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NATIONAL TRANSGENDER DISCRIMINATION SURVEY

SUICIDE ATTEMPTS

Suicide Attempt by Employment

When asked “have you ever 41% of respondents attempted suicide?” 41% of reported attempting respondents answered yes. suicide. According to government health estimates, five million, or 1.6% of currently living Americans have attempted suicide in the course of their lives.21 Our study asked if respondents had ever attempted suicide while most federal studies refer to suicide attempts within the last year; accordingly it is difficult to compare our numbers with other studies. Regardless, our findings show a shockingly high rate of suicidality. The National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) reports that most suicide attempts are signs of extreme distress, with risk factors including precipitating events such as job loss, economic crises, and loss of functioning.22 Given that respondents in this study reported loss in nearly every major life area, from employment to housing to family life, the suicide statistics reported here cry out for further research on the connection between the consequences of bias in the lives of transgender and gender non-conforming people and suicide attempts.23 NIMH also reports that generally African-Americans, Latino/ as and Asians have much lower suicide rates than whites and American Indians; our sample showed a different pattern of risk for suicide by race, with Black and Latino/a respondents showing dramatically elevated rates in comparison to their rates in the general population.

100 90 80 70 60 50 40 20 10 0

Lost Job Due to Bias

Worked in Underground Economy

In terms of age group risk, the highest rates of suicide attempts in this study were reported among those in the 18-24 age group (45%) and 25-44 age group (45%), with only 16% of those over 65 reporting a suicide attempt. These rates are inverse to the general population, which shows a higher incidence of attempts among older Americans than youth.24 Suicide Attempts by Age 100 90 80 70 60 45%

45% 39% 33% 16%

20 10

80

0

70 56%

60 41%

39%

45%

44%

38%

20 10 Overall Sample

American Indian

18-24

25-44

45-54

55-64

65+

54%

30

0

Unemployed

30

90

40

Employed

40

100

50

37%

30

50

Suicide Attempt by Race

60%

55%

51%

Asian

Black

Latino/a

White

Multiracial

Respondents’ work status and experiences of discrimination in employment also had a sizable impact on their likelihood of having attempted suicide.

Our questionnaire did not ask Over half of those at what age the respondents bullied, harassed, made suicide attempts and therefore it is difficult to draw assaulted, or expelled conclusions about the risk of due to bias in school suicide over their life spans. attempt suicide. However, there are a number of attributes that align with an increased rate of attempted suicide. High risk groups include visual non-conformers (44%) and those who are generally out about their transgender status (44%). Those who have medically transitioned (45%) and surgically transitioned (43%) have higher rates of attempted suicide than those who have not (34% and 39% respectively).

Profile for SAGE

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Study released by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) about the level of discriminat...