LGBT Diversity Training
3 minutes Introductions, define LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender)
PITW #182 Don’t Be Afraid to Evolve Your Thinking: British Economist John Maynard
Keynes put it best, when a colleague criticized him for holding different views on economic
policy before and after the Great Depression, “When the facts change I change my mind. What
do you do?”
5 minutes Guidelines
♦ Confidentiality, respectful, attentive, safety ≠ comfort, sharing NOSTUESO, not talking
about morality or religion etc. we are talking about creating a safe space and creating safe
10 minutes Statistics and How this Applies to our Work
♦ The School Board of Miami-Dade County, Florida, adheres to a policy of nondiscrimination in
employment and educational programs/activities and programs/activities receiving Federal
financial assistance from the Department of Education, and strives affirmatively to provide equal
opportunity for all as required by:
o School Board Rules 6Gx13-4A-1.01, 6Gx13-4A-1.32, and 6Gx13-5D-1.10 -
prohibit harassment and/or discrimination against a student or employee on the
basis of gender, race, color, religion, ethnic or national origin, political beliefs,
marital status, age, sexual orientation, social and family background, linguistic
preference, pregnancy, or disability.
♦ According to HRC Florida is 1 of 35 states where it is still legal to fire someone based on their
sexual orientation or gender identity.
UBUNTU- As long as one of us is oppressed all are oppressed because our humanity is tied.
How can I live up to my fullest human potential if you aren’t able to?
10 minutes Famous LGBT People: 20 Questions
♦ Place a label on each participant’s back
Explain that each person has a famous person who is (or was) either GLBT or has been
involved in a GLBT relationship.
♦ Each participant must ask questions of others to try and guess who they are. The
questions must have a yes or no answer, and participants may not ask the same person a
♦ Short summaries of each individual’s major accomplishments appear below.
♦ Once the person’s identity is guessed correctly, nametags are moved from a person’s
back to his/her front.
♦ Go around the room and ask people to share who they had
o Did any of these surprise you? Why or why not?
3 Minutes Introduce the Film and Bayard Rustin
Born in West Chester, Pennsylvania, in 1912, Rustin began his 60-year career as an activist
while in high school, when he protested segregation at a restaurant in his hometown. Rustin
organized the first "Freedom Rides" during the late 1940s and met Martin Luther King Jr. in
1956, after traveling to Montgomery, Alabama, to assist with the boycott of the city's segregated
bus system. Upon his arrival, Rustin discovered guns inside King's house and quickly persuaded
boycott leaders to adopt complete nonviolence. Known as the "American Gandhi," Rustin is
credited with helping to mold the younger King into an international symbol of nonviolence.
Rustin was the organizer behind the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom-the
largest protest America had ever seen. Despite these achievements, Rustin was silenced,
threatened and fired from leadership positions-sometimes because of his uncompromising
political beliefs, but more often because he was an openly gay man in a fiercely homophobic era.
12 minutes Clip of Brother Outsider: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin
0.15-3:00 Introduction, his place movement
41:28-45:28 The March on Washington and falling out with MLK
1:16:30-1:22:14 A lifetime of service, conclusion
15 minutes Guided Questions about the Film
♦ How do you think Bayard Rustin’s inclusion and later exclusion relates back to our
concept of Ubuntu? What does it mean to be one through other people and to be tied to
their humanity? (i.e. relate it back to the concept that as long as one of us is oppressed
we are all oppressed)
♦ What in this film surprised you? What didn’t surprise you?
♦ What does it mean to be a part of a social justice movement that believes in social justice
for some but not others?
♦ How does that deprive us within the movement?
10 minutes Transition to breakout groups
5 minutes Restate Ground Rules
♦ Confidentiality, respectful, attentive, safety ≠ comfort, you should be in your
challenge zone, sharing NOSTUESO, not talking about morality or religion etc. we
are talking about creating a safe space and creating safe schools)
♦ It is alright and even encouraged to share how you may be struggling with the topic
and your thoughts but be respectful and professional.
10 minutes Earliest Beliefs activity
♦ What Shapes Our perceptions of LGBT People?
o Our ideas about people who are different from us come from many places, such as
family, religion, school, peers, and the media. Where did your beliefs about
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people originate? Work with a
partner or small group to answer the questions below regarding your earliest
beliefs about LGBT people. (You can think-pair-share or have them write them
on chart paper and share as a group)
Think back to your childhood. What were some of the first things you
ever learned about LGBT people (positive, negative, or neutral)?
Who taught you the first things you learned about LGBT people?
How were the ideas transmitted?
o Food for thought
Which of your early beliefs were formed from direct experience and
which were formed from stereotypes or indirect information?
Which of those early ideas do you still believe and/or act upon?
How might your early beliefs impact both yourself and others?
Which of those ideas do you need to work on changing?
♦ Once you’ve given enough time for everyone to share and summarize come back to large
group and invite cm’s to share a couple of key experiences. Keep in mind differences in
identities, allow enough time for all who want to share- encourage others to feel SAFE to
share his/her own stories.
10 minutes Genderless Crush Activity
♦ Have cm’s pair up with someone different.
♦ Again, give each student about 90 seconds to share with their partner a story about a date,
or crush they had on someone without using any gender specific noun or pronouns.
♦ Once everyone has had an opportunity to share, bring the group back together and
process what either made this activity easy or challenging.
10 minutes Definition of Terms: Go over these in order to have a common vocabulary
Homophobia Coming Out
Being out or out of the closet Heterosexism
Bisexual Heterosexist Privilege
Homophobia Heterosexual Ally
Lover/partner/significant other Sexual Orientation
Transgender Gender Expression
♦ Facilitators will be provided with each term and each definition on individual sheets of paper.
The activity is to give definitions and terms to all the cms and ask them to trade until they
have found what they think is a match. Then everyone sits down and shares what they have.
♦ Mention that there is more information available about people who are transgender in the
safezone packets (page 12-13) and they also have a copy of the terms list in their packet
15 minutes Guided Imagery Activity
♦ After reading each segment, collect the cards and throw them away, becoming more
forceful as the reading progresses. Have them tear up the last card on their own.
♦ Once you’ve read through the entire activity, depending on the size of group have the
cm’s share their initial reactions with 1 other person or with everyone if you have a small
♦ Possible processing questions:
o Was it harder to let go of one card more than others? What made it more difficult?
o How did it feel to have someone take the card out of your hand?
o How did it feel to have to tear up your own card?
o Have you ever had to think about losing someone or something simply based on a
part of your identity?
o Did this story seem realistic?
o Did any of these experiences surprise you?
5 minute Break
10 minutes Heterosexual Privilege
♦ Ask the cm’s to take several minutes to read over the “Daily Effects of Heterosexual
Privilege” (page 5)
o Have you ever thought of these things as being privileges? Why or Why not?
o What would it be like to be LGBT and not have these privileges? How would
your life be different?
o Can you think of any heterosexual privileges that may not have been on this
15 minutes Riddle Scale
♦ Get 8 different volunteers to read off the 8 different Attitudes towards difference (page 7)
♦ Ask people to brainstorm several examples of what people may say or do at a given point on
the continuum. (record these on the board or with chart paper)
o Try to provide some examples of when/why a person may be at a certain “level”
o What are things they might do or say…
o Ex. nurturance could be when the student decides to display the Safe Zone sign
♦ Emphasize that this is a continuum with various shades of gray
♦ Share that this is more of an ‘internal’ process…focusing on self growth
♦ Mention that “What Kind of an Ally are You” (page 2) sheet in their packets gives them a
great way to asses where they are at individually as it relates to being anti-heterosexist/
supportive of LGBT folks
10 minutes Safezone Scenarios
How can I make my school a supportive place? Discuss putting up a Safezone sign your cy room
shows that it is a safe space for LGBT students and individuals.
1. My Safe Zone sign is torn off my door? Replace it, don’t let hate win.
2. Others assume that I’m LGBTQ because I have posted the Safe Zone sign? If you are
offended examine the reasons why you may feel that way, don’t discuss with them your
sexuality, just say making a safe space for everyone is something anyone should care about.
3. I experience graffiti on my door and/or SZ sign? Replace it, don’t let hate win.
4. My coworkers aren’t comfortable or supportive that I want to post the SZ sign? This is an
opportunity to educate them on what you have learned, discuss with them the importance of
making a safe and inclusive environment.
5. Someone asks about the SZ sign when visiting? Educate! Do the best you can and they will
6. Someone actually ‘comes out’ to me? (p.4 in packet)
7. Someone who is coming out to me is seeking my advice on what they should do (e.g. coming
out to a roommate, family member, friend, etc.) Offer your emotional support, you don’t
need to have all the answers, you just need to be there for them. Share some of the resources
8. Others ask me about someone else’s sexual orientation/identity? Plus, maintaining a
supportive relationship with someone without unintentionally ‘outing’ them. Do not under
any circumstances out another person, that is their personal choice to make and we need to
respect that. You do not know what their life is like or the reason why they may not be out to
5 minutes Wrap-up
♦ Resource List
♦ Go over the information available in the packets handed out to them
♦ Challenge corps members to use inclusive language, watch a movie/documentary on LGBT
issues, attend or bring other cm’s or friends to an LGBT event once a month, etc.
♦ Handout SZ sign
o Spend specific time talking about putting a Safezone sign in your classroom or City
Year room, discuss how to create a safe school environment. Encourage them to
also read “What is an Ally?” (page 7)
o Give them my contact information and let them know if they have any further
questions to contact Kelsey Gernert at firstname.lastname@example.org
10 minutes Web of Support
♦ Ask the corps members to all sit in a circle on the floor, get out the ball of yarn and hold onto
♦ Explain that when the ball is thrown to them each person will say one thing that they are
going to do to become more supportive of the LGBT community or to help create a safe and
inclusive environment for their students in their school, then they will throw the ball across to
another corps member
♦ Proceed until everyone has caught the ball of yarn and is holding onto the string. Explain
that we have created a web of support. Get out the scissors and everyone take turns cutting
off a piece of yarn to bring with them to remind them of the vow they made today
Guided Journey: Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender persons
Directions: Distribute to each participant six slips of paper/notecards and a writing instrument.
Have participants number the slips from 1-6 and then write on the corresponding slip:
Read to the participants: “Your imagination is the key instrument in this exercise of guided
journey. We will be taking a chronological journey through your mind’s eye of what your life
might be like if you were growing up queer. You may experience a variety of feelings, but try
not to let your feelings distract you from participating in this exercise. Please understand that my
intent is not to manipulate your feelings, but the goal is to help you understand some of the
feelings and experiences that someone who is a gay might feel. Many of the experiences are
based on true stories. The experiences that I am about to take you through are not universal but
several of the themes presented are somewhat common. On the six cards that have been handed
out to you, please write a name, word or phrase which fits the following categories. Please use a
separate card for each category:
1. A person from your childhood who you shared secrets with
2. The name of your best friend in elementary school
3. A small valued material possession from your early teenage years which you used to keep
in your locker
4. The name of your favorite place
5. A current trusted/important friendship
6. A dream or goal you have for the future
“As you undertake this imaginary journey, think about the personal meaning of what you
have written. Imagine how you would feel if any or all of these things were suddenly no longer
there for you.”
“Let’s go back to your early childhood. Choose an age at which you have your earliest
consistent memories. Perhaps you’ll be five or six. You are sitting in front of the television set
watching a show. One of the characters is Chris, who is about your age and is also the same
gender as you. This character is your favorite and one of the main reasons why you watch this
particular show. You feel drawn to Chris. You want to be Chris’s best friend. You turn to
someone that you have always shared secrets with and you say, “I love Chris.”
The person makes a face at you and says, “That’s gross! People shouldn’t feel that way,
that’s not normal.” You are confused, scared and ashamed. Hold up the card with the name of
the person who you shared secrets with. You no longer feel that you can share your secrets
and inner most feelings with this person.” <pause for a moment for the cards to be taken
You are now eleven years old, and in grade school. You are good friends with a popular
student named Riley. You and Riley hang out during school and are in lots of classes and
projects together. You are best friends; Riley has met your family, come over for dinner, and
even spent the night. Your parents are very glad you have found such a good friend. One day
you run back to your locker because you have forgotten something and you overhear Riley
mention to a group of people that you are so queer, you know one of ‘THOSE’. Riley tells the
other kids that you probably wear your sister’s dresses at home or that you want to grow up to be
just like GI Joe. Then Riley adds how Riley’s mom doesn’t think the two of you should play
together because Riley might “develop a swish too,” which Riley demonstrates with a
flamboyant walk down the hall or Riley may not be able to get a date due to hanging out with
you. Hold up the card of your best friend in elementary school—you will never be best
friends—you realize Riley is not really your friend.” <pause for a moment for the cards to be
You’re now fourteen. You’ve been looking forward to high school. You think things will be
different, that you will make a lot of new friends, and won’t feel isolated anymore. You avoid
looking too closely at classmates that you feel attracted to. You don’t want them to call you the
names you’ve been hearing for so long: dyke, lesbo, fag, queer. You don’t want people to think
you’re gay. You have heard about how gay people aren’t “normal” from your parents, your
friends, and the religious leaders in your community. All the gay people you’ve ever seen on
television are some stereotype that is usually being made fun of and it just doesn’t seem like
anyone with whom you can relate. You remember one movie where the “straight” person tries
having sex with the gay person, because it will “fix” them. On a TV show you watched, it was
obvious that the queer character was just there to be the subject of all the jokes of the show. You
don’t know what you are, but you know you can’t be gay. You tell yourself it’s just a phase and
you’ll soon grow out of it.
One day in the lunch line, you forget to monitor yourself and you end up staring at someone
you find very attractive. Someone see you looking and calls you a “queer”. It’s starting over
again; the names; the hatred, the feelings of worthlessness. Later, you go back to your locker
and you find that someone has broken into it and thrown ketchup all over your books. You
discover a note that says: “All queers should die”. One of your prized possessions that you had
kept in your locker has been stolen. You feel like the whole world hates you and wonder why
this had to happen to you. You think that things would be better if you were just dead… you’ve
been thinking of suicide lately, but you’re also very scared of doing it. Hold up the card with
your small valued material possession on it. It’s now gone forever. <pause for a moment for
the cards to be taken away.>
You’re now eighteen and after years of hoping, praying, wishing and struggling, you’ve
come to realize that you really are gay. It’s not just a phase. It’s not something you chose. It’s
just who you are. You’ve just met someone named Jamie, who likes you. This person is open
and seems to be happy that they are gay. You talk with Jamie about your feelings and innermost
desires. Finally, you’ve met someone who understands – someone who knows you’re not evil,
sick or twisted.
You feel attracted to Jamie and you want to get to know Jamie better. There’s a place you
love to go to, so you suggest that you and Jamie meet there later. You arrive early and wait with
anticipation and excitement – this is your first real date. Jamie arrives and you want to hug
Jamie. You start to, but then you notice a look of panic on Jamie’s face. You realize that other
people are looking at you and Jamie suspiciously. You both feel very awkward and
uncomfortable, you quickly decide to leave. Hold up the card with the name of your favorite
place – you no longer feel comfortable there. <pause for a moment for the cards to be taken
“You are now in your second year of college. You made it! You’ve recently begun
volunteering at the LGBT Student Center, and have made many friends who also identify as
LGBT or questioning. You are actively involved in coordinating programs and events for
National Coming Out week and you decide to invite someone who is very close to you to attend
one of the programs with you. You go out to eat before the event, and you are having a great
time catching up with each other. You have come to realize how very important this friendship
is to you, and you no longer want to keep a part of your life a secret. You’ve decided that on the
way to the program you’ll tell this person that you’re gay. You begin by sharing how important
she or he is, and that you’ve wanted to share something with them for a very longtime. Finally,
you say it, “I’m gay.” Your friend becomes silent, and it feels really awkward, until they break
the silence and says, “Oh, is that why you’re bringing me to this program, because you thought
that it would make it ‘okay’?” This person is suddenly looking at you as if you were a total
stranger and you feel like the bond you thought you had has been broken. Hold up the card of
your current trusted/important friendship. This person no longer wants to have any type
of relationship with you.” <pause for a moment for the cards to be taken away.>
“You have finally graduated from college, and are ready for the real world. You are feeling
incredibly lucky, because you have also been in a relationship for a while and you are both
looking forward to creating a life together. You’ve been offered a great job in another city, so
you and your partner relocate. You’re feeling like you’ve finally made it through the tough
times, and you have a great outlook on your future. You think about your dreams and goals and
feel like you will be able to achieve them.
One evening you’re waiting for your partner to come home because you have plans to meet
some friends for dinner. While you’re waiting you’re watching the news and you see that yet
again gay and lesbian rights are up for discussion- partner benefits, health care, civil unions,
marriage. Churches, civic groups, and other governmental leaders are all speaking out and
claiming that there should never be support for romantic, affectionate love between two people
of the same sex. Next thing you know the phone rings, and it’s the police department stating that
your partner was in an accident and is in critical care at the hospital. You rush out the door, and
arrive at the hospital to find out that you’re not being allowed into the room because you are not
considered the next of kin. Within hours, your partner’s parents arrive. They have never been
supportive of your relationship and don’t invite you into the room either. A while later the
doctors come out to announce that your partner has died of complications. Tear up the card
with your dream for the future. Your dreams aren’t fulfilled; they are hounded by the
prejudices and hatred of others.” <pause for a moment for the cards to be torn up.>
Adapted from exercise contributed by Dawn Mays & Sandra Vonniessen-Applebee of D/S
Productions, 1064 Varsity Square West, Bowling Green, OH 43402, telephone 419.372.2343
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Student Definitions
Lesbian: This is one of the oldest and most positive terms that labels the affectional or sexual preference or
orientation of women towards other women. A women who forms her primary loving and sexual relationships with
other women; a woman who has a continuing affectional, emotional, romantic, and/or erotic preference for
someone of the same sex. Some lesbians prefer to call themselves “lesbian” and use the term “gay” to refer to gay
men; others use the term “gay” to refer to both gay males and lesbian females. Term of pride.
Gay: A man who forms his primary loving and sexual relationships with other men; a man who has a continuing
affectional, emotional, romantic and/or erotic preference for someone of the same sex. A term adopted by the gay
male community, though some lesbians use it also, as a sign of pride in their sexual orientation.
Bisexual: A person who has an affectional, emotional, romantic, and sexual attraction to men and women. Degree
of preference and choice of primary relationship partner varies for each bisexual.
Heterosexual: A heterosexual is a man who forms primary loving and sexual relationships with women or a
woman who forms primary loving and sexual relationships with men; a women who has a continuing affectional,
emotional, romantic, and/or erotic preference for men (or vice versa). Heterosexuals usually (but not necessarily)
engage in overt sexual relationships with people of the other sex.
Homosexual: A clinical and technical term that is not generally used to refer to lesbian and gay people or their
community. For example, Congressman Barney Frank refers to himself as gay, or openly gay, not as admittedly
homosexual or a practicing homosexual.
Coming Out: An ever-evolving process of self-acceptance and integration of one’s sexual identity. It is an intra-
personal as well as interpersonal process and may include public proclamation of identity as well as political action
in the larger society.
Being Out or Out of the Closet: A term which means being open and public about being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or
transgendered. A closeted person hides the fact that they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered. Some people
are “out” in some settings (for example, with friends) and not “out” in other settings (for example, at work or with
Heterosexism: “The societal/cultural, institutional, and individual beliefs and practices that assume that
heterosexuality is the only natural, normal, acceptable sexual orientation.”
Heterosexist Privilege: “The benefits and advantages heterosexuals receive in a heterosexual culture. Also, the
benefits lesbians, gay men, and bisexual people receive as a result of claiming heterosexual identity or denying gay,
lesbian, or bisexual identity.”
Homophobia: “The fear, hatred, or intolerance of lesbians, gay men, or any behavior that is outside the boundaries
of traditional gender roles. Homophobia can be manifested out of fear of association with lesbian or gay people or
being perceived as lesbian or gay. Homophobic behavior can range from telling jokes about lesbian and gay people
to physical violence against people thought to be lesbian or gay.”
Heterosexual Ally: “Heterosexual person who confronts heterosexism, homophobia, biphobia, and heterosexual
privilege in themselves and others out of self-interest, a concern for the well-being of lesbian, gay and bisexual
people, and a belief that heterosexism is a social justice issue.”i
Lover, Partner, and Significant Other: Terms that lesbian, gay and bisexual people use to identify those people
with whom they have romantic or sexual relationships.
Queer: “Originally a derogatory label used to insult lesbians and gay people or to intimidate and offend
heterosexuals. More recently this term has been reclaimed by some lesbians, gay men, bisexual people, and
transgender people as an inclusive and positive way to identify all people targeted by heterosexism and
homophobia. Some lesbians and gay men have similarly reclaimed previously negative words such as “dyke” and
“faggot” for positive self-reference.”
Sexual orientation refers to the gender of the persons that someone is attracted to, emotionally and physically,
i.e., gay, lesbian, bisexual, heterosexual, and others in between, as well as asexual.
Transgender: A broad term that covers many aspects in the gender experience. People who identify as
transgender feel that their prescribed gender role does not fit with their experience of their gender. Transgender
people can be, but are not always, transsexuals. Some people decide to redefine themselves by changing their
gender expression only and others feel that they also need to change their bodies. Sex hormones, electrolysis,
plastic surgery, or sex reassignment surgery can help people make a physical change that feels more congruent
with their self-image. The term transgender includes the following.
• FTM (female to male): People who were born female but see themselves as male.
• MTF (male to female): People who were born male but see themselves as female.
Gender identity refers to how a person sees himself or herself socially: as a woman, as a man, as masculine, as
feminine, as a combination, or as neither.
Gender expression is how an individual chooses to express their gender. For example, regardless of their body
or what they claim as a gender identity, if a person dresses and acts in a manner that is consistent with society’s
definition of being female, that person is expressing a female gender.
LGBT Activist: An individual who engages in a continuum of direct action in the service of securing civil rights
and social justice for people of all sexual orientations. This continuum of action can range from educating oneself
on the issues to recognizing and interrupting homophobic and heterosexist behaviors on a personal level to
participating in rallies, protests, and other efforts with the aim of achieving political and social change on a
You do the math…
SUICIDE & DEPRESSION
• Suicide is the leading cause of death among gay and lesbian youth.
• Gay and lesbian youth are 2 to 6 times more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexual youth.
• Over 30% of all reported teen suicides each year are committed by gay and lesbian youth.
• 50% of all gay and lesbian youth report that their parents reject them due to their sexual orientation.
• 26% of gay and lesbian youth are forced to leave home because of conflicts over their sexual orientation.
• In a study of 194 gay and lesbian youth, 25% were verbally abused by parents, and nearly 10% dealt
with threatened or actual violence.
• Approximately 40% of homeless youth are identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual.
• Gays and lesbians are at much higher risk than the heterosexual population for alcohol and drug abuse.
• Approximately 30% of both the lesbian and gay male populations have problems with alcohol.
• 55% of gay men have had a substance abuse problem sometime in their life.
HIGH DROP OUT RATES
• Approximately 28% of gay and lesbian youth drop out of high school because of discomfort (due to
verbal and physical abuse) in the school environment.
• Gay and lesbian youth are at greater risk for school failure than heterosexual children. Academic
failure, lack of student involvement and low commitment to school are profound for gay and lesbian
youth because schools are neither safe, healthy nor productive places for them to learn.
• LGBT youth are more than four times as likely to skip whole days of school out of fear.
VERBAL & PHYSICAL ASSAULTS
• 84% of GLBT students reported being verbally harassed (name calling, threats, etc.) because of their
• Gay students hear anti-gay slurs as often as 26 times each day; faculty intervention occurs in only about
3% of those cases.
• 39.1% of GLBT students reported being physically harassed (being shoved, pushed, etc.) because of
their sexual orientation.
• LGBT youth are almost twice as likely as their non-gay peers to be threatened with or injured by a
weapon at school.
VICTIMS OF CRIME
• Gays and lesbians are the most frequent victims of hate crimes.
• Gays and lesbians are at least 7 times more likely to be crime victims than heterosexual people.
• At least 75% of crimes against gays and lesbians are not reported to anyone.
• 39% report hate acts such as vandalism, threats or assault in their neighborhoods and communities.
WHY SHOULD THIS ISSUE BE TALKED ABOUT IN SCHOOLS?
• In a typical class of 30 students, 8 students (27% of the class) will be directly affected by homosexuality
of self, one or more siblings, or one or both parents.
WHAT WE CAN DO
• LGBT students who can identify just one supportive person in their life, one person who stands up against LGBT
bullying or homophobic remarks, it decreases their risk of committing suicide by 33%