Regional & Nationals News


Originally published in the Summer 2019 edition of the Virginia Defender, issue 59, printed August 23. Reproduced here for accessibility and archival purposes. To find other stories in the Summer 2019 issue or to download the full PDF, see this post. For the full web catalog, see our Full Issues page.

More than half of all male trans teenagers have attempted suicide. That’s according to the new study “Transgender Adolescent Suicide Behavior” by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Overall, nearly 14 percent of all teens reported they had tried to kill themselves. Fifty-one percent of transgender males reported at least one attempt, the highest percentage of any gender identity group, followed by nonbinary teens at nearly 42 percent; transgender females at about 30 percent; questioning teens at 28 percent; cisgender females at nearly 18 percent; and cisgender males, at 10 percent. Data for the study came from more than 120,000 11- to 18-year-olds between June 2012 and May 2015.

Similar trends were reported by the Human Rights Campaign in its “2018 LGBTQ Youth Report.”

“These harrowing statistics lay bare the urgency of building welcoming and safe communities for LGBTQ young people, particularly for transgender youth,” said a statement released by Ellen Kahn, the HRC Foundation’s director of children, youth, and families programs.

Note: If you are a trans or gender-nonconforming person considering suicide, Trans Lifeline can be reached at (877) 565- 8860. LGBTQ youth (ages 24 and younger) can reach the Trevor Project Lifeline at (866) 488-7386. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255 can also be reached 24 hours a day by people of all ages and identities.

In Richmond, Side by Side (formerly ROSMY) “is dedicated to creating supportive communities where Virginia’s LGBTQ+ youth can define themselves, belong, and flourish.”

The organization runs a Youth Support Line at 888-644-4390. Its website is

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