On a list, someone offered a link to this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mM–vOZZBcA
I guess that I am confused.
The video asserts that the average rate of suicide is 3 people per 100,000 people. I’m guessing, because it is not stated, that is per year in the United States.
It then says that the “Transgender Transsexual” suicide rate is 31%. Assuming that this means people who identify as transgender or transsexual, that number is difficult.
If this is related to the first fact, does this mean almost a third of those who identify as transgender or transsexual kill themselves every year? While I do know people who have committed suicide, and know that it is a serious problem for our population, I don’t know that 31% kill themselves every year.
Even if that is a lifetime figure, do 31% of TG/TS identified people really take their own lives? If that is true, we should have many more reports on this list and in transmedia about those who have ended their lives.
And the assertion that 50% of transsexuals have a suicide attempt before their 20th birthday; where does that statistic come from?
For me personally, the relationship between death and transgender is profound. Death is required for rebirth. We have to find the death of the expectations and assumptions placed on us before we can break through and free who we know ourselves to be.
For some, the pain and weight of social stigma does lead to the death of the body, either by our own hand, by violence, or just by the kinds of choices we are lead to make. It might be hormones or injectable silicone, or it might be heart disease and diabetes from the neglect and denial of our bodies, all triggered by enormous levels of stress from stigma and lack of effective support systems. The requirement of denial does have a price.
I wrote my first suicide note over thirty years ago now. I needed to explore what needed to die. In that time, however, I personally haven’t had one suicide attempt. Stress and denial, however, are claiming their price on my body.
Yes, death and transgender have a profound relationship. The experience of death, of having to attempt to kill off something inside, of being attacked for being who we are, for the expectation that death is part of our eventual rebirth, well, that’s a huge deal.
Yes, transpeople are forced to live closer to death than most in this culture, and that can have an enormous price in our lives.
I’m just not sure that experience can be expressed in unanchored statistics.
It seems woven into our queer lives, and not the quantified data of a defined group.