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Author Topic: Isolation, Suicide, and Generation Gaps  (Read 6730 times)

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Mogul

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Re: Isolation, Suicide, and Generation Gaps
« Reply #4 on: Thu, Apr 27, 2006, 05:30 »

There is a web ressource dedicated to the issue of gay/bi youth suicide: http://www.youth-suicide.com/gay-bisexual/.

Some date are a couple of years old, but it seems that problems still remain.
"Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right!" Salvor Hardin

K6

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Re: Isolation, Suicide, and Generation Gaps
« Reply #3 on: Fri, Apr 21, 2006, 23:57 »


I suspect that much of the bravado of the young gays comes from the understandable wish not to belong to the "loosers". Certainly, they are not as unhappy as their predecessors were at the same age, but also far not as happy as their heterosexual peers are now.

Young gays would be well advised to find and serve the purpose of their existence in the spring rather than seek it belatedly and in the winter of their lives.That purpose is of course and naturally gay self-determination,a goal beyond the individual and beyond the limitations of the stateless neo-liberal times in which we are living.A gay involved on the side of gay self-determination will never be alone,surrounded as he will be by countless gays of the past and of the future noding approvingliy at his conduct.

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Mogul

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Re: Isolation, Suicide, and Generation Gaps
« Reply #2 on: Fri, Apr 21, 2006, 00:49 »

The "Gay Generation Gap" article by Dr. Russel and Dr. Bohan is very interesting - and controversial at some places, especially for the elders who have to accept that their political views are not necessarily shared by the youth. But does this necessarily mean that there is a real difference between generations? The authors neglected the role of the personal developent of an individual - it is possible that with due age, youngsters will develope very similar views as olders now. It is but natural, that a very young man cares less about the "community sense" and "historic contextes", and instead is looking for a suitable partner and a good job. With time, the accents shift a little bit.

The authors certainly have right with their assumption that the generation gap will be self-sustainable, if nothing is done to overcome this gap. Whereas there always has been a certain continuity among homosexual intellectuals through millenia (thanks to university libraries), the "working boy" was practically isolated from the gay cultural heritage. This has changed in the last decades (at least in wealthy countries), and with the means of the Internet the desolate isolation of gay youth seems indeed overcome. The plentitude of ressources shall not deceive us about their quality - there is still much to be done to achieve true cultural boost in gay communities. I suspect that much of the bravado of the young gays comes from the understandable wish not to belong to the "loosers". Certainly, they are not as unhappy as their predecessors were at the same age, but also far not as happy as their heterosexual peers are now.

Nevertheless, we indeed must not forget that our live is generally good and there are many joys to be discovered. ;D Solely, while reading our statistics and reports from all corners of the world, one easily forgets this.
"Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right!" Salvor Hardin

Feral

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Isolation, Suicide, and Generation Gaps
« Reply #1 on: Wed, Mar 29, 2006, 01:53 »

Today I came upon this report.

Quote
A quarter of young gay or bisexual men in Northern Ireland have attempted suicide, new mental health research revealed today.

Nearly two thirds considered killing themselves and 30% self harmed, a survey disclosed.

The scale of the hidden emotional torment among non-heterosexual men, aged under 25, emerged in findings in advance of a major national conference in Belfast which will consider calls on the British Government to fund training and resources on different sexual orientations to all professionals working with young people, including teachers, youth workers and health and social services staff.

While the survey has a rather small sample size and pertains only to Northern Ireland (so may not be applicable to people in other countries), the news is not especially surprising. Many similar surveys could, no doubt, be unearthed.

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A quarter had attempted suicide; over two thirds thought about taking their own lives while four out of five who had suicidal thoughts indicated they were related to same sex attraction.

Among the key factors which contributed to suicidal thoughts and self harm were homonegative experiences in school, bullying, homophobia from other pupils and neighbours.

According to the survey, different factors which affected their mental health were:

:: Difficulties in accepting their sexuality

:: A shortage of people who understood what they were going through

:: Homophobia at home, within society and at schools, even among teaching staff.

:: Loneliness and isolation.

This last point reminded me of another one of the surveys that occasionally get mentioned in passing in the gay press, namely this one from the Institute for Gay and Lesbian Strategic Studies. The entire report (in PDF form) is, as always, more informative than the press release that nearly all of the news accounts were based on.

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"In interviews with LGBT youth and adults, we found a noticeable gap in communications across generations," noted Dr. Glenda Russell, a co-author of the report.  "LGBT adults tend to project their own experiences onto today's young people, when in fact the lives of today's young people are often quite different."

The study notes several examples of this generation gap.  "Alternative proms" organized by LGBT adults for LGBT high school youth often seem to be designed to meet the needs of the adult organizers who missed their own proms rather than the needs of today's young people. Adults tend to focus on the suffering and isolation of LGBT youth, even though many LGBT teens are actually doing well.  From the other direction, young LGBT people sometimes complain that no one is doing anything about discrimination, apparently unaware of decades of prior activism by LGBT adults. 

The challenge for the community is to turn these differences into opportunities for learning and growth.  Co-author Dr. Janis Bohan notes, "The good news is that both sides can learn from each other.  LGBT adults should be willing to follow the lead of young people, and young LGBT people should be willing to use adults as mentors." 

Young people often provide a fresh perspective on issues that is both less constrained by past strategies for problem solving and less reliant on older--and perhaps incorrect--assumptions about the degree of homophobia.  Adults, on the other hand, have greater experience and resources and are more familiar with the historical roots of the LGBT movement.

Now, many things have changed in the last several decades, and in some ways GLBT teens ARE doing well. The new study being discussed in Belfast suggests that our young people are not, however, doing so well after all.

« Last Edit: Wed, Mar 29, 2006, 03:32 by Feral »
Stonewall was a riot.
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