L.A. County to Begin Tracking Suicide Rates, Violent Deaths in LGBTQ Community

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Los Angeles County coroner’s staff will begin collecting data on decedents’ sexual orientation and gender identity after the Board of Supervisors passed a measure Tuesday aimed at better tracking suicide rates among LGBTQ individuals.

The motion authored by supervisors Kathryn Barger and Sheila Kuehl was approved without comment at Tuesday’s meeting.

Along with suicide, coroner’s officials were directed to focus on violent deaths and hate crimes in the LGBTQ community.

L.A. County death records currently don’t include any information about sexual orientation and gender identity, according to the motion.

Officials hope the data can help them understand any disparities in mortality rates, allowing them to develop policies and guide resources to address them.

A 2015 survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 29% of LGB youth had at least one suicide attempt in the prior year, compared to 6% of heterosexual youth.

And more than half of transgender and non-binary youth seriously considered suicide in the past year, according to a survey conducted this year by The Trevor Project.

FBI statistics show 17.5% of all hate crimes reported to the agency in 2017 were based on sexual orientation or gender identity bias.

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