This article was published on September 12th, 2019
It should be of no secret that our transgender brothers and sisters are still heavily under attack. 19 trans women of color have been murdered in the United States alone in 2019. A new study shows just how harmful the effects are of a society that is attempting to force trans people to conform to heterosexual normative biases. The shocking results reveal the staggering outcome of increased suicide rates when trying to make transpeople cisgender.
The study, authored by McLean Hospital at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital at Harvard Medical, and the Fenway Institute, was recently published in JAMA Psychiatry and reiterated all the fears transgender people have long spoken about and dealt with as non-binary members of society. Data from the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality, including responses from 27,000 trans people in the United States, was used, as well.
The new study comes just one month after the American Journal of Public Health put out its piece “Psychological Attempts to Change a Person’s Gender Identity from Transgender to Cisgender: Estimated Prevalence Across US States, 2015” showing that 200,000 transgender people representing all 50 US States have been ‘exposed to gender identity conversion efforts.”
“One of the most alarming findings from this study was the association between exposure to gender identity conversion efforts during childhood and a four-fold increased odds of lifetime suicide attempts. This is important because experts continue to advocate for gender identity conversion efforts for young children. We hope our findings contribute to ongoing legislative efforts to ban gender identity conversion efforts.” said Dr. Jack Turban, resident physician in psychiatry at The Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital and lead author of the study.
The new study revealed that at least 13.5% of U.S. trans people have reported having gender identity conversion efforts by religious advisors, counselors, and therapists forced upon them. A staggering and shocking 41% of all transgender people have reported attempting suicide in their lifetimes. Lifetime exposure to these conversion efforts can lead to multiple adverse mental health issues, including suicide and severe psychological distress.
The T in our LGBT acronym is under attack. It is up to the rest of the queer community to stand up for our transgender brothers and sisters, fight the hate, crush the stigma and stereotypes, and stand loud and clear in support. These results and figures can not continue to escalate. Tans equality is the next great battle for queer justice, and every gay and non-binary person should heed these study results as a warning for how far trans rights have come, but also be prepared to stand up and fight for the existence of our sisters and brothers that are transgender.
Make a stand, take action, and help pass The Equality Act, which puts in place Anti-Discrimination Protections for Trans People Nationwide.