Tuesday, November 25, 2014

We Are Different

We have our own unique problems, we are a lot like gays and lesbian but we are slightly different in one sad way… we commit suicide more often. In the national survey of trans-people they found that 41% of us have tried to commit suicide, which is almost one in two of us!

So when it comes to suicide hotline are problems might be just like everyone else’s but having a hotline that is just for us is a lot better,
Trans Lifeline: Trans People Helping Trans People to Prevent Trans DeathsHuffington Post: Gay Voices
By H. Adam Ackley, Ph.D
Posted: 11/20/2014

As the world marks the Transgender Day of Remembrance to commemorate the transgender and gender-nonconforming people taken from us by violence in the past year, a new resource -- the trans-staffed crisis phone line Trans Lifeline -- is now available to help trans people. "According to the most recent and comprehensive statistics available, 41% of trans people attempt suicide at least once in their lives, and the figures go up to 50% if their trans status is known or disclosed," said Trans Lifeline President Greta Gustava Martela. "We'd like to get that to zero. Our community needs every one of our members." Trans Lifeline launched on November 1, 2014 and is staffed and managed by volunteers and staff who are themselves trans. It is the first crisis and suicide prevention hotline specifically focused on the trans community and all services are free. The hotline number is 877-565-8860.
About one in three transgender people worldwide are reported to die from suicide attempts, including after beginning transition. Though a few vocal opponents of gender transition may use this statistic to argue against trans* identities entirely, a careful contextual analysis of the discrimination against trans people (the main trigger for suicide attempts) demonstrates discrimination, which only occurs after a transgender person has revealed their gender complexity to others, to be a significant triggering factor in the majority of attempts. Thus, trans suicides are driven not by our gender itself but by our reactions to transphobia -- social hatred of us expressed in countless daily microaggressions (not being able to use a public restroom for example); being excluded from and even hounded by our own faith communities; job discrimination and all that ensues -- homelessness, lack of access to medical care, poverty, and so much more. Legal protections have helped some of us, but they are not always enforced. And as Martin Luther King, Jr. always said, one can legislate public morality but the real work (spiritual work) is to change people's hearts, to grow beyond hate and fear of the "other."
For many of us just going out in public every date takes its toll. As he says it the daily it is the social isolation and the daily microagressions that take taxes us. It is like a dripping faucet at night, it is not that one drip that gets to us but rather the drip, drip, drip…

We are social animals we need the personal interaction in our daily lives, society pushes us into boxes and the more we do not conform to those boxes the harder society pushes back. We need to talk to others who know what that pressure is like and that is why a trans specific hotline makes so much sense.

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