The Enemy Depression: are you an unwitting ally?

Constance, we see the results of depression brought home to us in the recent tragic death of well known public figure Robin Williams.  But what about the ones no one knows, around you?  Many of my friends have brought forth stories of relatives, acquaintences who succombed to its deadly siren song of release that is only a final tragic dissolution.

And, even more poignant, simply because of numbers and a vital extra lil addition of pure hate, is the plague of suicide that rests like a curse upon the shoulders of transgender people.  There is a post that says it well over at the blog The Girl Inside…you can check out the full thing there:

http://www.thegirlinside.com/tg/in-requium/ 

Let me quote a startling paragraph or two:

It is certainly well known within our community how prevalent the attempted suicide is among our brothers and sisters who are transgender. The most recent and best survey on the subject reports that 41% of surviving trans people surveyed reported having attempted to take their own life, and there’s no accounting for those who not only attempted and succeeded in that figure.

This in contrast to a rate among the general population .under 5%. Certainly compared to almost any demographic you might imagine, we relate to the phenomena of suicide. It is hardly possible to offer any new argument that has not already been offered as to why we should struggle against that temptation and not give into it, but more so it is perhaps adds a certain obligation to those of us who survive.

It is well understood by those who study such things that the incidents of actual psychological disorder among trans people (of the sort Williams may well have struggled against) is not significantly higher than in other populations but what is, is the sort of “environmental” depression that arises from the circumstances of your situation. Which is to say that when you know you are a member of a reviled community, one who is quite possibly going to be rejected by everyone you might reasonably expect to love you if they knew the reality of your heart and mind then you are prone to depression even to the point of suicide.

It is not enough that we resist giving in to temptation, rather it is incumbent upon us to step out of the darkness and into the light and challenge our society to build a culture that does not reject us for who we are.

As long as they are allowed to shame us, reviled was, and mock us then we will continue to bury members of our community who took their own lives.


Enough of that.

Well?  Constance?

Mental illness rates, psychological rates virtually identical, and yet 41 % of trans individuals have already attempted suicide?  I have heard stats that the general population’s suicide attempt rate is somewhere between 2 and 3 %.

How is this not blaring news?  If 41% of all middle schoolers were attempting suicide, or of all females were attempting suicide, imagine the furor.

But trans-individuals? Nah…tragic waste of a good man/woman in the first place, and thus they deserve what they get…right??

At ease in Zion…how does that taste?

Join me as an ally of transformation, and make your wealth rain down like spring rain.

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Male Privilege = Gender Privilege = Wrongful Oppression, Period

“Of course, there are some segments of the feminist community that are vehemently anti-trans. But even aside from that, a lot of feminist activism and rhetoric is geared specifically toward non-trans women’s experiences.

“Much of it centers on women being able to do anything men can, and on empowering women’s bodies and biology, which is important and necessary, but it doesn’t resonate as readily with trans women because our socializations and bodies differ from that norm.

“And the whole unilateral feminist notion that men are the oppressors and women are the oppressed just seems so overly simplistic coming from a trans perspective. Male privilege is very real, but it is not the only gender privilege that exists.

“I think what trans women can offer feminism is a fuller, more holistic perspective on sexism than what currently exists.

“Part of this comes from our having lived in the world as both women and men at different points in our lives. Also, I think trans women can challenge the notion that femininity is entirely artificial or merely a trap to hold women down.

“I can understand why it might seem that way for many women who were coerced as children into a femininity that did not feel right for them. But trans women often have the reciprocal experience of naturally gravitating toward feminine expression despite being socialized to be masculine.

“Because of this experience, we recognize how certain aspects of femininity can be empowering for those who gravitate toward it on their own accord. We recognize the importance of critiquing anti-feminine sentiment both in the culture at large as well as within feminism.”