On New Year’s Day, we’d prefer to be sending a different type of letter. However, this may be one of the most important messages we’ll author in 2015.
In recent weeks, there have been multiple and public reports of suicide attempts and deaths among transgender youth. It is clear that many people in our community – transgender people, their families, and other allies – are experiencing trauma in response. A lot of good folks are also looking for meaningful ways to strengthen and support our community and one another.
One immediate action you can take is sharing this link on your social media – it contains all of the following resources: Talking About Trans Suicide.
If you are a transgender, gender non-conforming, or gender questioning youth, please know you are not alone.
- If you are contemplating suicide, immediately contact Trevor Project’s Trevor Lifeline at 866-488-7386 (24 hours a day, seven days a week) or visit their website to access instant chat, text, or online community supports: The Trevor Project. And, please remember that there are countless people who care about your well-being.
- Being a trans or gender non-conforming young person isn’t always easy. But it gets better and many of us live authentic lives happily and safely within communities of supportive friends and family. Among thousands of other videos from the It Gets Better campaign, this one features some of our community leaders – Andy Marra, Tiq Milan, Janet Mock, and Noah Ryan:
- You can find more examples of resilient members of our community telling their stories at: Transpeoplespeak.org
If you are a parent of a transgender or gender non-conforming child, you’re not alone either.
- Parenting a gender expansive child may require some different tools and many parents need guidance. For those parents that are just beginning this journey we recommend: http://www.scribd.com/doc/240595076/Supporting-and-Caring-for-Our-Gender-expansive-Youth
- We are inspired by the power of a parent’s love for their child. Meet Zoe and her mother and watch them tell their story:
- There is a rich collection of resources we recommend available to you via Gender Spectrum.
If you are a trans person or ally upset by these losses, you can help create a better future for our community:
- This resource is helpful when discussing suicide with peers: http://www.masstpc.org/issues/suicide-prevention/
- If engaging on the topic of suicide in social media, please read “Talking About Suicide and LGBT Populations.” These 3-4 pages will only take a few minutes of your time and the recommendations within can be incorporated into your thinking and writing. This important resource was published by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, created with the Movement Advancement Project and Trevor Project a year or so ago.
- Speak on the topics of suicide and mental health using the #RealLiveTransAdult
- Tell your stories of hope and resilience to provide encouragement to those who may be struggling. For allies, a simple expression of appreciation, friendship, or love for a trans or gender non-conforming person close to you can be a powerful message.
- To get involved, become more informed about how to speak about suicide and consider sharing on social media some of the resources we’ve provided: