Chapter 8: Grief among 2SLGBTQ+ youth



I have a lot of really great friends, but they don’t really get it. They don’t understand what it’s like to be trans and grieving another trans person’s death.

If you’re a young 2SLGBTQ+ person who is grieving someone’s death, your experience will have some things in common with other youth, but will also differ in significant ways. Similarly, your grief will share some common aspects with that of 2SLGBTQ+ adults while also having some differences.

The following tables may help you to understand some ways your grief can be both similar and different when compared to non-2SLGBTQ+ youth and when compared to 2SLGBTQ+ adults.

Non-2SLGBTQ+ youth grief and 2SLGBTQ+ youth grief


You might hide your grief from others because you do not want to seem different from your friends.


If you do talk to your friends, they may not be able to help or understand because they have not yet experienced their own grief.


You may prefer to use online or web-based resources developed specifically for youth.

You might already feel “different” and not want to add to that.



If the person who died was 2SLGBTQ+, you may fear talking openly about them.



You may prefer to use online or web-based resources developed specifically for 2SLGBTQ+ youth.

2SLGBTQ+ adult grief and 2SLGBTQ+ youth grief


Your feelings of grief may come and go and sometimes be intense or confusing.


You may or may not feel like talking about your feelings with another person.

You may have more difficulty finding friends who understand your grief.


You may prefer to use online or web-based resources developed specifically for 2SLGBTQ+ youth.

If someone you know has died by suicide, your grief is likely to be more complicated than for other kinds of death, especially if the person who died was also 2SLGBTQ+. Even if you did not know or weren’t close to the person, you may be surprised by the impact their death has on you and others in your community. You may have intense or confusing feelings, such as anger or guilt.

As a 2SLGBTQ+ youth, you also face challenges related to your sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Figuring out how to respond to homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia, and learning what support you need are important steps, especially if you’re grieving. Without support, your sense of isolation will grow while your sense of self-worth may decrease. This can lead to new difficulties, such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, or suicide ideation and suicide.

What may help

  • Take time to recognize and accept your feelings. Know that they are normal. This is an important first step in finding ways to understand and live with your experiences.
  • Look for resources, locally and online, that have been created for 2SLGBTQ+ youth.
  • Know that when you are grieving someone’s death, you may also feel grief about other losses you’ve experienced as a 2SLGBTQ+ person.
  • If you feel stuck with your feelings, if you feel depressed speak to someone you trust about support and accessing help or consider a local support group. If you are thinking of harming yourself, please reach out for help or call Canada Suicide Prevention Service at 1-833-456-4566. You don’t have to be alone.
​​ Helpful resources

For more information see the Resources section at the end of this module.