Study: Anti-transgender bullying alarmingly high

by Hannah Clay Wareham

Bay Windows

Sunday October 17, 2010

More than half of transgender or gender non-conforming people who experienced bullying or harassment have attempted suicide, according to a recently released study.

The National Transgender Discrimination Survey, conducted by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality, revealed that 41 percent of respondents had attempted suicide, compared to a national estimated rate of 1.6 percent.

"From our experience working with transgender people, we had prepared ourselves for high rates of suicide attempts, but we didn't expect anything like this," said Mara Keisling, Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. "Our study participants reported attempting suicide at a rate more than 25 times the national average."

Rates of attempted suicide rose dramatically -- to 59 percent -- when the victim's teacher or professor was the perpetrator of bullying or harassment. Among those who had been physically assaulted by a teacher or professor, 76 percent reported having attempted suicide.

"These shocking and disheartening numbers speak to the urgency of ending bullying in our nation's schools and ending discrimination in our nation's workplaces. We know from the recent rash of suicides among young people who have been bullied just how critical it is that we act now and act decisively to save lives," said Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

Preliminary results from the study were released late last year, and can be viewed at http://bit.ly/alGYqK.

If you or someone you know is depressed or contemplating suicide because of anti-gay bullying or harassment, please call The Trevor Project's hotline at (866) 488-7386 or visit www.thetrevorproject.org.

Copyright Bay Windows. For more articles from New England's largest GLBT newspaper, visit www.baywindows.com

Comments on Facebook