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Thread: Transsexual Suicide (Research Paper)

  1. #1

    Default Transsexual Suicide (Research Paper)

    We had to do a research paper in my last year of high school, and it had to be about an issue that we face today. Naturally, I wanted to bring transsexual suicide into the light a bit. I figured some of you would be interested to read this, so here it is.

    It's copy/pasted, so all the extra stuff I needed to add is still in here (source names, underlining, etc).


    The suicide rate for transsexuals 31%. Almost a third of transsexuals succeed in killing themselves, and 50% attempt it before they are even 20 years old (Amato). These numbers are way too high, it doesn’t matter if they’re transsexual or not, there should not be this many people killing themselves. The suicide rate for transsexuals is astronomically high, something has to be done to lower it.

    To understand just how many people are in that 31%, actual numbers need revealed. Old estimates from the late 1900s say that every 1:30,000 males is transsexual, and every 1:100,000 females is transsexual (Conway). This is still thought to be a highly rare “disease.” These numbers only calculate those who have gone through sex-reassignment surgery (SRS). However, this can’t be the case, because there have been 30,000-40,000 male-to-female (MtF) SRS’s performed since the practice started in the 1960s. Taking in deaths since then, there are about 32,000 post-operation MtF people in the US. This means that every 1:2500 biological males have already gone through SRS (Conway). But this doesn’t say how many transsexuals in total there are.

    Experts estimate that there are three to five times more transsexuals that haven’t gone through SRS than transsexuals that have. That brings the number of transsexuals up to 130,000-240,000. Suppose the number is 160,000, which is closer to the lower end of the range, that would imply that every 1:500 biological males is transsexual. The number may actually be higher than that. If the old estimate (1:30,000) is correct, then only about 1:120,000 would go through SRS, meaning there are only about 670 post-operation MtF’s living in the US. That means there would only be an average of 17 SRS’s performed each year (Conway). But that’s definitely not the case. There are about 1500-2000 MtF SRS’s every year for US citizens and residents (Conway).

    With these numbers, that means between 40,000-74,000 transsexuals have already killed themselves (31% of 130,000 and 240,000), between 65,000 and 120,000 have already attempted it (most succeeding in it), and it just keeps climbing.

    Reasons for this may be bullying and harassment, unfair treatment, or it could just be the fact that transsexuals aren’t in the right bodies. When puberty hits, transsexuals are put in a living, unending nightmare. Girls who are in boys’ bodies start having nighttime erections, their muscles get bigger, more body and facial hair starts growing in, and their voices deepen. What kind of a girl wouldn’t freak out if she sounded like Darth Vader? Boys who are in girls’ bodies start growing breasts, their hips widen, and then there’s the monthly reminder that they’re in the wrong body. What boy enjoys wearing a bra? They put up with all this while still being held to the same social standards for male and female as everyone else, the only difference is that they’re being held to the wrong standards. It can be stressful for anyone, especially when they haven’t told anyone about their situation. Until they get the courage to tell people, they suffer alone.

    Kids learn at a very early age the differences between boys and girls. It’s usually between the ages of one and two. Before they turn three, they usually are able to label themselves as a boy or girl. This is when most transsexuals say they knew they were different. In fact, 80% of transsexuals knew they were different before leaving elementary school. Only four percent of transsexuals realized they were transsexual after turning 18. The average age kids begin noticing they’re different from their friends and family is 7.9 years old. The average age kids learn that transsexualism is a thing is about 15 and a half (“Students”).

    Kids who find out they’re “different” at the average age are usually subject to harassment from their fellow students, and sometimes the staff of the school. Gender non-conformity is actually the third leading cause of bullying in school. From a recent survey of transsexuals, 63% heard derogatory comments because they weren’t “masculine/feminine” enough. 27% were physically harassed (shoving, tripping, etc.). 13% were physically assaulted in school (punching, kicking, etc.) (“Students”). Kids are being bruised for expressing who they really are every day. This harassment is doing much more than just leaving bruises, though, it’s also causing mental distress among these students. “Is this how everyone will react?” “Is this what it’ll be like for me forever?” “Am I really this sick freak they’re saying I am?” It’s no wonder so many transsexuals try to kill themselves, they spent most if not all of their childhood either hiding who they truly are or being assaulted for expressing themselves.

    This bullying may also affect their academic performance. 46% of transsexuals who harassed minimally received A’s and B’s, while only 38% of transsexuals who were severely harassed received A’s and B’s. They can’t focus on schoolwork because they’re afraid to be in the room. Almost 40% of transsexual students feel unsafe at school because of their gender identity. 29% of transsexual students admitted to skipping a specific class at least once a month because they felt unsafe. 30% have skipped an entire day of school for that reason. It’s not just bullying in the classroom, either. A little over half of transsexuals have reported being cyber bullied. Of that half, 34% said that no action was being taken by school staff (“Students”). Not only are kids being bullied because of this, they’re not getting any help. Some of them truly are alone in this, they can’t rely on anyone to help them. In fact, sometimes it’s even the teachers who start the harassment. About one-third of transsexual students have been harassed in some form by a teacher or staff member (Mottet 33). Students who report being harassed by a teacher or another member of the school staff have an increased risk of attempting or even successfully committing suicide.

    Harassment can happen anywhere, not just in school. Restaurants, home, the streets, and believe it or not, a medical setting can all be the locations of harassment. In the largest ever survey of transgender people, Injustice at Every Turn, A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, there were startling facts about discrimination in a professional medical setting. 28% report having been harassed, 26% have been full-out assaulted. 24% were denied equal treatment in a doctor’s office or hospital just because of their gender identity, and 19% were just denied any treatment whatsoever. 13% have actually been denied equal treatment in an emergency room of all places (“Health Care”). Some of them weren’t just physically assaulted, but sexually assaulted.

    Sometimes it’s not just doctors and nurses denying these people treatment, a lot of transsexuals are actually afraid to go to a doctor because they’re afraid of being discriminated against. 28% postponed their own care because of this. Then there’s a lot that just can’t afford it. 48% of transsexuals postponed getting medical care due to lack of funds. But what about insurance? Some estimates say 69% are denied by some, if not all, medical providers (“Health Care”). More specific estimates say 52% of MtFs are without insurance, and 41% of Female-to-Males (FtM) are without insurance (“Issues”). Of course, this number will drop a bit with the passing of the Affordable Care Act, but that doesn’t promise coverage for everything. People aren’t getting treatment for injuries or diseases, sometimes even life-threatening ones, because of who they are. This isn’t right, it’s actually unconstitutional. Everyone deserves equal treatment in all aspects of life, especially in a hospital or doctor’s office. If hospitals and insurance companies just realized that transsexualism is a real problem that no one is bothering to help with, many transsexuals’ lives could be saved, whether from suicide or external forces. Some transsexual-related medical treatment includes things like hormone therapy (62% have had it, 23% want it, and only 15% don’t want to do it), chest reduction surgery for FtMs (43% have had it, 50% want it), vaginoplasty for MtFs (Only 23% have had it, and a whole 64% want it) (“Health Care”). Treatments like that could potentially make transsexuals feel better about themselves, taking suicide out of the picture for them.

    If things continue the way they are, more and more people will kill themselves. The most optimistic number for the amount of transsexual suicides is 40,000, which is still very grave. That minimum number for the amount of suicides will continue to rise, causing more hopelessness in transsexuals. If that number rises any more, more and more transsexuals will feel like they will experience suicidal thoughts and tendencies, even if it’s not true. They’ll feel like just another number. But this dark, dismal future can be avoided, even if people who are in that dark place feel like it can’t be.

    The suicide rate for transsexuals may be astronomically high, but there are ways to lower it. Be there for them, comfort them when they’re in pain, give them a shoulder to cry on. And most importantly, never ignore them in their time of need. These simple things that require little-to-no energy can create giant changes in the lives of vulnerable people. These things can create a brighter future for people stuck in the dark. These things can save lives.

  2. #2


    i hope that writing this paper also doesn't affect on how you are dealing with stress right now.

    Overall I think you deserve an A+ because this definitely made some points ^^

  3. #3


    I remember covering this same topic twice my junior year. Once in a speech class and once in my gen psych class.
    In my speech class I was second to last and regrettably several other kids had done things in the LGBT areas.
    So I had to start with how I don't want to beat the dead horse.

    But I know I made a deep impact on several kids. (Albeit not the teacher)
    I don't have the speech any more but I remember the last paragraph quite well.

    "So in the end I want to leave you with a possible future. There is a kid in class with you who comes out as trans, and maybe you don't insult them with the others, but you don't tell them kind things either. And then one day they don't come to school, or maybe they do, and followed by a bang, they stop being there. "Oh well, they were a freak anyways." you'll tell yourself. So your life goes on. But then years later, your child looks at you, tears in their eyes, and say "Mom, I'm not your son." or "Dad, I'm not your little girl." and then all you can think of when you see your child is that kid in school who you didn't help, who you ignored or insulted. And you can't bring yourself to forgiveness because now your child can't be a freak. That's all. Just a little possibility in your future. Think about that."

    I was the only speech that didn't get applause.

    And I got downgraded because of "inappropriate topic." But I know I made a difference.

    Your paper looks great and also I'm glad that you used source quotes.

    What grade did you get?

  4. #4


    I got a B, I think. But it was for other stuff, not the topic. Maybe grammar or source mistakes, I can't remember.

    We had to run our topics by our teacher before starting the paper. She didn't turn down any, she just wanted to know. Then, halfway through the assignment, she asked me why I was doing transsexualism as my topic, so I told her. She was surprised, but very open-minded.

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by BabyPandora View Post
    I got a B, I think. But it was for other stuff, not the topic. Maybe grammar or source mistakes, I can't remember.

    We had to run our topics by our teacher before starting the paper. She didn't turn down any, she just wanted to know. Then, halfway through the assignment, she asked me why I was doing transsexualism as my topic, so I told her. She was surprised, but very open-minded.
    Good for you for doing it. I admire your courage and tenacity. People need to know this information. It's the only way we can get more funding for professional resources to help them through the transition. Of course the first step begins with education. I worked in a drop- in for homeless youth and it was alarming to see the number of transgender youth who were living ob the street compared to the general population. Most of them wouldn't go to the shelters because of the assaults that occurred against them.

  6. #6


    BabyPandora & JessycaNekoGirl....
    having lived through this myself, i know how very hard it must have been to have come-out in school to friends and teachers. and then to have openly declared support for and asked the same of your class-mates for your trans-sisters and brothers..... well, that's a role model that everyone can look up too in my book. i applaud both your efforts.

    in writing this, i also want to acknowledge the as-yet un-named others in our community who are working even now to this same ends of early help and support for LGBT youth.... and most especially precious to my heart, the transgendered.

  7. #7


    I never came out, but thank you Littlelodgewrecker.

    I can't come out to anyone nor could I ever become who I'm supposed to be. It hurts but I have friends and even some family who accept me for me and that is good enough.

  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by JessycaNekoGirl View Post
    I never came out, but thank you Littlelodgewrecker.

    I can't come out to anyone nor could I ever become who I'm supposed to be. It hurts but I have friends and even some family who accept me for me and that is good enough.
    i've read the things you post here on ADISC.... so i feel that with a spirit like yours JessycaNekoGirl, you'll blossom one day.... i just know it.

  9. #9


    I just want to let you know that I have been reading this thread and posts, and that I support all of you and applaud your courage. Because of the nature of this site, ADISC, many of us carry burdens that we must deal with. I'm glad we're here for each other. Isn't it sad that as a world society, we can't all accept one another. What does it matter that each one of us is different from the next person. We're all human with human frailties, no one much better than the next. Wouldn't you think people would realize that and have compassion. After all, we're all in the same boat. We're born. We share our joys and sorrows, and we die. We should all be joining hands, not distancing ourselves from those who may be different.

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