The smaller of these new studies, conducted by Dr. Audrey Ervin at Delaware Valley University, examined the experiences of a group of LGB youth in the area of Memphis, Tennessee. She found that about 37.7 percent of those youth reported having attempted suicide. Almost all of them experienced some kind of mistreatment from their parents or guardians, including insults, criticism, being made to feel guilty, ridicule or humiliation, and embarrassment. In fact, LGB youth who experienced maltreatment from their caregivers were 9.5 times more likely to have attempted suicide — but that wasn’t actually the most significant predictor.
According to Ervin’s results, losing a friend when coming out as LGB seemed to have the biggest impact on whether someone had attempted suicide. Youth who lost friends after coming out as LGB were 29 times more likely to report having attempted suicide.