LGBTQ Isn’t A Mental Illness And Neither Is Suicide

Kevin Strauss
2 min readJun 27, 2019


CBS News reported that 1 in 5 LGBTQ youth attempted #suicide within the last year (Source: The Trevor Project).

Does this mean #LGBTQ persons are more likely to have a “mental illness”?

Do we really believe there is a causal link between sexual preference and/or identity and an increase in mental illness? In other words, do we really believe if you’re gay you’re more likely to have a mental illness? Or, if you’re gay your brain doesn’t work properly? Seriously?

Or, is it possible that LGBTQ persons are simply outcast and ostracized by society, at large, and THAT drives their feelings and behavior?

Imagine if you never felt like you belonged… anywhere? Imagine if everything you experienced in early childhood and as you were growing up indicated that “who you are, at your core” is considered “wrong”. Imagine if you didn’t feel like you could talk or connect with anyone because you felt different than “everyone” else and that difference was “socially unacceptable”.

How would you FEEL if who you are, the essence of you, “didn’t count” in your family, community or society? (Just thinking about this now makes me hurt.)

Suicide and suicidal thoughts are NOT a mental illness just like identifying with LGBTQ is NOT a mental illness. (We know that now, right?)

Not feeling #loved, #connected or #belonging because of “who you are” is NOT a mental illness or a mental health problem. It’s a feeling and when compromised effects a person’s state of Emotional Health.

A human’s state of #emotionalhealth drives their behavior more than anything else in life. Until we begin to acknowledge and accept this paradigm shift in thinking about mental health/illness and emotional health little is likely to change. (Just review the ever worsening statistics regarding most any destructive behavior plaguing society.)

Attempting or succeeding at death by suicide is a behavior and action. LGBTQ suicide attempts are NOT indications of #mentalillness but rather a person’s attempt to ease their emotional pain due to feeling unloved, disconnected and like they don’t belong… anywhere!

We’re all people and we all DO belong! We may not agree on every value and belief (or ice cream flavor) but we ALL still matter.

Imagine how our LGBTQ family and friends will thrive and contribute constructively to society once we love them rather than stigmatize and ostracize them. Imagine how good you will feel too if you could love rather than hate.

Let’s try #loving and embracing our fellow humans no matter their sexual identity, gender, race, color, culture, political party, food or car choice. THEN, we’ll experience some really positive changes in behaviors. It’s worth trying, right?



Kevin Strauss

Fan of the "rabbit hole"… how far will I go? - balanced wellness, emotional health, endurance sports & more