New study: Family rejection, violence — cause for high transgender suicide attempt rate

transgender suicideLEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS — Researchers conducting further analysis into the 2011 National Transgender Discrimination Survey (NTDS) revealed pretty much what we already suspected — trans people who experience violence and family rejection are at higher risk for suicide attempts.

The following are some of the findings from the new American Foundation for Suicide Prevention — UCLA Law School’s Williams Institute study:

78 percent of survey respondents who suffered physical or sexual violence at school (attempted suicide).

65 percent of respondents who experienced violence at work.

Over half of those who experienced harassment or bullying in schools.

57 percent of those who reported that their family chose not to speak/spend time with them.

69 percent of those who had ever experienced homelessness.

60 percent of those who reported a doctor or healthcare provider refused to treat them.

51 percent of those who are HIV-positive. 

55-65 percent of those with disabilities.

57-61 percent of those disrespected or harassed by law enforcement officers.


The new study is titled: Suicide Attempts among Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Adults. Ann P. Haas, Philip L. Rodger, and Jody L. Herman lead the study.

The initial 2011 survey findings were published in Injustice at Every Turn. A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey. The findings in that report marked a turning point in the lives of trans people — raw data, rather than speculation, could be used to argue for  legislative and administrative changes needed to reverse dire conditions for trans people. The new study significantly improves the outlook for trans people.

Suicide Attempts among Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Adults:  

National Transgender Discrimination Survey:

Link to Stats on transgender discrimination, violence and suicide page:

transgender suicide


Watch Lexie Cannes in the trans feature film “Lexie Cannes”. Get it here:   

LEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS is associated with Wipe Out Transphobia:

Read Lexie Cannes in The Huffington Post:

Categories: Deaths, Murder, Discrimination, Equality, Civil Rights, Transgender, Transsexual, Trans, Transphobia, exploitation, dehumanizing, violence, hate

Tags: , , , , , ,

9 replies

  1. Sasdl, I am not even slightly surprised. I volunteer at a shelter and work with young trans ladies. If anything these numbers are low, I suspect out of shame. A lot of these thingfs go together, in other words they are interconnected. They should have asked questions about substance abuse, in my experience, amongst those without family support it is almost universal. A lot of the rest comes from how they earn a living. The lucky ones are beautiful and can sell themselves which is why a lot of the other statistics are what they are. So sad. Suicide attempts are so common they arent even cause for conversation. We do what we can but outcomes for those cast out remain poor.

  2. I blame religious fueled ignorance and bigotry for those high numbered attacks on the transgender community. I also blame the politicians who are afraid to say anything pro-transgender because of the fear of looking bad by their constituents and loosing votes. When Obama mentioned the situation of acts of discrimination against the transgendered in his original early campaign speeches in 2007, I thought that change would finally come for us. But it appears that transgendered people are still not welcome in the federal job market. Obama could still work to help get out the true facts about transgendered people with regard to medical and psychological findings and the valuable careers that transgendered people have held in their past.

  3. Conversation from Facebook:

    MD: Somebody needs to approve my grant application to study the difference in experienced amounts of light between night and day from my front door. Shouldn’t need more than $10,000,000 to do an exhaustive comparison and publish the findings

    JD: Wow! You win the award for least helpful smug and pointless sarcasm. Well done!

    MD: It’s a gift. This “study” is pointless, the “findings” are obvious, and it’s ultimately unhelpful. Ergo, I ridicule and mock. Who doesn’t know this? Sure, now there can be an official study to wave about at politicians who don’t care about the suicide rate in the first place, those that do, don’t need a study.

    Wipe Out Transphobia – Whether you find this kind of study obvious or not, MD, does not mean that it’s not relevant.

    Politicians need lobbying regardless of whether they care or not and we must always have studies to back up that lobbying. Not only that, but organisations use stats like this to apply for and secure funding for their work.

    It’s actually very helpful, obvious or not.

    MD: I’m not ridiculing the posting of it, I’m ridiculing the study. I’ve been at this 20 years, and these things aren’t game-changers. They haven’t had an effect on policy. They get us all hot and bothered, but the suicide rates aren’t dropping. Help isn’t coming from this.

    Lexie Cannes: MD, when asked to “prove it” what do you point at? I point at two studies now. This IS a game changer, a big one. Professionals knowing of the study, but choosing to ignore findings find themselves at risk for a lawsuit if they mishandle a situation (case) and the student (client) commits suicide.

    • Well, its foolish to suggest that hard statistics dont improve the case for improving our life outcomes. I am an old lady now and I wonder if anyone really cares. Most dont consider us to be decent moral people, we are freaks and curiosities or just plain disgusting. Most tolerate us in these times but very few consider us to be decent human beings deserving of human rights and the chance for a decent life. I hope this changes, but I will not live to see it.

      The simple truth is that average ordinary people simply dont care. They dont regard us as needing medical intervention, they dont see us as moral human beings, they just dont care. We are weird, odd, strange and make them uncomfortable. Not many would say so in public but most would think we deserve the violence and hatred we receive. They couldnt care less and most certainly arent going to waste their time worrying about it while “decent” people dont have enough to eat. I admire those who choose to tilt at windmills, but I wouldnt bet on them.

      • You can have your view but I believe there has been numerous strides for trans people legally and adminstrively, however, the trans suicide fix is still behind the curve.

        Thanks for your comments!

        • Yes, you are right, there have been numerous legal strides. Where I live it is no longer necessary for us to have any kind of surgery in order to get a new birth certificate in our chosen gender. I even played a small part in that which resulted from having our rights enshrined in the human rights code for the province in which I reside.

          But this issue is different. It speaks to the understanding and concern the average person has. So , I dont have a view, the facts are that little to no progress has been made in dealing with these real life issues which are really what matter. Human rights are awesome, but they arent worth much if the general public doesnt support them. Its wonderful having a correct birth certificate but it is of limited value if the only way you can support yourself and pay for medically necessary surgeries is to work in the sex trade.

          I found one particular statement so sadly accurate it was somewhat amusing. IRL I work with young trans women at a shelter. I have met probably several hundred. This statement “trans people who experience violence and family rejection are at higher risk for suicide attempts”. Who hasnt had one ir both if those things happen? Do you even need to use the wors trans? Mights as well say people with blonde hair. I have never heard of a single practical suggestion to address this.


  1. In the News: We’re Finally Getting Solid Data on Transgender Issues (and it’s not pretty)… | The Girl Who Flies
  2. The Politics of Coming Out | The Talon
  3. Transgender Romance Writers featuring Vicktor Alexander | P.D. Singer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: