Addressing Trauma Among Gay, Bisexual, and Queer Boys of Color


Advocates must increase their awareness of the myriad traumatic events that trigger symptoms of PTSD and other stresses for gay, bisexual, and queer BYMOC. It is also important that they no longer view the racial, gender, and sexual identities of these young men as separate and unrelated aspects of their existence.

“Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people experience a disproportionate amount of mental health challenges when compared with those who are heterosexual and cisgender.”

“The inability to be open about sexual identity is more likely to lead to attempts at suicide, feelings of depression, or engagement in risky behavior among a range of GBQ men of color.”

“Internalized homophobia is a predictor of one’s state of mental health issues (e.g., depression and low self-esteem) and risky sexual behaviors—particularly for GBQ Black men.”


  • Address the lack of support gay, bisexual, and queer BYMOC may not get from their families and help them combat negative internal feelings, including about the rejection of their identity.
  • Provide safe spaces that support intersectional identities. When LGBTQ people of color feel supported in relation to their sexual orientations, gender identities, races, and ethnicities, they feel more authentic, engaged, and empowered.
  • Build online support systems for LGBTQ youth. Finding peers online can be effective, particularly because it may be hard to find other LGBTQ peers in one’s local community.
  • Create programs that acknowledge the intersectional identities of gay, bisexual, and queer BYMOC and recognize how race, gender, and sexual orientation influence their exposure to trauma.