All Black Lives Matter: Mental Health of Black LGBTQ Youth

Black LGBTQ youth’s identification with multiple marginalized identities might make them more susceptible to negative experiences and decreased mental health. Both LGBTQ youth and Black youth report higher rates of poor mental health due to chronic stress stemming from the marginalized social status they have in U.S. society. However, very little research has quantitatively explored outcomes specific to Black LGBTQ youth. This report utilizes an intersectional lens to contribute to our understanding of the Black LGBTQ youth experience among a national sample of over 2,500 Black LGBTQ youth by highlighting and building upon many of the findings released from The Trevor Project’s National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health 2020 as they relate to Black LGBTQ youth.

There is significant diversity within the Black LGBTQ youth community.

  • 31% of Black LGBTQ youth identified as gay or lesbian, 35% as bisexual, 20% as pansexual, and 9% as queer
  • One in three Black LGBTQ youth identified as transgender or nonbinary
  • More than 1 in 4 Black LGBTQ youth use pronouns or pronoun combinations that fall outside of the binary construction of gender

Black LGBTQ youth often report mental health challenges, including suicidal ideation.

  • 44% of Black LGBTQ youth seriously considered suicide in the past 12 months, including 59% of Black transgender and nonbinary youth
  • 55% of Black LGBTQ youth reported symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder in the past two weeks, including 70% of Black transgender and nonbinary youth
  • 63% of Black LGBTQ youth report symptoms of major depressive disorder including 71% of Black transgender and nonbinary youth
  • Self-harm was reported in 44% of Black LGBTQ youth, including 61% of Black transgender and nonbinary youth
  • 49% of Black LGBTQ youth reported wanting psychological or emotional counseling from a mental health professional in the past 12 months, but not being able to get it