The Trevor Project has created an essential new resource for queer youth.
The crisis prevention organization released Coming Out: A Handbook for LGBTQ Young People in advance of Friday's National Coming Out Day.
The 21-page document provides a 101 for a variety of topics, including gender (gender identity, gender expression, and transitioning); sexual orientation (physical attraction, romantic attraction, and emotional attraction); and the process of coming out itself (planning, safety, and finding support systems).
It may not always be safe for an LGBTQ young person to come out to due bullying, family rejection, and societal bias — and the handbook helps youth navigate this thorny terrain.
In addition to coming out as a member of the LGBTQ community, the handbook also covers issues like how to form healthy relationships, improve mental health, and be aware of indicators for suicide risk.
More than 1.8 million LGBTQ young people (ages 13 to 24) contemplate a suicide attempt each year in the United States, in large part due to the minority stress tied to the aforementioned factors. A recent report from the Trevor Project shows that just one accepting adult can reduce the risk of a suicide attempt by 40 percent.
"LGBTQ young people contact the Trevor Project from all over the country to talk about how coming out might impact their relationships with friends, family, and peers, as well as their unique situations at home and school," said Tia Dole, Ph.D., the Trevor Project's chief clinical operations officer.
"This handbook will help support LGBTQ youth as they explore what coming out safely can mean for them, even if that means choosing to not come out right now. Fear of rejection is a common topic raised by the young people we support, and we want them to know that the Trevor Project is here for them 24/7 to let them know that their identities are valid and that they are loved."
The Trevor Project is the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ young people. The group offers a number of volunteer opportunities for adults, such as its 24/7 TrevorLifeline (866-488-7386), TrevorChat, and TrevorText programs, which offer young people feeling suicidal an avenue to talk.
Read Coming Out: A Handbook for LGBTQ Young People at TheTrevorProject.org.