Suicide Prevention and the Need for Support Beyond Transition

I’m sort of shaken this morning by a letter I received from someone who read yesterday’s post.

I feel the same sense of powerlessness I felt back in 1987 when I quit taking drugs and told a number of my very self destructive friends not to come to my apartment or even call me when they were high, which basically meant severing my friendship with them.  I couldn’t continue to be around users and get clean.

It took years more for me to get sober.  In a few weeks it will be nine years since my last drink.

I didn’t find a transsexual/transgender NA/AA.

Most support groups are all about transition.  If they approach self destructive issues such as substance abuse or sex work they do so the way my friend, Shirley Bushnell’s center did and address those issues in terms of harm reduction.

Popular wisdom is that we shouldn’t have much to do with each other and that having friends who are TS/TG is a sign of failure.  That all our friends should be normborns who are clueless regarding what we have gone through and continue to go through.

Remember what I said about John Rechy saying that LGBT/T people are the only oppressed minority born into the family of the oppressor. Damn it like Sister Sledge sang, “We are Family” and it would highly behoove us to stop tearing each other down and especially stop with the tearing down of the people trying to do something to better all of our lives.

Some wrote to tell me how strong I was and how I may be rough around the edges and not sugar coat word but that I speak the truth. Those made me feel good.

But the letter that left me shaken told me of  a life filled with pain and emptiness and plans to end that pain with suicide.

I do not know this person in 3D.  Only a name from a mailing list of someone who reads but does not post for before blogs mailing lists were places people went to read the interchange of ideas from a few who wrote the bulk of all the posts.

I do not know of an on line or 3D suicide prevention unit I could suggest that is staffed with TS/TG people who understand the issues.

The old National Transsexual Counseling Unit wasn’t political.  I oftten think that is why it was a historical blank space.  Like the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Community Service Center it offered support and services.  I know all the arguments about how so many of us are only part of any sort of transsexual community for the period of transition.  It is as though we think we are much better than others like ourselves.  we come from solitude and shame and return there.

The few activists do what they can and burn out by being overwhelmed by those who need so much, ask for so much and have so much pain discourages most of us from becoming helping professionals.

I don’t have an answer.  Perhaps someone reading this will and will post of places one can seek this sort of help.  I will pass any information to the person who wrote.

One Response to “Suicide Prevention and the Need for Support Beyond Transition”

  1. Susanna Boudrie Says:

    Hi Suzy

    Our association has a hotline; in principle open 24/7/365. It is used for everything from simple answers about access to care and recommended hormone treatment. But now and then also as an emergency helpline. Often in the middle of the night, we get phone calls from brothers and sisters and all sorts of “T”‘s (although we are known to be rather separatist for people with transsexualism and WBT or MBT) that we have to talk out of suicide. The hotline is staffed with longtime WBT’s.


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