Today is Trans Day of Visibility. A day when trans voices are lifted up, when we can celebrate these people, the experiences they’ve been through, and recognise the strength it still takes to be visible.
Every single day trans people are living their lives. Some living out and proud, able to be their full self with those around them. For others, they may be hiding a part of themselves from family, friends, or work colleagues. Being visible as a trans person is not always easy. Four in five trans people experience hate crimes and half of trans people feel less able to leave their homes. (Galop, 2020)
Trans Day of Visibility is an internationally recognised event that started in 2009. It’s a day dedicated to celebrating the achievements and contributions of trans people while also raising awareness of the discrimination the transgender community continue to face. It started because even with several LGBT+ events throughout the year, recognition for trans people only really happened on November’s Transgender Day of Remembrance. A day of mourning.
Galop’s Trans Hate Crime Report shows the impact transphobic hate crime has on mental health, with 66% of respondents’ mental health being impacted significantly. The report shows that more than 50% of respondents experience thoughts of self-harm and suicide as a result of transphobia – a number far greater than the general population, where around 20% experience thoughts of suicide (MHFA 2020).
As a suicide prevention service, with a helpline, it’s vital that PAPYRUS is aware of the experiences of trans people and works to make our service more accessible for the trans community.
When someone calls HOPELINEUK, we treat each caller as an individual, providing them with non-judgemental support that is unique to them. But it’s important that we recognise that some trans people may not feel they can be open with us about who they are, at least not the first time they call.
We want to acknowledge the young people who call us, who share with us that they are trans. This shouldn’t have to be a brave act but until our world is more accepting of trans people, it’s important to acknowledge the great strength it takes to share with others.
Working with suicide, we speak to brave people every day. People who share that they are experiencing thoughts of suicide, people who share huge traumas they’ve experienced in their lives. People who are trans, or non-binary, or aren’t yet sure.
In the last year we have taken a few steps that allow us to be better support to our trans callers. Some of our advisers have taken part in training run by Gendered Intelligence which gave us an insight into some of the challenges trans people face and heightened our understanding of the trans experience. We have since looked at how we can make our calls more accommodating and take away the assumptions we might have made in the past. We are learning every day how to do better, to be better, so that trans young people can call us and feel safe to share this part of who they are.
We are here to support anyone under the age of 35 with thoughts of suicide whether you are cisgender (the same gender you were assigned at birth), non-binary or trans. We are here for you today and every day. We don’t expect you to share that you’re trans with us, but we want you to know that we are here to support every part of you.
Where can I get support?
To get support with your thoughts of suicide, HOPELINEUK is open from 9am – midnight every day via phone (0800 068 4141), text (07860 039967) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you feel you need support from a trans specific service, The National Trans Helpline is open 24 hours a day 365 days a year to support anyone who is Trans, Intersex, Questioning and Non-Binary. Call or Whatsapp 07527 524034 for support.
Source of statistics:
Galop Hate Crime Report: https://www.galop.org.uk/transphobic-hate-crime-report-2020/
MHFA England Mental Health Statistics: https://mhfaengland.org/mhfa-centre/research-and-evaluation/mental-health-statistics/