Articles / General News / Good research

In Colorado, lots of trans teenagers think of suicide

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment conducted a Healthy Kids Colorado Survey in 2015. Ann Schimke of Chalkbeat reports that the survey shows that transgender teenagers in the state are more likely to plan or attempt suicide than their non-trans classmates.

Unlike some surveys, this is based on an actual sample of 15,970 high school students in Colorado, with a 46% response rate. 2.2% of the kids (162) said they were trans, and 1.6% (118) said they were questioning their gender. 35% (57) of the trans kids said they had attempted suicide, and 14% (16) of the questioning kids said they had.

The reported rate of attempted suicide for the other kids is 7%. That’s 53 more high school kids in Colorado who say they’ve attempted suicide than would have if they hadn’t been trans.

I’ve got more thoughts on suicide, but the biggest thing is that we need to work on accepting kids who are trans. That doesn’t necessarily mean any body modifications. Just accepting would make a huge difference. I say that from experience.

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4 Comments

  1. Hi Andrea. My name is Carolyn. I found this article particularly interesting as I have a few trans friends , now adults who have struggled with this trauma and crises in their younger years. I have a close friend in particular, Rosemary who has written her autobiography. She is actually now 77 yrs of age. I was wondering if you would be interested in reading it?and possibly commenting? It is published as an e-book on amazon kindle and all the other platforms…It is called “At Last We’ve Found You. A Transgender triumph:an autobiography”. Now she didn’t go through such attempts at her life. In face she is probably ow the most balanced person I know!

  2. Hi Carolyn! Is this autobiography about someone who’s found happiness without transitioning? Because I’m really sick of transition stories.

  3. Just a friendly comment: as much as you’ve written about unrepresentative samples on this blog, I am a bit surprised that you seem to take the results of this survey at face value. A response rate of 46% means that over half of the target population chose not to participate. I’ll admit I haven’t got the time to read the whole study, but I’d be surprised if anyone thought this was automatically a representative sample, unless they can be sure that participants were ‘missing’ randomly. A random sample does not automatically translate into a representative sample. Still valuable research though!

  4. That is an excellent point, Laura! I did notice the response rate, but I was so impressed that they had a representative sample I didn’t mention it. But you’re right, that does indicate we should be cautious interpreting their results!

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