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Mental Health

Suicide Rates Are Up Amongst the Transgender Community and Something Needs to Change

What makes someone a bully? It could be name-calling, or maybe physical harassment. Whatever the case, bullying of any kind is unacceptable. Over the past few years, the transgender community has grown. As individuals have finally discovered who they are comfortable being, the rest of the world began to give its cruel opinions. “What about bathrooms?”, “What if I receive a trans roommate?”, “That isn’t the gender you were born with, you can’t change it.” These and many other comments may not seem offensive but they can bring dark thoughts onto an individual.

An article from USA Today highlights this issue. Suicide attempts in the transgender community have spiked to 40%, while the general public remains at 4.6%. The spike in attempts is due to the treatment of these individuals. As a victim of bullying, I know the fear of going out in public expecting to be harassed for who I am or what I look like. While it never led to suicidal thoughts or actions, I have friends who have attempted to take their own lives because of comments made by others. It was because they were viewed as “weird” or “messed up”, because they did not fit the status quo. Being transgender means that person is automatically viewed as “different” even though they are the same as everyone else; human, completely flesh and bone. The movement of being comfortable in your own skin is the central idea of social media however the transgender community is still highly judged for what they stand for. Could the suicide rate rise as more individuals discover who they truly are out of fear of acceptance?

The next time you are in public and see someone who is different than you, remember these questions:

Is what you are thinking about them something you would say out loud?

Have you met them? What if they are a nice person?

What if you put yourself in their shoes, how would you feel?

 

Look out for your friends, you never know what they could be facing. Let them know you care about them and you support them. Suicide is not something to joke about. Think before you post or speak. This rate cannot increase, and only we have the ability to keep it from doing just that.

Leslie is a current senior at Purdue University looking to major in industrial management engineering. She discovered Her Campus through her sisters, who had been apart of it when they were in college. She enjoys dancing, singing, cooking and traveling.
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