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Jordan Lopez
Jordan Lopez

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Yes, they are. A 41% lifetime suicide attempt rate is horrific, especially when compared to a 4.7% suicide rate for the US population as a whole, and a 10-20% rate for lesbian, gay, bisexual people (these numbers are according to the authors of the survey). What, exactly, does the survey tell us about attempted suicide in the gender nonconforming (GNC) and trans community? What is causing this high rate of suicidality? As with most things, the devil is in the details.

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Harrowing statistics from a study recently published by the American Academy of Pediatrics revealed alarming levels of attempted suicide among transgender youth -- with the highest rates among transgender boys and non-binary youth. The findings emphasize the urgency of building welcoming and safe communities for LGBTQ young people, particularly for transgender youth.

The Everytown report found that Black transgender people, especially transgender women, were killed at a particularly disproportionate rate -- echoing previous analysis that the trans community faces higher rates of violence.

LGBTQ people also see higher rates of suicide: 40% of transgender people reported trying to kill themselves, according to the nonprofit-led U.S. Transgender Survey in 2015. That was almost nine times the national average. The Trevor Project's 2022 survey found that LGBTQ youth, between 13 and 24 years old, had also seriously considered suicide -- with one in five attempting.

Transgender people are over four times more likely than cisgender people to experience violent victimization, including rape, sexual assault, and aggravated or simple assault, according to a new study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. In addition, households with a transgender person had higher rates of property victimization than cisgender households.

One in 4 Black transgender or nonbinary youths attempted suicide in the previous year, a figure more than twice the rate of their Black cisgender peers, according to a new research brief from the Trevor Project that called the situation "a public health crisis that deserves immediate attention."

The results, the report said, reflect challenges faced by Black transgender and nonbinary youngsters as members of dual marginalized communities, a situation exacerbated by waves of anti-LGBTQ legislation that have proliferated in recent years.

Young trans and nonbinary Black people also reported higher rates of victimization, with 77% having felt discriminated against because of their identity (compared to 56% of their Black lesbian, gay, bi and queer peers); being physically threatened or harmed because of their identity (40% to 22%); and experiencing homelessness or running away from home (34% to 24%).

In a 2021 survey of 27 of the world's most LGBTQI+-friendly countries, Germany and Sweden tied as the countries with the highest rate of people who are transgender. According to the survey results, approximately three percent of all residents of Germany or Sweden identify as transgender, gender-fluid, or nonbinary. Ten additional countries posted rates of 2%, the estimated global average.

Research indicates that transgender individuals do have a higher rate of mental health issues than cisgender individuals. This trend has multiple causes, many of which stem from the considerable, even life-threatening discrimination trans individuals often risk by revealing their true selves, particularly in more conservative parts of the world. These factors include:

While Everytown clarified that "no single solution can stop gun violence in the United States," it recommended passing gun control laws and establishing a domestic terrorism office within the Department of Justice to curb the climbing rates of violence against trans people.

Other obstacles are the low rate of filling information in the fields of sexual orientation and gender identity when they exist in police reports, and also the inexpressive filling in the fields of motivation for LGBTIphobic crimes in the police reports.

One of the more underreported trends in the LGBTQ community is the high rate at which trans people, especially Black trans women, are murdered. In 2018, 26 trans people were killed, most of them people of color. And at least 20 trans or gender nonconforming women of color have been murdered in the United States as of November 2019 alone.

Take the example of Ashanti Carmon: Her trans identity was rejected by her family, and she was kicked out at the age of 16. Houseless and desperate, she had little choice but to engage in sex work. Eventually she found work outside the underground economy and engaged in sex work less often. She got engaged to her boyfriend and had found a community outside of her blood family. However, she and her fiancé still struggled to find an apartment they could afford. At age 27, Carmon was found shot dead on a street in Fairmount Heights, Maryland, known to be a gathering place for sex workers and trans women.

The data is clear: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ 1) people are overrepresented at every stage of criminal justice system, starting with juvenile justice system involvement. They are arrested, incarcerated, and subjected to community supervision at significantly higher rates than straight and cisgender people. This is especially true for trans people and queer women. And while incarcerated, LGBTQ individuals are subject to particularly inhumane conditions and treatment.

High rates of criminal justice system contact continue into adulthood. Our analysis of data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reveals that in 2019, gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals (with an arrest rate of 3,620 per 100,000) were 2.25 times as likely to be arrested in the past twelve months than straight individuals (with an arrest rate of 1,610 per 100,000). This disparity is driven by lesbian and bisexual women, who are 4 times as likely to be arrested than straight women (with an arrest rate of 3,860 per 100,000 compared to 860 per 100,000). Meanwhile, gay and bisexual men are 1.35 times as likely to be arrested than straight men (with a rate of 3,210 arrested per 100,000 compared to 2,380 per 100,000):3

The high rates of gay, lesbian, and bisexual people behind bars can in part be attributed to the longer sentences courts impose on them. The same study of the National Inmate Survey data found that in both prisons and jails, lesbian or bisexual women were sentenced to longer periods of incarceration than straight women. And gay and bisexual men were more likely than straight men to have sentences longer than 10 years in prison.

There is also limited data on trans incarceration. The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that there are over 3,200 transgender people in U.S. prisons and 1,827 in local jails nationwide. However, this might be an underestimate: In 2020, NBC News found that there were 4,890 transgender people locked up in state prisons alone. And according to data from The National Transgender Discrimination Survey, 1 in 6 trans people have been incarcerated at some point, and nearly half (47%) of Black trans people have been incarcerated:

While the central goal should be keeping LGBTQ people out of prison in the first place, far more needs to be done to ensure their safety behind bars, by preventing harassment and sexual assault, improving systems for addressing assault when it occurs, providing access to appropriate housing, health care, and clothing to incarcerated transgender people, and enacting and enforcing non-discrimination policies for staff.

Pump stations were strategically built and located along the 800-mile TAPS route to keep the oil moving from the North Slope to Valdez, using booster pumps. TAPS was originally designed to operate with 12 pump stations, but only started with 11. Today only four are operational.

Transgender people, particularly transgender women of color, face shockingly high rates of murder, homelessness, and incarceration. Most states and countries offer no legal protections in housing, employment, health care, and other areas where individuals experience discrimination based on their gender identity or expression.

Michael Biggs analysed the Tavistock GIDS and national suicide figures and found that suicide amongst young children in England and Wales is, thankfully, vanishingly rare and there is no evidence that there is a high rate among trans-identified children. In teenagers there are other conditions that carry a higher suicide risk, including anorexia, depression and autism.11 The Samaritans reported this year that suicides among teenage girls and young women between the ages of 10 and 24 have almost doubled in seven years, increasing by 94 per cent since 2012.12 All of these factors may be significant when considering the adolescents who are being referred to the Tavistock GIDS. 041b061a72


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