from Gay Activism in the Schools
The article notes that Statistics Canada says that close to 600 youth between 10-24 die each year from Suicide in Canada and that numerous studies suggest that among lesbian, gay and bisexual (LAB) youth, approximately 32% contemplate or attempt suicide yearly.
According to researchers and gay advocates, it's not being gay that leads kids down the path toward suicide. It is stigma and discrimination as well as internalized homophobia.
Dr. Ritch Savin-Williams, at Cornell University, however, disagrees. He believes that family dysfunction, previous suicide attempts or suicidal behavior of friends and peers should be considered in studying suicidality among LAB teens. He notes that many studies on gay suicide are flawed and that many gay teens begin to believe that they should be suicidal.
The article quotes Marilyn Byers with PFLAG of the York Region as stating that being bullied for being gay in school is far worse than being ridiculed for being fat. "It's much worse. It's worse because it's institutionalized, accepted hate. A child is not born with hate. That's a learned behavior."
Gay advocates and Savin-Williams both agree that a gay identity should be normalized within schools and taught in sex education classes the same way that heterosexuality is taught. "We need to make it a non-issue; let's make it go away by simply being fair," says Savin-Williams.