Risks to children from family rejection

Minors are an especially vulnerable population and can feel pressured to receive conversion therapy by their families and their communities despite their fear of being harmed. About 7% of youth in the United States are LGBTQ, while 40% of youth experiencing homelessness are LGBTQ.. The primary reason for their homelessness is being forced out of their home because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. If a minor has the “freedom” to choose between being harmed by conversion therapy or being homeless, that freedom is illusory.

Minors who experience family rejection based on their sexual orientation or gender identity face especially serious health risks. Research shows that lesbian, gay, and bisexual young adults who reported higher levels of family rejection during adolescence were more than eight times more likely to report having attempted suicide, more than five times more likely to report high levels of depression, more than three times more likely to use illegal drugs, and more than three times more likely to report having engaged in unprotected sexual intercourse compared with peers from families that reported no or low levels of family rejection.

Roland Behm