Family Rejection Ups Health Risks of Transgender People

Emerging research finds that family rejection of transgender people can increase the chance of substance abuse and more than triple the risk of suicide attempts.

Coauthors Augustus Klein, M.S.W., and Sarit Golub, Ph.D., M.P.H., City University of New York, present their findings in the peer-reviewed journal LGBT Health.

Overall, more than 42 percent of the individuals who self-identified as transgender or gender nonconforming reported a suicide attempt, and over 26 percent had misused drugs or alcohol to cope with transgender-related discrimination.

The researchers report the increased risk of these health outcomes for individuals who experienced high or moderate levels of family rejection compared to little or no rejection.

“Gender minority stress and stigma contribute to the increased rates of depression, anxiety disorders, suicidality, and substance abuse in the transgender population.

This study underscores the importance of family support and acceptance in mitigating that stress,” said LGBT Health Editor-in-Chief William Byne, M.D., Ph.D., of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (New York, N.Y.).

Source: Mary Ann Liebert/EurekAlert
Gender identity sign photo by shutterstock.