Multiple trans youth commit suicide and calls to suicide hotlines rise after Trump’s win

Donald Trump winning the presidential election was a major blow to all marginalized groups, and his and Mike Pence’s dismissal of LGBTQ rights left many feeling like their safety and freedom was at stake. In a clear sign that his victory inspired real fear, suicide hotlines saw a spike in trans callers following the news that Trump would be our next leader. And according to Guardian reporter Zach Stafford and crisis hotline Trans Lifeline, at least eight trans youth committed suicide less than 24 hours after the election results were announced.

Even before it was certain Trump would crush Hillary Clinton in the Electoral College, suicide hotlines were increasingly busy. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline got 660 calls between 1 and 2 a.m. Wednesday morning, two and a half times more than an average Wednesday night, when it was becoming less and less likely Clinton would pull ahead. Yes, people are always more anxious during presidential elections, unsure which direction the nation is heading for the next four years, but Trump’s hateful rhetoric sparked an unprecedented number of calls.

“We didn’t see numbers like this in 2008 or 2012,” Lifeline director John Draper told The Washington Post’s Katie Mettler. “This was an extraordinary year by any stretch of the imagination.”

Although Trump was once moderate on LGBTQ rights, he fully leaned into the GOP’s and Pence’s bigoted beliefs about queer Americans. The president- and vice president-elect made it clear they work to pass the First Amendment Defense Act, allowing LGBTQ discrimination in the name of religion, and trash all of President Obama’s executive orders protecting trans students and the LGBTQ community as a whole.

In a blog post published Wednesday, Trans Lifeline confirmed the spike in calls and said:

“Trans people are among many people who are mourning today. We know that communities of color, muslims, immigrants, and many other groups are feeling the betrayal, sadness, and fear that comes with living in a country where a majority of people voted for a leader who hates you. It is personal. It is tragic. But it is not the end.”

After Stafford tweeted that at least eight trans youth committed suicide, he posted statements from the director of a private support group claiming more than eight trans people took their lives in response to Trump’s win. No names or personal information has been released, as the families have chosen to keep the details private for the time being.

“It may feel right now as though hate won out,” the Trans Lifeline wrote, “but we know that love is more powerful.”