2 Aug 2017
By Sarah Harris
Pretending to be someone (click here) you're not or facing exile from society can drive those with fluid sexuality and gender to breaking point.
Jay, a genderqueer Wellingtonian, described it as playing a character you don't want to be. The situation drove the 25-year-old to contemplate taking their life two years ago.
Jay doesn't identify with being male or female and uses they/them/their pronouns.
They are speaking out for the Herald's Break the Silence series in the hope of lowering the high suicide rate among the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and gender & sexual minorities (LGBT+) community.
According to Youth 2012, a major national survey of the health and well-being of secondary school students carried out by the University of Auckland in 2012, almost half of queer youth had seriously thought about taking their own life in the previous year.
One in five had attempted suicide, compared with one in 20 of their non-queer peers.
Queer youth were three times more likely to be bullied every week than their heterosexual peers and almost half had been hit or hurt at school in the previous year....