Too many of us young trans people are crying out for help. Will you listen?
by Owl Fisher
March 28, 2018
When Paris Lees appeared on Question Time last week, I and many other trans people sat at home cheering her on. When she brought up the fact that 45% of trans young people have attempted suicide the clip was shared widely online, with overwhelmingly positive reactions. This wasn’t the first time the statistic had been brought up on the programme, yet it was dispiriting, to say the least, that most of the panel seemed more concerned about the persistent myth that kids are being sent for genital surgery. Why is this crisis of mental health within the trans community not the main source of concern?
These statistics reveal a deep, systemic problem, and shed light on the way trans people are mistreated in society. We’re failing trans kids, and we need to talk about why. Virtually every single study on trans adults and children arrives at a similar, alarmingly high, percentage figure for attempted suicides.
In 2014, the Williams Institute and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention published research that showed that 46% of trans men and 42% of trans women had attempted suicide. One of its major findings was that trans people across all demographics and ranges of experience have very high levels of attempted suicide.