Three gay teens kill themselves every day
The twittersphere and blogs have been alight this week with a string of high-profile suicides by gay (or perceived to be gay) teenagers, starting with Billy Lucas, who was 15. Then there was Seth Walsh, a 13-year-old who hung himself and was taken off life support after ten days. Then Asher Brown, another 13-year-old, shot himself in the head. Then 18-year-old Tyler Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge after fellow students broadcast video of him having sex on the internet. And on Wednesday Raymond Chase, a 19 year old, hung himself.
Their deaths are unbearably sad, and deserve all the attention they've been getting, and all the hand-wringing about teen suicide, and gay teen suicide in particular. I encourage you to check out Dan Savage's It Gets Better project, and watch Ellen's plea to end bullying. But we need to be clear: this is not a sudden surge in gay teen suicides. This isn't even a complete list of the gay teen suicides that happened in September. For that, we'd need nearly a hundred names.
Between 4,000 and 5,000 teenagers kill themselves every year in America,. That's between 11 and 13 teens killing themselves every single day. gay teenagers are four times more likely to commit suicide than straight teenagers, which means about 3 gay teenagers are killing themselves every day, about 95 every month.
So mourn these kids, all the potential they had that we've lost. But remember the scale of the problem we're dealing with: for every one of these, there are eighteen more we didn't hear about, just in September.
 About 26% of teen suicides are gay teens. This assumes gay teenagers are about 8% of the population, which is a very hard statistic to nail down.