Gender And Suicide

Bullying, disbelief from others, no resources, no access to sympathetic medical care, personal confusion and shame. These are a few of the reasons that cause some people with gender dysphoria / gender identity issues to consider suicide. These are a few of the reasons that some die from suicide.

Even though we as a society are becoming more aware of this phenomenon, even though we are developing language to get at some of these issues, we as a society are not much further along than we were in the 1950s.

It is, to be sure, difficult to accept some of the “strange” conundrums that go with this phenomenon. For example, what about the female who knows he is male and is romantically attracted to females. Is he heterosexual or is he gay? Why is it, in this day-and-age, important to name this at all? Gay or heterosexual? What does it really matter?

A few years ago, Arnold Schwarzeneger, the governor of California, while he was governor, referred to men like me as “girly men.” What was that about? Should I feel ashamed? Angry? Depressed? Desperate? Exposed? Vulnerable? Afraid? Notice these are all internal feelings. Why should someone like me feel these things? Is it not because there is little societal toleration for such gender identity?

Take a look at that list of emotions. Any one of them can be a reason that leads some to take their own lives.

Referring to the young woman I mentioned two posts ago, what am I to think about her second attempt at suicide? Could it be that this charming young woman has confusing feelings about her gender identity? Could that be some of the reason she/he is being bullied? Is she/he afraid such that others her/his age intuitively pick up on it and express their fear or anger or ignorance so that the more dominant individuals feel the need to shame her/him?

Obviously, there are more questions than answers. In the meantime, the ambiguity creates a life and death situation for some — and not just for young people.

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