Each June the nation celebrates Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots. LGBTQ homeless youth experience twice the rates of sexual victimization on the streets than their non-LGBTQ peers (Rew et al, 2005). LGBTQ people are also more likely to attempt suicide than the general population (Van Leeuwen et al, 2006). These stats demonstrate some of the many issues the LGBTQ youth NRS support face when seeking help. That is why NRS’ Organization of the Month is Trans Lifeline.
Trans Lifeline is a trans-led organization that provides resources to trans and gender non-conforming people.
Our hotline program is the only crisis support hotline staffed entirely by transgender operators; trans people in crisis should not have to explain or apologize for their identity when seeking support. If you are trans or questioning and in crisis, if you just need to talk, we’re here to listen. The National Center for Transgender Equality estimates that of the 1.6 million youth experiencing houselessness, 20-40% are queer or trans-identified. Despite these large numbers of queer and trans youth experiencing houselessness, many of the support systems available to people are neither run by queer and trans folks nor are trained on the best ways to support queer and trans people. – Stella Shaffer, Director of Communications at Trans Lifeline.
The Trans Lifeline handles calls ranging from suicidal crisis to seeking access to transition-related health care and support groups. Trans youth face obstacles when finding basic resources like shelter due to discrimination and lack of awareness. Trans Lifeline provides a necessary non-judgmental and validating resource while prioritizing lived experiences and harm reduction. They can be reached in the United States at 877.565.8860 or visit their website at translifeline.org.
The Trans Lifeline creates a safe space for trans people of all ages to feel seen and live their truths with respect and support.
Trans Lifeline is one of nearly 7,000 resources in NRS’ database. Although 1-800-RUNAWAY and 1800RUNAWAY.org are available 24/7 for youth in crisis, Trans Lifeline provides support especially targeted at the challenges faced by trans individuals. NRS is proud to be a partner in their mission.
Sources mentioned in this article:
Rew, Lynn, Whittaker, Tiffany A., Taylor-Seehafer, Margaret, and Lorie R. Smith. 2005. Sexual Health Risks and Protective Resources in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Heterosexual Homeless Youth. Journal for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing 10, no. 1: 11-20.
Van Leeuwen, James M., Boyle, Susan, Salomonsen-Sautel, Stacy, Baker, D Nico, Garcia, JT, Hoffman, Allison and Christian J. Hopfer. 2006. Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Homeless Youth: An Eight City Public Health Perspective. Child Welfare 85, no. 2: 151-170. See also, Whitbeck, Les B., Chen, Xiaojin, Hoyt, Dan R., Tyler, Kimberly A. and Kurt D. Johnson. 2004. Mental Disorder, Subsistence Strategies, and Victimization Among Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Homeless and Runaway Adolescents. The Journal of Sex Research 41, no. 4: 329-342.