In Light of Nashville Tragedy, Transgender Youth are Experiencing a Mental Health Crisis
Speak out against anti-trans bills. Contact your Representatives now.
Updated on March 29, 2023
- Monday's school shooting in Nashville was found to have been perpetrated by a 28-year-old transgender man named Audrey Hale, and activists are worried that the tragedy may incite unfair attacks and reprisals on transgender communities and individuals.
- Some conservative commentators and politicians, like Sen. J.D. Vance and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-N.C.), have blamed the shooting on Hale's gender identity, using it as ammo in the growing culture war on trans rights among Republican lawmakers.
- Greene tweeted:
“How much hormones like testosterone and medications for mental illness was the transgender school shooter taking? Everyone can stop blaming guns now."
"We're still learning about the horrific shooting in Nashville. But if early reports are accurate that a trans shooter targeted a Christian school, there needs to be a lot of soul searching on the extreme left. Giving in to these ideas isn't compassion, it's dangerous."
- There were 646 mass shootings last year and more than 100 in 2023 but the conversation about restrictions on gun access has been eclipsed by attacks on transgender individuals.
- Activists are worried that the tragedy could serve as a pretext to deny trans communities rights, which are already under a sustained attack from state and federal lawmakers.
- Alejandra Caraballo, a trans clinical instructor at Harvard Law School said:
"When hundreds of white men commit mass shootings, it's a 'societal problem,' but when one trans person commits a mass shooting, it's a 'trans problem.'"
The big picture of trans youth mental and physical health
- In 2021, the Trevor Project, an LGBTQ+ youth crisis organization, found that 25% of the 1,717 Black transgender and nonbinary youth they interviewed had attempted suicide in the past year.
- Over one-third of the Black trans youth polled, aged 13 to 24, have experienced homelessness or been kicked out of their home. In comparison, 24% of Black cisgender queer youth reported the same experience.
- Roughly 40% of respondents have been physically threatened or harmed, and 77% have been discriminated against due to their gender identity and sexual orientation. Nearly 45% of trans youth have experienced cyberbullying, and one-third said they feel unsafe seeing medical professionals, even when sick.
- Only 13% of the Black trans and nonbinary youth reported having a supportive home environment.
The impact of anti-trans bills
- Currently, there are more than 150 anti-LGBTQ+ bills across 23 states that have been pre-filed, introduced, or passed since the beginning of the year. In total, the American Civil Liberties Union is tracking 371 anti-LGBTQ+ bills.
- The Trevor Project ran a separate poll in January about the impact of anti-trans and LGBTQ+ policies and bills on mental health — roughly 86% of respondents reported overwhelmingly negative effects on their mental soundness and sense of safety.
- Between 74-80% said that bills seeking to ban or limit gender-affirming medical care, along with bans on LGBTQ+ books and materials, make them angry.
- Kasey Suffredini (he/him), VP of Advocacy & Government Affairs of The Trevor Project, said:
"Right now, we are witnessing the highest number on record of anti-LGBTQ bills introduced this early in any legislative session. We must consider the negative toll of these ugly public debates on youth mental health and well-being."
If you or someone you need is struggling
- In the U.S.: Call or text 988, the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.
- Globally: The International Association for Suicide Prevention and Befrienders Worldwide has contact information for crisis centers around the world.
Protect queer youth and speak out against anti-trans bills. Contact your reps now.
(Photo credit: Creative Commons Google/Ted Eytan)
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It amazes me how the GOP jumped at this chance to start blaming every trans person for this horrific act. Tucker Carlson was on Fox News stating how Trans people were all against Christianity.
Where was he, and MTG and the rest of them when all the shootings done by white, heterosexual cis males were doing the shootings?
By the logic of Marjorie Taylor Green, we should start declaring war and locking up all white , heterosexual cis men as they are the majority of the mass shooters.
Or-here's another idea!-GET THE NRA OUT OF THE GOP'S BANK ACCOUNTS AND PASS SOME GUN LAWS!
I'm not surprised. When school personnel, church leaders, politicians, and the media continually tells you how bad and abnormal and unacceptable you are and how you don't deserve to live your best life the way you want in open society, how can you not have mental issues?
The radicals on the right have villainized trans people for no good reason other than to stir fear in their base while ignoring the real problems in our society.
And once again they refuse to fund or provide mental healthcare to individuals that are traumatized by their actions and policies.
The cruelty is the point. The Republican and MAGA people hate those who don't fit into their narrow moral mold and don't care about the consequences of their hate.
This is truly a public health crisis. As your constituent I would ask you to be part of the solution and not problem.
Stand up for respect for all humans .
This proposal is hurtful and hateful.
The anti-trans movement makes me sick. Some politicians are using a tried and true fascist tactic. Find some group that is different and isolate and condemn them. Focus the public on a handy and weak target as the source of all evil and the facist ruler gains power. It is exactly the technique used by Hitler to condition the German people to accept what followed - the Holocaust. Not only were 6 million Jews killed, but the terror expanded to others Hitler considered inferior: Gypsies, Slavs, handicapped or mentally disabled people and of course, anyone who opposed Hitler. Putin is currently using this same tactic in Ukraine. By labelling Ukrainians as "Nazis", Putin hopes to justify wiping Ukraine from the face of the earth and escape responsibility for his brutal crimes against Ukrainian citizens. Once the fascist playbook takes hold, no one is immune. And the signs of the anti trans movement expanding are already evident. Immigrants, black people, Jews, LGBTQ and "woke liberals" are already listed for condemnation. Indeed, anyone who does not meet a particular definition of "Christian" is an outsider since they claim America is a "Christian nation". (The Founders would be appalled by this idea. What happened to the idea that everyone is created equal, endowed by God with inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?) This kind of intolerance is not authorized by the Christian religion or really by any religion. The Bible teaches love and acceptance, not hatred. Anyone who thinks this does not impact them because they do not belong to a targetted group needs to wake up. Because in the final analysis, the targets are whoever the fascist leader says they are and no one is safe. We must stop looking for scapegoats and start doing the hard work of solving our problems and serving all our people.
The Republican Cartel's tactic of finding some group or class of people to demonize as a way to appeal to the most ignorant biases of their base is unethical, immoral and often does real harm to the people that they attack.
The groups or classes of people that they target are those that have little collective ability to politically fight back. They have done this to the LBGTQ+ community generally, the BLM movement and ANTIFA, teaching the real and deplorable history of slavery and race relations in this country, poor immigrants seeking political asylum and others.
Certainly this will impact transgender youth as well, as they are being told that they are not worthy do to the limitations and restrictions being imposed on them - only being done so politicians can gain the support of their wrong-headed and irrationally biased base for their personal political benefit.
The Republican Cartel, particularly the MAGA-morons in the House, have not authored much in the way of any practicable legislation for decades because their tactics of appealing to the emotional biases and fears of their base is an easier path to re-election than actually having to do the work of developing practicable legislation that solves problems. Instead, they only develop often poorly authored legislation that causes real harm to the people that they choose to single out for victimization.
it is time to politically exterminate the Republican Party and let a principled, ethical, honest and honorable Conservative Party emerge from the ashes; One that is willing to govern, compromise and to actually earn their re-election by their ideas, ideals and legislative accomplishments.
Most people are forming opinions on this with no 1st hand experience, and no compassion for someone else's situation.
On top of this politicians are using it to get voters stirred up, angry if they can, as this has been found to increase their voter base turn out for elections by 30%, and of course all their campaign contributions playing on fears parents have for the safety, well being and future.
A truly sad situation for the victimized, and those profiting off their misery.
This country began with a Declaration of Independence, which states, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." So what gives politicians the right to infringe on the individual rights of Life and the pursuit of Happiness of LGBTQ+ individuals? Our forefathers fought to liberate us from oppression and religious prosecution, and now its ugly head is again coming to the forefront.
I have no doubt that they are! Most of the LGBTQ+ Community is due to the hate-filled rhetoric of being called "Groomers" simply for existing! That, however, is the GOP. Nothing but lying hate-mongers!
Of course they are! Hate-filled people on the right are constantly attacking these young people, trying to discriminate against them, deny them equal rights, deny their healthcare, and acting like they're the biggest problem in society today.
We know the MAGA/DeSantis crowd hates children and hates LGBTQ+ people, but they also refuse to provide healthcare and mental healthcare, so how will this get better?
The only way is to put more Democrats and progressives into positions of power over policy and government. Trans young people are still Americans, still children, and still in need of protection and safety.
Nobody who attacks trans youths is a good person. Nobody who attacks trans youths is a "Christian". Nobody who attacks trans youths is pro-life.
Even hater Glenn Younkin didn't know what to say about monitoring bathrooms for transgender youths:
Is he going to pay for all schools to add gender-neutral bathrooms?