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Bisexual and transgender adults report loneliness twice as much as straight adults: CDC

lonely transgender bisexual adult
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Bisexual and transgender adults also reported having the highest rates of stress, frequent mental distress, and histories of depression.

Bisexual and transgender adults are facing a loneliness epidemic.

The groups reported experiencing loneliness twice as much as their straight peers in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's 2022 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, with 56.7 percent of bisexual adults and 56.4 percent to 63.9 percent of transgender adults reporting lack of social and emotional support.

Bisexual and transgender adults also reported having the highest rates of stress, frequent mental distress, and histories of depression, at 34.3 percent to 54.4 percent of bisexual adults and 36.1 percent to 67.2 percent of transgender adults.

Gay and lesbian adults also reported higher rates of loneliness than their heterosexual and cisgender peers, at 41.2 percent and 44.8 percent, respectively. The report noted that "prevalences of loneliness and lack of social and emotional support were high in young adults, most racial and ethnic minority groups, and among those with less than a high school education and low income."

Those who identified as straight or cisgender reported rates of loneliness at 30.3 percent and 32.1 percent, rates of depression at 19.4 percent and 21.4 percent, and rates of stress at 12.6 percent and 13.9 percent, respectively.

To further understand and address "the threat to mental health among sexual and gender minority groups," the report stated that future research "should include consideration of loneliness and lack of social and emotional support." Public officials must also begin "providing access to health services that are affirming for sexual and gender minority groups and collecting data to address health inequities" in order to "improve the delivery of culturally competent care."

"Evidence-based interventions and strategies that address social connection as a protective factor for mental health and well-being are needed, especially for persons who face disparities based on race, education, income, and SGM status," the report continued. "Developing environments in communities that are safe spaces for relationship building and support for dealing with loneliness and isolation can be beneficial."

If you or someone you know needs mental health resources and support, please call, text, or chat with the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline or visit988lifeline.org for 24/7 access to free and confidential services. Trans Lifeline, designed for transgender or gender-nonconforming people, can be reached at (877) 565-8860. The lifeline also provides resources to help with other crises, such as domestic violence situations. The Trevor Project Lifeline, for LGBTQ+ youth (ages 24 and younger), can be reached at (866) 488-7386. Users can also access chat services at TheTrevorProject.org/Help or text START to 678678.

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Ryan Adamczeski

Ryan is a staff writer at The Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel "Someone Else's Stars," and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.
Ryan is a staff writer at The Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel "Someone Else's Stars," and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.