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SERIOUS TALK: A politician’s child in a struggle no one deserves

SERIOUS TALK: A politician’s child in a struggle no one deserves

SERIOUS TALK: A politician's child in a struggle no one deserves

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Tuesday night, reports began to surface that a child in the home of Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) was being treated for self-inflicted injuries. The family has released a statement saying that the child is okay, and asking for privacy during the teenager’s recovery.

The minor child’s name has not been released, only that the person treated was a 14-year-old girl.

One of Cruz’s daughters is 14 and happens to have spoken out on social media earlier this year about being afraid to disclose her sexuality to her father, and about disagreeing with him on most major issues.

Cruz’s state is one of several that has made legislative moves over the past few years to make life harder for LGBTQ children, and Cruz himself has made public statements in recent months about opposing protections for same-sex marriage.

One of the most important things that we know about LGBTQ children and suicide rates is that having trusted and accepting adults — and having a safe and accepting community — are some of the biggest factors in reducing risks and helping LGBTQ children survive to adulthood.

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While it would be inappropriate to make assumptions about the causes of one child’s personal struggles, what we can do is focus on ways that we can reduce those struggles for LGBTQ children across the state and the nation, and resources for anyone who is dealing with suicidal ideation.

From The Trevor Project — the world’s largest suicide prevention and mental health organization for LGBTQ+ youth:

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“60% of LGBTQ youth who wanted mental health care in the past year were not able to get it.”

“LGBTQ youth who live in a community that is accepting of LGBTQ people reported significantly lower rates of attempting suicide than those who do not.”

The report also finds that when children have at least one accepting adult in their lives to confide in — and a school that feels LGBTQ-safe — their risks are also lower than for those students who do not have that affirmation.

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The Trevor Project is an excellent resource for LGBTQ youth, offering crisis counselors by text, phone, and online chat.

Other good resources for anyone dealing with suicidal thoughts include the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which can be reached by dialing 988 or 1-800-273-8255, for safe, confidential support, and the Crisis Text Line, which can be reached by texting 741741, and also offers online chat options.

As for Cruz’s daughter, ABC reports that the office of Senator Cruz released a statement to several news outlets simply affirming that the injuries were not life-threatening.

We can all wish the best for her, and continue to hope and fight for all households, schools, and communities to be safe and affirming places for LGBTQ children.

Steph Bazzle covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph.

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Stephanie Bazzle
Steph Bazzle covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph.

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