A new study from the Trevor Project has highlighted the comfort some LGBTQ+ youth find in religion and spirituality.
In the study published on Wednesday, the organization conducted research on the religiousness or spirituality of queer youth and how that relates to mental health outcomes. It’s based on a survey conducted from September to December of last year with almost 34,000 youth along with the 2020 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey. The study did not ask respondents which religion or spirituality they practiced. The report notes that religion can be “fraught topics” for queer people due to the discrimination emanating from certain religious groups, and many of these groups still exclude LGBTQ+ people.
The group found that 21 percent of LGBTQ+ youth reported that their faith or spiritual tradition was either important or very important to them. Older youth between the ages of 18-24 reported this more than younger people. Those youth who are less financially well-off reported higher rates of putting importance on their religion. Of those who found importance in their religion, a majority of them live in the south. Native or indigenous queer youth reported the highest rates of religion being important or very important.
Queer youth also said that they prayed, meditated, or privately reflected on their religion at least once a week if not more frequently.