For trans people, family rejection tied to suicide attempts, substance abuse

admin   •   May 30, 2016   •   2370

A woman holds rainbow flags for the grand entry at the International Gay Rodeo Association's Rodeo In the Rock in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States April 26, 2015. REUTERS/LUCY NICHOLSONSEARCH ''RODEO LUCY'' FOR ALL IMAGES

A woman holds rainbow flags for the grand entry at the International Gay Rodeo Association’s Rodeo In the Rock in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States April 26, 2015.
REUTERS/LUCY NICHOLSONSEARCH ”RODEO LUCY” FOR ALL IMAGES

(Reuters Health) – For transgender or gender non-conforming individuals, as rejection from family members increases, so does their likelihood of suicide attempts or substance abuse, according to a new study.

“People should understand that families matter,” said researcher Sarit Golub, of Hunter College and the Graduate Center of City University of New York (CUNY). “When people are rejected by their loved ones, it can have serious emotional and social consequences.”

Golub and co-author Augustus Klein write in the journal LGBT Health that past research suggests transgender people have increased risks for health problems, including suicide, substance abuse, depression and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS.

Among the challenges faced by transgender individuals, they add, are poverty, violence, incarceration and discrimination in housing, employment and healthcare.

For the new study, Golub and Klein analyzed data from 6,456 U.S. adults ages 18 to 98 who participated in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey in 2008 and 2009.

Participants were asked if they had ever attempted suicide or ever abused drugs or alcohol to cope with transgender-related discrimination.

The survey also asked how families reacted to learning that participants were transgender or gender nonconforming. For example, participants were asked if their relationship with their spouse or partner ended, and whether family members chose not to speak or spend time with them.

About 54 percent of participants experienced a low amount of family rejection, about 31 percent experienced a moderate amount of rejection and about 14 percent experienced a high amount of rejection.

About 42 percent of participants reported attempting suicide at some point in their lives, and about 26 percent reported abusing drugs or alcohol.

People who faced a moderate amount of family rejection were about twice as likely to report attempting suicide than those with a low amount of family rejection. Those who experienced a high amount of family rejection were over three times as likely to report a suicide attempt.

Likewise, the odds of alcohol or drug abuse increased as people experienced more family rejection.

“For transgender or gender non-conforming individuals, this rejection is based on a failure to accept a fundamental part of that individual’s identity – what they feel to be their core self,” Golub told Reuters Health by email. “We are saddened by these findings, and believe they are a call to action for those who work with and care about the transgender community.”

The new study can’t prove family rejection causes the increased risk of suicide and substance abuse, however. And the researchers admit that they lack information on the context of family rejection. Furthermore, the study findings may not be generalizable to a wider population, because most participants were white, educated and employed.

“These data are very preliminary, and need to be followed-up by both replication and studies that can help us better understand specific family dynamics that impact the health and wellbeing of transgender individuals,” said Klein, who is also a researcher at Hunter College and the Graduate Center of CUNY.

But understanding the negative role of family rejection is not enough, he added.

“We want to understand protective factors associated with family acceptance, love and support,” he said by email. “Support from close others can often mitigate the negative effects of the structural and institutional discrimination and violence experienced by transgender people.”

SOURCE: bit.ly/1P1s42D LGBT Health, online May 25, 2016.

Vox Populi: Is it okay for transgenders to use restrooms of their choice?

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 15, 2019

Which restroom should transgenders use? The UNTV News and Rescue team asked the people on the streets about their thoughts on the matter.

“Okay lang naman po. Kung wala namang gagawing masama, okay lang po iyon, (It’s okay. If they aren’t doing anything wrong, then it is okay). ” —Ana Dabalos

“Mahirap kasi malaman iyong mukha talagang babae. Dapat sa CR pa rin ng lalake, (It’s difficult to identify [transgenders] when they really look like a woman. They should still use the men’s restroom).” —Jonnel Aldea

“Okay lang po kasi kung komportable po siya na doon mag-CR sa CR naming mga babae mas okay po. Kasi feeling niya mababastos siya ng lalake kaya doon siya nag-CR, (It is okay. If they feel comfortable using the women’s CR (restroom)then it is okay. Because they think they might get harassed in the men’s CR).” — Elaiza Mae Tabuyo

“Mas okay po sa akin kung sa pambabae na rin po sila kasi po hindi naman nakakahiya sa babae po kasi sanay na po sila sa ugali ng babae. Sa CR po ng lalake pwede sila mabastos ng ibang lalake kaya sa babae na lang, (It will be better if they use the women’s CR because it won’t be uncomfortable for women. They might get harassed by other men if they use the men’s CR).” — Alvie Alvares

For Atty. Claire Rita Padilla, who pushes for the Gender Fair Ordinance in Quezon City, it is better to have comfort rooms for all kinds of genders.

“Karapatan ng isang tao na gumamit ng toilet ‘di ba? Ngayon, kung transman naman ito gusto niya gumamit sa male pwede rin naman, (It is a right of an individual to use toilets. Now, if he is a transman, and he wants to use male restrooms, then it is fine as well),” she said.—AAC (with reports from Mon Jocson)

PNP has toilet for LGBTs, to place more across camps

Marje Pelayo   •   August 15, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) said they acknowledge and respect the rights of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community.

In fact, according to PNP Spokesperson Police BGen. Bernard Banac, they have provided an exclusive toilet for LGBTs located at the PNP Human Rights Affairs Office.

They labeled it: “Gender Sensitivity Comfort Room / LGBT and Guest”

“Iyon po ay inilagay talaga natin bilang pagkilala natin sa karapatan ng bawat isa, ng bawat nilalang,” the PNP Spokesperson said.

BGen. Banac added that to provide such an area prevents discrimination among genders and gives members of the LGBT community convenience when they need to address the ‘call of nature’.

The official said they are also planning to construct such gender sensitive facility in all police camps across the country.

“Noon pa man ang PNP ay nangunguna na sa pagsuporta sa programa at mga batas patungkol sa gender and development sensitivity,” BGen. Banac noted.

“Ang gusto nga nating mangyari dito ay ma-empower at magkaroon ng equitable, sustainable, free from violence, respect for human rights at supportive tayo sa self-determination and actualization ng human potentials ng bawat nilalang,” he added.

Meanwhile, the PNP Spokesperson urges the private sector and all other government agencies to likewise provide or designate gender sensitive comfort rooms in their respective areas to cater to members of the LGBT community. – MNP (with details from Lea Ylagan)

LGBT+ activists in Thailand call for better marriage rights

admin   •   November 30, 2018

 

 

LGBT + rights activists protesting in Bangkok, Thailand | REUTERS

Around 100 LGBT+ activists gathered in Bangkok on Thursday (November 29) to express concerns over discrimination in a law which will recognize “life partnership” between LGBT+ couples, marching in colorful costumes from Chulalongkorn University to outside a shopping mall in central Bangkok.

The demonstration also marked the 10th anniversary since Thai authorities officially started recognizing LGBT+ orientations as ‘diverse genders’. Before this, the official position deemed LGBT+ people mentally ill.

Thailand could become the first Asian country to legally recognize same-sex couples under a bill that would allow civil partnerships, but campaigners say it fails to address some major concerns of LGBT+ people.

Public consultations on the bill were held earlier this month and a revised version will go to the cabinet for approval by the end of the year, said a senior official at the government department handling the bill. It gives same-sex couples the right to register unions, as well as to property and inheritance, but does not recognize marriage between same-sex partners.

A largely conservative Buddhist society, Thailand has nonetheless built a reputation as a place with a relaxed attitude toward gender and sexual diversity. Homosexuality was decriminalized in 1956, and authorities actively promote the country as an LGBT-friendly destination.

A survey of social attitudes toward sexual orientation and gender identity found two-thirds of respondents had no objection to same-sex unions, according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Yet LGBT+ people face considerable discrimination and stigma, and the civil partnership bill stops short of granting key rights, say activists. — Reuters

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