The first transgender suicide hotline: 877-565-8860


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/11/10/the-first-transgender-suicide.html


#2

I don’t know what’s sadder: that this has been needed for a long time or that it’s now needed so much more.

Maybe I should just focus on the good: it’s available now.


#3

The first URL (“Trans Lifeline”) mentioned in the lede is malformed. You’re missing the colon.


#4

I can’t find the statistics right now, but I remember reading recently that the attempted suicide rate for unsupported trans people was something like 55%. I think the rate for the general population is about 5% (which is still too high).


#5

Thanks, fixing!


#6

Thank you. I posted this information in our college LGBTQ Center today.


#7

Back in the early 1990’s I was one of a very small group of people helping prepare for an event at a Unitarian church. The group also included a transgender person who asked me if I’d stand guard while he used the men’s room.

I agreed. I thought–but never said–that he was being overly cautious. The building was practically empty, he was among friends (I was the only person in the group who’d never met him before), and he and I were the only ones with any reason to use the men’s room. Also if I hadn’t known he was transgender I never would have guessed or even thought about it. And it was no trouble. At the time I was standing around doing nothing and it was just as easy to stand outside the men’s room as anywhere else.

Events of just the past couple of years have made me look back on that moment very differently. I don’t feel he was being overly cautious. His feelings were, given recent rhetoric, completely understandable. I’m glad there was at least one person there he felt comfortable asking.

That was a tiny glimpse into the terror some–maybe most, maybe even all–transgender people live with all the time. I can’t begin to imagine what the fear and pressure were like even before some elected officials decided it was necessary to pass “bathroom bills”.

In short I can’t even begin to imagine the difficulties faced by transgender people. The statistic you quote is shocking but not surprising.


#8

Thank you @doctorow … more exemplary TG advocacy on the part of boingboing. For those who don’t know, risk of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts are extremely high among transgender individuals—like, above veterans with PTSD levels—so this is welcome and needed.


#9

Thank you for sharing this story. You should know that we do not all live in terror, even those of us who have been physically assaulted in public multiple times, although I dare say, all trans folks live with awareness that cis-privileged folks may or may not develop. Thank you for your compassion.


#10

I’ve never been physically assaulted, and I couldn’t really say I live in terror. Am I concerned that I could be assaulted? Oh, of course, but I could be assaulted when I’m presenting as male and appear to be heterosexual. All that said, this week is the first time in over 25 years that I’ve seriously considered going back in my various closets.

To hell with that.

I’ve lived that life and I’m never doing it again, both for myself and for others. If I’m visible, than others will know they’re not alone. Is it safe? No, probably not, but let’s try to look after each other. Being visible makes it easier for those that wish to target us, but it also makes it easier for us to find each other and unite.


#11

Yes we can all be assaulted. Individuals who are read as transgender have an extra special set of risks on top of the stuff that applies to most of the folks around them. Tip of the hat to living out of the closet, and getting that that is a choice that has consequences for people besides yourself. :slight_smile:


#12

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