Reports claim ‘at least 8’ trans youth died by suicide after Trump’s win
Unconfirmed reports suggest that “at least” eight trans people have died by suicide in the wake of Trump’s election victory in the US.
None of the reported deaths have been confirmed, but several trans support hotlines have announced spikes in support calls on election night.
Guardian writer and Out editor-at-large Zach Stafford tweeted that “at least 8 trans youth have [died by] suicide,” saying the deaths had been reported in “a private support group.”
He added that “families do not want to speak to press,” and that “there have been other non-successful attempts by other youth already.”
He later lowered his estimate in a direct message to Mic, clarifying that the exact number of suicides is unknown and could range from two to eight confirmed cases.
A number of other people have made similar claims about reported suicides from private support groups, but none so far have named the groups or offered any confirmation.
What is clear so far is that Trump’s election victory sparked a significant rise in calls and messages to LGBT crisis support hotlines.
Both The Trevor Project and Crisis Text Line have confirmed that they were contacted by more than twice as many people as normal across the night.
“Callers are expressing a lot of fear and anxiety around the election results,” said Steve Mendelsohn, spokesperson for LGBTQ youth suicide prevention hotline The Trevor Project. “We’re seeing a direct impact.”
The difference was even more drastic for Trans Lifeline, which received a record-breaking 426 calls on election night – far more than the previous peak of 250.
Co-founder and executive director Greta Martela said that the main concerns from trans callers were being put in camps, access to healthcare and losing the right to change identity documents.
“We were hoping that we would have an election and things would get better,” Martela said.
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“This is at a time when the Obama administration has been doing wonderful things for trans people and it’s probably all doing to be undone. We’re looking at four pretty bleak years.”
The CDC reported earlier this year that LGB teens are nearly five times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers.
It’s widely feared that Donald Trump will attempt to roll back some LGBT rights and protections, potentially even finding a way to reverse the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling.
Exit polls from the election have confirmed that just 14 percent of LGBT voters gave their support to Trump, with the majority of the remainder backing Hillary Clinton.