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GenderNexus: Depression rates high among the gender-diverse community

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Depression rates among the gender-diverse community suggest that a large number of children and teens have considered suicide, says Emma Vosicky, executive director of GenderNexus in Indianapolis.

Vosicky says a recent Trevor Project study shows that 50% percent of gender-diverse kids — those whose gender identity or expression does not conform to male or female — have considered suicide in the last year.

Numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau show that this group experiences significantly higher rates of anxiety and depression, according to Vosicky.

“It can be almost 200% higher,” Vosicky explained.

Gender Nexus is a gender-inclusive community group that serves children as young as 5 years old.

“One of the things about running this agency is that my sense is that I’ve lost most of everything. And so there’s not much left to take away,” Vosicky said. “We get lots of emails from families that we’ve helped and individuals that we’ve helped. So, I know that we make a difference.”

Vosicky explained that gender-diverse minors are less likely to seek help if they have depression. Without consent from a parent or guardian, Gender Nexus and other organizations cannot help.

The Trevor Project’s 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health also shows that 35% of gender-diverse kids and roughly 40% of LGBTQ+ kids have affirming homes. Young people who aren’t in an accepting environment could find it more difficult to find help for depression.

Vosicky wants to show the LGBTQ+ community that they can develop resilience, navigate resources, and have positive methods of being true to their authentic self.

“There’s this desire to just be yourself. To be able to have a job, go to school, have your family around you, and be with you,” she said. “For folks that are LGBTQ+, those are far greater challenges than most other folks face.”

Click here for Gender Nexus resources.

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