Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Average Lifespan of Trans Women is 30 Years


Hoping that making that fact a headline will help to finally get some attention to the plight of trans women and girls. Widespread hatred and lack of acceptance, disrespect of their true selves, parents who refuse to acknowledge who they are or utterly turn their backs on their children (which is rank child abuse) - all of these things and more lead to extremely high suicide rates. And if they don't kill themselves, they still risk being murdered by random assholes on the street who feel their masculinity threatened by the very existence of trans women.

Leelah Alcorn is another in a long list of trans girls who have taken their lives. Her suicide note, left on her Tumblr account, is a window into the hopelessness of living as transgender in a community and household that doesn't accept you. 

There's a common line fed to LGBTQAIP+ kids, that "it gets better" when you're an adult and you can move away from toxic environments. But it doesn't work like this for trans kids. Like young Leelah expressed in her note, the longer you wait to get on hormones, the more your body grows into the gender you were assigned at birth. Trans girls with non-accepting parents have to watch as their shoulders broaden, their hips narrow, and their voice deepens. I can't imagine how horrible that must be, but it's enough to drive many to suicide. And this is made worse by the knowledge that if they can't sufficiently "pass" as their real gender, they risk being murdered.

For trans girls, it only gets worse.

We can't stand by and let this happen. We need to demand hormone therapy coverage in all insurance plans, demand widespread acceptance, and condemn any parents that disrespect the gender (or lack of gender) of their children. There is a horrific epidemic of suicide in this country and no one even knows about it.

Justice for Leelah. Justice for all trans women and girls. Protect them at all costs. No tolerance for bigots. 

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