Pansexual Visibility Day is celebrated to recognize pansexual people and bring awareness to their experiences. For this year’s day, the Trevor Project released data from its research about the mental health of pansexual youth to highlight the need to support this young population.
The group defines pansexuality as “an attraction to people of any gender or to people regardless of their gender.”
A majority of youth who identify as pansexual say they’ve been discriminated against due to their sexual orientation (69 percent), the Trevor Project reported. In the organization’s 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, researchers found that 53 percent of pansexual youth reported that they seriously considered suicide and 21 percent reported they attempted suicide in the past year.
Additionally, 66 percent reported symptoms of anxiety and 79 percent reported having symptoms of depression.
“These rates were significantly higher than those reported by lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, questioning, and asexual youth,” Jonah DeChants, research scientist at the Trevor Project, said in an email to The Advocate.
The organization even has a guide called “How to Support Bisexual Youth: Ways to Care for Bisexual, Pansexual, Fluid, and Queer Youth Who are Attracted to More than One Gender.”
The guide offers best practices for people to better understand and also support youth who are attracted to more than a single gender, DeChants said.
“We consistently see in our research that LGBTQ youth, across all identities, who feel supported and affirmed by the people in their lives report better mental health outcomes and lower rates of suicide risk,” he said. “We encourage everyone to consider how they can best support the pan youth in their lives, not only on Pansexual Awareness Day or during Pride Month but all year long.”
He added that things like parents or guardians welcoming their queer friends, using correct pronouns, supporting their gender expression, and educating themselves on LGBTQ+ topics all have a positive influence on an LGBTQ+ youth’s feeling of support.
“Just a little acceptance and affirmation can have a profound impact on the life of a young person,” DeChants said.