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Recent spate of transgender suicides: An actual increase or more awareness?

In this space I tend not to report individual transgender suicides unless the event is of extraordinary note. All trans suicides are tragic and as most of us are aware, the sobering sky-high rate of attempted suicides (41%) in the trans community is well-documented by research evidence. From that we can infer the number of trans people lost to suicide as equally sobering.

1769. Recent spate of transgender suicides - An actual increase or more awareness

Tracking suicides, however, is problematic. Mainstream media in general does not report on individual suicides, trans or otherwise, unless particularly newsworthy. Even if they were to, the trans status of the deceased would not likely be disclosed.

Most recently, since the death of Leelah, there seems to be an uptick in the number of reported transgender suicides. But is this an actual increase in deaths? Trans suicides outnumber trans murders by wide margin — conservative ballpark numbers based on the existing attempt figures would make it two or three trans suicides every day in the United States.

In my opinion, since Leelah, people are making their suicides matter — they’re messaging their friends and posting it online. No longer are families able to quietly keep things under the radar. Like Leelah, they’re telling the world why they’re doing it.

New studies are being undertaken that might shine some light on the matter. Until then, there’s no reason to believe there is an actual increase of transgender suicides.

The suicide that triggered the writing of this article was of Rachel Bryk. She jumped off the George Washington Bridge in New York City last week after being attacked online. Her body has not been recovered.

Her death is tragic, but no more or less tragic than the one reported two weeks ago, or the one reported 3 weeks ago. All trans lives matter. Lets hope our amazing accomplishments in the trans rights and public awareness department the last two years has triggered a reversal in the rate of trans suicides.

Stats on transgender suicide:


Rachel Bryk:


Author: Lexie Cannes



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Esta entrada fue publicada en 14/05/2015 por .
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