Friday 5 June 2015

Speaking from the Margins – Trans Mental Health and Wellbeing in Ireland

I have only now added the 2013 report by the Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI), after a friend pointed it out to me. It seems appropriate since Ireland is in the news after the marriage equality referendum![1] The report lists the results of the largest survey of transgender people in Ireland to date. It’s stunning in confirming how effective and beneficial treatment for transsexuals is, and sad in stating how discriminated-against transsexuals are, and how poor their quality of life before transition and treatment is. Here are some of the key findings:

  • Almost 80 % of participants had contemplated suicide and half of those had made at least one attempt.

  • More than 80 % of participants avoided some public places or situations due to fear of harassment.

  • 84 % report that they are more satisfied with life after transition, while 5 % report their satisfaction has reduced.

  • 75 % report their mental health improved after transition, with 6 % saying it has worsened.

  • 81 % say that their suicidal thoughts decreased after transition, 4 % report an increase of suicidal thoughts.

  • 87 % report that their satisfaction with their bodies increased as a result of hormone therapy, 2 % reported they were less satisfied.

  • 90 % reported a higher life satisfaction due to taking hormones, compared to 7 % who were less satisfied.

  • 92 % said they had no regrets about their physical changes due to treatment, 1 % had major regrets.

The report also covers other areas extensively, such as the experiences of the transsexual community when seeking medical help, and other areas of discrimination. Have a read for yourself!

[1] It’s great that the majority of voters in Catholic Ireland voted for marriage equality. It seems so simple to me – if we allow some people to marry the person they love, we shouldn’t deny it to others. I guess the chain of reasons of no voters broke down somewhere. After all, it is hard to provide sound evidence for: god exists, god doesn’t want homosexuals to marry, we reliably know god’s will and we have good reasons to follow god’s orders. 😏

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