Transgender adults who experience discrimination more likely to attempt suicide


Transgender Suicide graph

Williams Institute

A new UCLA-led analysis of data from the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey found that more than half of respondents, 51.2%, who had experienced four types of anti-transgender discrimination and violence — losing a job, eviction, homelessness and physical attack — in the past year reported attempting suicide in that year. And 97.7% of them had seriously thought about suicide.

The report, which was issued by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, also found that transgender people who had been denied equal treatment because they are transgender were twice as likely to report attempting suicide in the past year as those who had not experienced that discrimination.

“Experiences of discrimination and serious psychological distress go hand-in-hand, and both are associated with suicide thoughts and attempts among transgender people,” said lead author Jody Herman, scholar of public policy at the Williams Institute. “Public policies that aim to reduce discrimination against transgender people are suicide prevention efforts.”

Previous research has found that transgender people have many of the same risk factors for suicidality as the U.S. general population, such as depression, substance abuse, poor health and homelessness. However, the current study finds that transgender people also face additional risk factors, such as discrimination, family rejection, and lack of access to gender-affirming health care.

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