It probably is time to re-introduce this article from May 2020 that points out the following:
“The claim sometimes made that there is an established massive suicide phenomenon among LGBT+ Latter-day Saints directly attributable to Latter-day Saint theology—or policies—is not supported by current data and scholarly research.”
As this article points out, it is a widespread myth that LDS theology is responsible for LGBT suicides. I keep on seeing people make the claim without any real evidence. But as the article points out:
Again, as mental health experts in partnership with GLAAD observe: “The underlying causes of most suicide deaths are complex and not always immediately obvious. Making hasty assumptions about those causes, even when based on comments from family or friends or media reports, can result in statements that are later proven to be inaccurate.”
It’s difficult to rigorously test claims regarding suicide causality to peer-reviewed standards. But people may be surprised how little evidence there is for related side-claims such as, in the words of one celebrity, Utah has experienced a surge in suicide “because of the shame (LGBT+ teenagers) feel from the Mormon Church.”
Lamentably, these beliefs have sometimes taken on a life of their own, regardless.
I have spoken to sophisticated, intelligent colleagues in the social sciences who take the theology-suicide correlation as a fact, even when confronted with conflicting information—including objective, official numbers that do not provide any evidence for the claim.
Such a narrative is extremely dangerous because it begins to normalize the idea that people with same-sex attraction should be inclined toward suicide:
This would normally be benign—people can believe what they want to believe—but the fact is that those pushing a narrative of mass suicidality among LGBT+ youth are themselves risking suicide contagion in order to win rhetorical points (this point, meant for the population in general, has actually been made by Rick Savin-Williams, the father of gay youth health research). Belief in LGBT+ Mormon suicide pandemic in the absence of good social science evidence may actually contribute to the troubling phenomenon of heightened suicidality among the LGBT+ population by normalizing suicide rather than resiliency, hope, and life.
Is the Church and its practices and theology responsible, or is it the belief in the narrative itself? If you keep pushing the idea that all gay Latter-day Saints are depressed and suicidal, then those who are most vulnerable to that narrative may start to believe you. If you are contributing to the narrative that the only orthodox Latter-day Saint LGBT+ is a dead one, then you may in fact be hurting Latter-day Saint LGBT+ youth.
So, please stop with the unscientific and false claims of proven links between LDS orthodoxy and LGBT suicide. It is not true.