Content Warning: mentions of suicide, suicide ideation, and self-harm
Medical journal, The Lancet, has reported on a study which shows that the risk of death in transgender people is double that of cisgender people – highlighting the need for improving social acceptance and medical care for this group of individuals.
While this statistic is shocking, for those of us working in trans healthcare or who are part of the community, it tragically comes as no surprise.
All too often we hear stories from members of the community, who have lost a loved one. Only recently we heard that Jane McQueen, the partner of Bella Bellusci, a GenderGP patient who sadly lost her life last year, has also tragically passed away.
Jane wrote in great detail about her life as a trans woman and her struggles with mental health and suicide ideation. We know that her words resonated with so many and that she will be dearly missed.
While we recognise that trans and gender diverse people now have many more places to which they can turn in times of crisis, we remain acutely aware that many people continue to feel isolated and alone.
We are calling on those in charge of the public provision of healthcare for trans and non-binary individuals to renew their efforts and make improvements which are so desperately needed. Lives are being lost because even the most basic care is not being taken.
We demand respectful healthcare for all trans people, this can only be achieved by listening to the voices of those impacted. Without a meaningful shift in approach, people will continue to suffer and worse, feel like their only escape is to give up the fight.
To try and help plug the gap charitable community-based organisations have increasingly started to offer support and listening services, but their budgets are limited. The risk is that they are seen as the alternative to properly resourced public services, which is neither sustainable nor acceptable.
It is time to take affirmative action. We must hold those in positions of power responsible and demand access to better healthcare provision for trans and non-binary individuals.
Our thoughts and love go out to all those that are affected by this news and anyone else who may be struggling at this time.
If you are affected by any of the subjects discussed, you can find help from community organisations that provide listening and support services. A list of these can be found in the LGBT+ Support Organisations section of our directory.
- My experience of shame as a trans woman
- Suicide in trans children and the Williams report
- Suicide Prevention: 5 Ways To Support Transgender People