to the age when suicide might have been attempted) were as likely as respondents who did not seek any mental health treatment to have a suicide attempt or serious suicide attempt after this time. However, counseling from a religious or spiritual advisor was associated with worse outcomes. Compared with individuals who did not seek help at all, those who sought help from a religious or spiritual advisor were more likely later to attempt suicide.

Ms. Land will discuss the role of professionals and trained peer counselors in suicide prevention, especially related to LGBT youth. She will also describe preventive trainings, programs, and model policies offered by The Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBT and questioning young people ages 13-24.

Dr. Haas will discuss advances and challenges in research of prevention of suicide in LGBT populations.

Rev. Coates is Senior Pastor of Mt. Ennon Baptist Church in Clinton, MD and President of the Black Church Center for Justice and Equality, committed to reclaiming the social justice tradition of the Black church. Rev. Coates believes in keeping the legacy of African American Christian activism and the responsibility of progressive faith leaders to further Christian love and American democracy. He will talk about why he believes it is important for African American pastors to dispel the myth the bible condemns homosexuality and the role of LGBT individuals in the Black church.

Dr. Goldblum is the co-editor of Youth Suicide and Bullying: Challenges and Strategies for Prevention and Intervention (forthcoming September 2014, Oxford University Press). Dr. Goldblum will discuss the four presentations and share from his own extensive experience as director of a clinic that specializes in working with LGBT people.
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Attitude is Altitude “No Arms No Legs No Worries”

sliderI have a HUGE passion for reaching out to teenagers about bullying throughout the world. In every country teenagers are experiencing the mental, emotional and spiritual battles that result from being teased and bullied. I attempted suicide at the age of ten because I was teased and became convinced my life had no purpose… Today, I live for the purpose of encouraging people around the world with my message of faith, hope and love.

This world needs stronger young leaders who will stand up against bullying. My company, Attitude is Altitude, held a camp for 53 teenage students in southern California in 2011 and we had a great time discussing this issue and working on ways to out an end to bullying while increasing acceptance, understanding and love among all people. Soon, we will put up a report on our meeting done by FOX News San Diego.

I believe in the power of unity. Our team at Attitude is Altitude is constantly brainstorming to combat bullying especially in the United States.

In March of 2013, we will participate in a statewide anti-bullying campaign with Governor GARY R. Herbert of Utah. I will be speaking in that state to two middle schools and two high schools. I will deliver a one-hour keynote speech about bullying, self-esteem, dreaming big and never giving up. Governor Herbert has deemed that every middle and high School would tune into the online live stream of this event so that all students will benefit.

We are very excited about this event and we will update you with any news to come on this web site and on my Facebook/Twitter platforms.

DVD: Nick Vujicic wants you to feel good about yourself. In his DVD titled, “No Arms, No Legs, No Worries!” Nick encourages audiences to focus on the positive and TO realize their true potential.


Visit Nick and read his incredible journey of life, a story like no other I have seen or read.


Prince Harry: I might experiment with gay men if my relationship doesn’t work out

prince-harryPrince Harry has said he might try relationships with men if he “changes his mind” about women, while on a night out with his current girlfriend.
Harry and his girlfriend, Cressida Bonas, were taking a night out together at The Rum Kitchen in Notting Hill on Friday, when Harry was slipped the phone number of Vincenzo Ianniello.
He reportedly accepted the number happily, and promised to call Mr Ianniello if he changed his mind about dating women.
Mr Ianniello later tweeted about the exchange: “I gave Prince Harry my number tonight, he promised he’ll call me if he changes his mind about women. Or men. #epicwin”
Last week Conservative peer Lord True suggested the law needs to be changed to prepare for a married lesbian Queen who conceives using donor sperm.
Friends close to James Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge’s younger brother, dismissed rumours that he is gay but also say he’s not “bothered” by them.
In November 2012 Prince Harry and his brother, Prince William, wrote a letter supporting the Terrence Higgins Trust in its campaign against HIV.
Earlier in 2012 Harry came under fire for using the word “queer”, but was defended by Peter Tatchell, who pointed out that Harry has made a video diary in which he kisses and licks the face of another male soldier.


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Massachusetts’ Anti-Bullying Law: It Got Better & Students Get A Say!

pictured: MA Governor Deval Patrick signs improved anti-bullying legislation into law
pictured: MA Governor Deval Patrick signs improved anti-bullying legislation into law

Youth hear over and over again that “it gets better”. And it does. In fact, the Massachusetts Anti-Bullying law got even better last week when it was strengthened in three key ways. This is a great step forward for Massachusetts youth. Under the amended law: School anti-bullying plans must prohibit bullying someone based on certain personal characteristics, including actual or perceived LGBTQ-status, as well as their friends and the children of LGBTQ couples.

Each school’s anti-bullying plan must recognize that certain students are more likely to be targets of bullying or harassment because of personal characteristics. The law specifically identifies sexual orientation and gender identity or expression as characteristics that make someone likely to be bullied. It also protects someone who is perceived to have one of these characteristics as well as someone who associates with someone who is or is perceived to have one of these characteristics.

This “association” language really boosts the protection of the law. It makes sure that someone who hangs out with their LGBTQ friend during school is protected, and it protects children of LGBTQ parents because they “associate with” their parents, too.
Other characteristics identified in the law are: race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, socioeconomic status, homelessness, academic status, physical appearance, pregnant or parenting status, mental, physical, developmental or sensory disability.

  • Schools must report bullying data to the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)

This new law holds schools accountable by requiring schools to report bullying data to DESE annually.

Data that must be reported includes:

  • the number of reported allegations of bullying or retaliation;
  • the number and nature of incidents where schools found that bullying or retaliation happened;
  • the number of students disciplined for engaging in bullying or retaliation.
  • any other information required by the DESE.

With this data, DESE can compare school districts, examine how often bullying is alleged but not substantiated, and determine the number of students disciplined. By requiring schools to report the nature of the bullying, we’ll get data about bullying and LGBTQ people.

DESE will annually report statewide data that identifies trends and areas for improvement. DESE also is empowered to investigate bullying and, if a covered school is found not to have properly enforced its prevention plan, DESE may enforce the prevention plan or take other appropriate actions.

Students get a say!

DESE will be developing a student survey to gather data on what students think about bullying in their school. Students will be surveyed about school climate and the prevalence, nature and severity of bullying in schools. DESE can compare the student survey results with the school’s reports on bullying. This will be an important reality check for schools and DESE.

The survey will be administered at least once every four years with the first survey to be in the 2016 school year.

Get more information about what you can do about bullying in your school on our youth rights website.

If you need help or more information, contact GLAD Answers at www.GLADAnswers.org

April 30, 2014 By Vickie Henry, Senior Staff Attorney GLAD


Uganda gay teen commits suicide over anti-gay law

At least 17 gay people, with the majority of them being under the age of 25, have attempted to kill themselves over Uganda parliament introducing the anti-gay law.Uganda_President_Anti-Homosexuality_Bill_protest_3_0_0_0
A Uganda gay teen has committed suicide over the homophobic law, it was reported today (7 April).
The young man, who we will call Denis, overdosed on pills and swallowed rat poison around a month ago.
For the past few weeks, he showed little signs of recovery as he slipped in and out of consciousness. He also lost his ability to speak.
Last Thursday (3 April), Denis was pronounced dead. He was just 17 years old.
Pepe Julian Onziema, a Uganda LGBTI activist, paid tribute to Denis saying he was ‘gone too soon’.
He told GSN Denis was the son of Muslim parents who consider homosexuals to be ‘proof of sin itself’ and ‘not people’.
‘This is the psychological effect of the anti-gay law,’ Onziema said. ‘It is affecting young people the most.’
The Anti-Homosexuality Act, which was made law in February, punishes homosexuality with up to life in prison. Promoting gay rights and refusing to report gay people to the police is also illegal.
Gay rights activists have said they have heard of at least 17 LGBTI people who have attempted to kill themselves over the law. It is unknown how many succeeded in their attempt.
Onziema called on Ugandan LGBTIs to keep safe and to seek help wherever they can, such as on social media.
‘It makes me sad that my community is unsafe. It’s intentionally put at risk,’ he said.
‘It’s like standing by the roadside and being pushed in front of a speeding car. That is what the president has done to us.’ 07 April 2014 | By Joe Morgan

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Dentist gives gay hate crime victim expensive dental care for free

Man was left with a broken lip and nine missing teeth after a brutal attack during gay pride week in Austin, Texas in October 2012.

Photo via kvue.com
Photo via kvue.com
It’s just been hard on the inside more for me than the outside, not because of how people see me, but how I feel about myself.’A victim of a gay hate crime has received a six-figure oral reconstruction surgery for free after nine of his teeth were knocked out. In October 2012, during gay pride week in Austin, Texas, Andrew Oppelman and Nick Soret were severely beaten while waiting for a slice of pizza at a food truck. The alleged attacker, Lambert Borgardt accused Soret of hitting on him and was caught by a security camera striking Oppelman in the face, completely knocking out nine of his teeth and leaving him in serious need of oral surgery. Bogardt fled the scene but was later indicted with third degree felony assault.
Dr Gary Cash, a local Austin dentist, read the dreadful story on a news website, and was left deeply disturbed.
Speaking to KVUE.com, he said: ‘I contacted the reporter and said “I’d like to meet this person, and I can maybe help them”.‘People have been so warm and welcoming to me here, I figured that’s not the way someone should be treated from out of town.’
For the past year and a half, Dr. Cash has been providing Oppelman with up to six figures worth of oral reconstruction procedures completely free of charge.
The dentist wanted to give back to the city of Austin and the people who have been ‘so warm and welcoming’ to his practice.
Oppelman couldn’t wait to see his new smile and leave this hurtful experience behind: ‘As soon as they were in and he gave me the first look, it seemed like a river just washed over all my insecurities and washed over all my hurt and a lot of the damage that has been done inside and out,’ he said.
The gay hate crime victim is now healing physically and emotionally.
He posted on his Facebook: ‘As of right now I have had thousands of dollars in dental work done and a lot more to come. My spirit has been broken but because of the support I am on the mend.’ To watch the full story, click here Article posted on March 7, 2014 | By Anna D’Alessiogaystarnews-logo
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Blackpool teen has teeth smashed and face pummelled in alleged homophobic attack

A student from Blackpool suffered damage to his teeth and face in an assault which he claims was motivated by homophobia.Kid teeth Lancashire police say they are currently investigating the incident although they cannot confirm if it was of homophobic intent.
Richard Scott Kennedy published a photo of himself on Facebook looking battered and bruised following an attack by several individuals which happened on Tuesday after leaving a nightclub in Preston.
He wrote:
Here is my face after a homophobic attack, 4 of my teeth are gone, not fallen out but deep inside my gums and cheek, one is sitting under my cheek inside my gum on the right side bottom of my nose. My face is swollen and it was worse yesterday, both my knees are badly injured and I struggle to walk and my whole face is constantly throbbing and I’m now on 4 tablets a day for pain and infection and may require surgery to sort the damage.
All of this and what was their motive? because of my f**king sexuality. something that doesn’t concern ANYONE else minus me and the person I fall for, either man or woman. A sex life is private and has nothing to do with no one, needless to say it’s absolutely disgraceful to violently attack someone because of who they are. My confidence has gone; I’m utterly embarrassed to be seen in public, the only reason I am putting this picture up is because I want you to see me as an example. An example why homophobia is wrong and it’s disgusting that it’s still around in 2014.
PinkNews has reached out to Richard for further details about the assault.

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Toronto Rejects Rob Ford’s Objections to flying “Pride flag” during “Olympics”

The rainbow flag flies at Toronto city hall. Mayor Rob Ford had ordered the flag taken down but later reversed his position.
The rainbow flag flies at Toronto city hall. Mayor Rob Ford had ordered the flag taken down but later reversed his position.
In another pointed jab at the gay community, Doug Ford accused the mother of a gay son of “bullying” for accusing Rob Ford of homophobia. Rob Ford has begun his mayoral campaign by saying that he deliberately avoids the Pride festival and vocally opposing the city’s decision to fly a rainbow flag during the Olympics in solidarity with the gay community in Russia. Doug Ford, his brother’s campaign manager, has complained that Pride involves “buck naked men.” On the second episode of their YouTube campaign show, released on Tuesday, Rob Ford read aloud a letter from a Scarborough mother who said she is hurt by his actions and called him “homophobic.” “This is about being patriotic to our country,” Ford said to the camera. “I am not homophobic. I will go to anyone’s house, anyone’s place, to help them out. I take offence when people say that to me.” Doug Ford said: “You know how many gay friends that we have? People that have worked on our campaign. So you may want to try to bully us into things, but — that’s how I feel sometimes, Rob. I feel like I’ve been bullied into something.” He added: “Don’t try to put a gun to anyone’s head that disagrees with you. It doesn’t mean that they hate gays. It’s just a bunch of bullying, a bunch of bullies coming after you.”He added: “Don’t try to put a gun to anyone’s head that disagrees with you. It doesn’t mean that they hate gays. It’s just a bunch of bullying, a bunch of bullies coming after you.”
The frequency with which the Fords have criticized the gay community early in the campaign suggests a strategy to appeal to social conservatives. The comments have coincided with several visits by Rob Ford to conservative churches and come soon after he began making religious references in speeches and interviews.
Since he was stripped of most of his mayoral powers in November, Ford has returned to the rhetoric of the outsider he once was. In the YouTube episode, he calmly said he wants 39 of the 44 current city councillors defeated in the election.

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Ottawa Teen’s School Bullying Musical Getting Wider Audience

17-year-old Elliot Wehrle’s musical Break Before Bend to play at Centrepointe Theatre

Elliot Wehrle, 17, started writing the musical Break Before Bend when he was in Grade 10. (Kate Porter/CBC)
Elliot Wehrle, 17, started writing the musical Break Before Bend when he was in Grade 10. (Kate Porter/CBC)
An Ottawa teenager is about to take his musical about high school bullying to an Ottawa stage, and hopes the fact that it’s written for teenagers by a teenager will help its message resonate. Elliot Wehrle, 17, has been working on Break Before Bend since he was in Grade 10. He composed all 23 songs and wrote the lyrics.
“For the last 10 years I’ve just been writing songs, starting out with little nothings,” said Wehrle, who’s been taking piano lessons since he was small. It was after his band took part in a school production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar that Wehrle was inspired to think bigger. “The idea of a musical was just so enchanting to me. It was this grail,” he said.

Musical about gay teen coming out

Jamie Hubley, 15, commit suicide Saturday Oct, 2011after battling depression and being bullied over the fact he was the only openly gay teenager at his west Ottawa high school. R.I.P little Brother
Jamie Hubley, 15, commit suicide Saturday Oct, 2011after battling depression and being bullied over the fact he was the only openly gay teenager at his west Ottawa high school. R.I.P little Brother
Wehrle’s musical follows a gay teenager named Jesse, who decides to come out. The character tells his best friend and looks to her for support, but is ultimately let down when she doesn’t stand up for him against his bullies. While there have been high-profile cases of bullying in the Ottawa area in recent years, Wehrle says they did not inspire his musical. Instead, he was interested in focusing on the role of the bystander in high school life to reach a larger population of teens. “As a student, the most frustrating thing is not necessarily the bullying, although that is very aggravating, but the lack of action to stop that bullying from other students,” said Wehrle. “That’s why I’m turning to all these student bystanders who have that power to really change these bullies, or inhibit these bullies, but do nothing.” Wehrle’s Break Before Bend was performed in December for Grade 12 students at Mother Teresa High School in Barrhaven. Members of his cast say its raw, serious themes led to many discussions in school hallways. They have also seen fellow students speak out against bullies since the production was performed. “It’s really cool to see the impact that it’s had,” said Sam Turgeon-Brabazon, who plays the bully.
Wehrle believes his message is able to get through because his musical is penned by someone their own age, rather than by an adult. “For better or worse teenagers have this thing where they only really seem to listen to other teenagers,” said Wehrle. “There’s just a relationship there, a kind of unison there.”

Play coming to Centrepointe Theatre in March

Centrepointe Theatre
Centrepointe Theatre
Wehrle and his cast felt the production should be seen more widely, so they rented Centrepointe Theatre in Ottawa for March 18 and 19. “I don’t know a teenager in Ottawa who can’t relate this story to something else they’ve thought of in their own life,” Turgeon-Brabazon said. Through ticket sales, they hope to raise funds for Ottawa’s Youth Services Bureau. And while teens are the primary target audience, Wehrle thinks adults would also get something out of Break Before Bend. “I hope … it’ll help them see inside the tornado of these teenagers’ minds, help them understand a bit, and maybe break down that wall that separates them,” Wehrle said.
By Kate Porter, CBC News Posted: Feb 18, 2014
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Jamie Hubley was a figure skater and the only openly gay boy in his school
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Chris Salvatore It Gets Better (Jan 2014)


Chris Salvatore (born May 22, 1985) is an American actor, singer-songwriter, model, and gay-rights activist. He is currently sitting at #41 on After Elton’s top 50 gay celebrities. Growing up chris_salvatore-itin the small town of Richboro, Pennsylvania, he spent his days singing, acting, and performing for his family. By the time he was 15, young Chris had already written his first song. After completing his high school education, Salvatore began his career in 2005 during his attendance at Berklee College of Music in Boston. There, he studied vocal performance and soon began recording songs. After some time at Berklee, Salvatore moved to New York City in 2006 to try his hand at acting. Once there, he enrolled in The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts and realized his talent and love for film. Salvatore completed his schooling and began preparing for the big leagues in Los Angeles.

He was contacted by a casting director for Q. Allan Brocka’s Eating Out film series and within the week, Salvatore moved to California to star as “Zack” in Eating Out 3: All You Can Eat (2009). chris-salvatore43He continued the role in two additional films in the series: Eating Out 4: Drama Camp (2011) and Eating Out 5: The Open Weekend (2012).
Chris Salvatore is known for his single “Dirty Love” (released in 2010). Recently, Salvatore has been uploading short musical covers of songs he and his fans like to his YouTube channel (which currently has over 12,000 subscribers).

In addition to song covers, he spends his time evangelizing equality in the LGBT community. Some of his videos include messages for the It Gets Better Campaign while others are simply kind and uplifting messages of hope. His latest efforts include the singles ‘What You Do To Me‘ (2012) and the ballad ‘Hurricane (2012). Salvatore’s songs have been featured on MTV’s show Paris Hilton’s My New BFF and in the movie credits of Eating Out 3: All You Can Eat. In August 2013 Chris Salvatore was named “GymPaws Fit Guy of the Week” in recognition of being a positive role model to his fans and embracing and encouraging healthy lifestyle choices.

Chris Salvatore on YouTube

Chris Salvatore on facebook


The First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, shows his support for the It Gets Better campaign to support young LGBT people in Scotland and further afield. The Scottish Government firmly believes that there is no place in Scotland for prejudice or discrimination and is committed to improving the lives of LGBT people.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights {Video Format}

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