LGBTQ Identity: The Data We Don’t See Sometimes Has a Lot to Say
Every social scientist and statistician knows the story behind the image at the top of this article.
During World War 2, when the Allies were losing bombers by the hundreds, researchers examined the planes that made it back to determine where they were most likely to be hit, intending to use the data to strengthen those areas in future production.
Someone pointed it out they had it backwards: the areas the returning planes were hit were already strong. They needed to look at the areas the returning planes were NOT hit. Those were the weak areas, and few returning planes had hits in those areas because planes hit in those places weren’t making it back.
Many people today are looking at the rise in LGBTQ identification and saying the much higher rate among young people proves it’s a fad, that LGBTQ identity is trendy, that it’s not becoming more common, and that policies need to be put in places to prevent people from making choices they can’t unmake. They’re saying if that many people really are LGBTQ, older people would identify as LGBTQ at the same rate as young people.
They are making the same mistake as those World War 2 researchers. They’re not asking themselves how many LGBTQ people didn’t make it from youth to middle age and beyond.
LGBTQ people are 4 times more likely to be a victim of violence. They are 4 times more likely to attempt suicide. They are 2–3 times more likely to suffer from substance abuse disorders. 27% of trans people and 8% of LGBQ people have been refused medical treatment at least once because of their gender or orientation.
The reason there aren’t more middle aged and senior people who identify as LGBTQ is because a lot of LGBTQ youth of yesteryear — when all of those figures above were surely much worse — never got a chance to grow old. They were killed, stigmatized, hated, and neglected to death.
And despite the higher rate of LGBTQ identification among youth and the rise in social acceptance, these preventable deaths still happen daily.
The denial of identity behind the trend “theory” is associated with even higher levels of violence, suicide, substance abuse, and healthcare disparities.
Literally all anyone need to do to start being part of the solution, or at least stop being a problem, is acknowledge people are who they tell you they are, and so many can’t or won’t even do that. And that’s not even remotely the worst of it.