“Trans people are not new to dealing with bullies,” says Elena Rose Vera, deputy executive director of the suicide prevention nonprofit Trans Lifeline. Yet when the memo was released, Trans Lifeline’s call volume “immediately quadrupled,” Vera says. “After decades of work to build a more compassionate and equitable society, [these] attacks seek to punish them for the joy they have found, to drive back progress by any means necessary.”
Trans Lifeline is a national trans-led 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to improving the quality of trans lives by responding to the critical needs of our community with direct service, material support, advocacy, and education. Our vision is to fight the epidemic of trans suicide and improve overall life-outcomes of trans people by facilitating justice-oriented, collective community aid.
Need to talk? Call! Our peer support hotline is run by and for trans people. We’re available 7am-1am PST / 9am-3am CST / 10am-4am EST. Volunteers may be available during off hours.
Need a legal name change or an updated ID that affirms your gender? We’re here for you. We can help guide you through the complicated process, and we’ll give you the money to pay for it.
Trans Lifeline in the Media
Trans Lifeline Reportedly Receives 4 Times the Amount of Calls After Trump Memo Moves to Define Gender
The day after it was reported that President Donald Trump’s administration would push to define gender solely as male or female, Trans Lifeline reportedly received four times the normal number of calls.
Trans Lifeline, a phone service operated by people who are transgender to offer emotional support to other people who are transgender, announced in an Instagram post that it received four times the normal number of total callers. That same day, the hotline received two times the normal number of first-time callers.
After the leaking of a Trump administration memo arguing that transgender people don’t exist as a distinct class of people because people can only be biologically male or female, calls to a transgender suicide hotline have multiplied by four.
Trans Lifeline, the only suicide hotline for trans people operated by trans people, received four times the average number of calls in the days following the memo's leak; the day the news broke, the hotline received two times the regular volume of first-time callers contemplating suicide.
Two Sundays ago, Molly Palmer answered nearly a dozen telephone calls—with the calls coming in faster than she's ever seen.
Palmer, 45, is a Portland-based volunteer operator for Trans Lifeline, a peer-to-peer transgender support hotline. It's the only crisis hotline for transgender people in the United States staffed entirely by other trans and non-binary people.
Palmer says a memo leaked Oct. 21 from the Trump administration—which proposes narrowly defining gender as sex assigned at birth—could be life-threatening for countless transgender Americans, who fear they will be left without legal protection.
On days like today, it can feel like trans people never get the chance to fully heal.
Trans Lifeline is a national trans-led organization dedicated to improving the quality of trans lives and fighting the epidemic of trans suicide.
Learn more about employment and internship opportunities at Trans Lifeline!