Transgender Suicide Hotline Sees Spike In Calls Since HB2 Passed
The fallout from House Bill 2 continues in North Carolina as companies, musicians, and other groups are boycotting the state. But the impact could be more than economic – it could be taking an emotional toll on transgender people across the country.
Trans Lifeline is a crisis hotline for transgender people, which averages about 100 calls a day. But organizers say since HB2 passed, along with similar laws in other states, their call volume has more than doubled.
Greta Gustava Martela runs Trans Lifeline and says the law discriminates against a vulnerable community.
“We’re much more likely to be victims of violent crimes in most places. We can just be fired for who we are, so it’s a rough road already,” says Martela. “I think what helps people get through that is the expectation that things will get better in the future, and I think it’s going to cost lives. I think it’s a policy with a body count.”
According to a national survey, 41 percent of trans or gender nonconforming respondents had attempted suicide. The same study shows the rate for the overall population at just under 5 percent.
Among other provisions, North Carolina’s law requires transgender people to use the bathroom that matches the sex on their birth certificate. It also limits local government authority to pass their own anti-discrimination measures.