Though Donald Trump's call to ban transgender people from the military has not yet been made into an official policy, it has already been shown to have devastating repercussions.
A report from the Trevor Project, a national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth, reported that it received a "dramatic spike" in phone calls, text messages, and online chats from transgender youth following Trump's tweets calling for transgender people to be banned from the military. The report also noted that the increase in calls occurred after Texas's bathroom bill introduction as well.
According to the report, of the average of 178 contacts the Trevor Project receives a day, 7.3% were from people who self-identified as transgender. However, within 24 hours of Trump's tweets, contacts from transgender individuals increased, making up 17.5% of all contacts for the day.
"This data makes clear that our elected officials can no longer ignore that their anti-transgender rhetoric is putting lives at risk," Amit Paley, Trevor Project CEO and Executive Director, said in the report.
"Anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and legislation directly leads to crisis among our community’s young people. While The Trevor Project will continue to be there for them around the clock, our elected officials must stop throwing young people into crisis for political gain. Discrimination is un-American, and we will hold to account those legislators who attack the most vulnerable members of the LGBTQ community."
It just goes to show that policies and rhetoric of hate have can very real effects on people, and those effects shouldn't be downplayed.
If you are an LGBTQ person thinking about suicide, please call the Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386.
If you are a trans person thinking about suicide or experiencing a crisis, please call the Trans Lifeline at 1-877-565-8860 for confidential support from other trans individuals.
Read these stories next: