I invite you to join me in attending American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s “Symposium on LGBT+ Suicide Prevention” at Bentley University (Waltham, MA) on June 18 from 12 noon to 6 pm. Dr. Caitlin Ryan of the Family Acceptance Project will be the keynote speaker.
Why should pastors attend a secular, gay-affirming event? One reason: we must learn to minister well the presence of Jesus Christ to vulnerable teens and young adults struggling with sexuality and suicidal inclination. We will not agree with everything we hear, but there is still much that we can learn from an event like this.
SPECIAL POST-SYMPOSIUM DINNER: Please join me and others for dinner from 6:45 to 8:15 pm to debrief how we can apply what we learned within an evangelical community context.
HOW CAN I ATTEND? Register via AFSP or simply email us your contact information and mail a check to LTH in the amount of $60 (actual AFSP price). For dinner, bring sufficient cash to pay for your own meal. The dinner location will be determined soon. LTH/Lead Them Home will not make any money on this.
HOW PREVALENT IS LGBT+ SUICIDE? Each year, roughly 4,000 to 5,000 10 to 25 year olds commit suicide in America. It is thought that 10% to 30% of these young people struggle with gender and sexual identity issues. Dr. Ryan’s research indicates that gay teens are 3-8x more likely to attempt suicide compared to heterosexual peers, but 16x more likely if a young person has been bullied.
In the fall of 2010, we saw a spike in gay teens committing suicide due to bullying. My blog and radio show covered this spike extensively – read more at http://blog.leadthemhome.org.
LEAD THEM HOME: FALL 2011 CONFERENCE Lead Them Home is pleased to pre-announce our 2nd Gay Teen Suicide Prevention Seminar coming in Fall 2011. You will learn more details in the coming weeks via our July email newsletter. Stay tuned.