Defending Democracy, News, Trump Administration

The real human cost of transgender lives as political fodder

As the North Carolina State Health Plan once again excludes transgender treatment and the Trump administration moves forward with attempts to erase federal recognition of transgender identity, it’s worth your time to look at a study published last month on transgender adolescent suicidal behavior in the journal Pediatrics.

One of the study’s most jarring results:

Nearly 14% of adolescents reported a previous suicide attempt; disparities by gender identity in suicide attempts were found. Female to male adolescents reported the highest rate of attempted suicide (50.8%), followed by adolescents who identified as not exclusively male or female (41.8%), male to female adolescents (29.9%), questioning adolescents (27.9%), female adolescents (17.6%), and male adolescents (9.8%). Identifying as nonheterosexual exacerbated the risk for all adolescents except for those who did not exclusively identify as male or female (ie, nonbinary). For transgender adolescents, no other sociodemographic characteristic was associated with suicide attempts.

Policy Watch has reported extensively on the reliance of conservative groups and politicians on politically motivated “experts” and pseudo-science for their views on transgender issues. We’ve also spoken to real expert physicians in North Carolina who actually have extensive experience treating transgender patients.

As we continue to report on this issue, it is worth remembering, as this study shows, the real human costs.

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