Attempted suicide among transgender persons: The influence of gender-based discrimination and victimization

J Homosex. 2006;51(3):53-69. doi: 10.1300/J082v51n03_04.


To determine the independent predictors of attempted suicide among transgender persons we interviewed 392 male-to-female (MTF) and 123 female-to-male (FTM) individuals. Participants were recruited through targeted sampling, respondent-driven sampling, and agency referrals in San Francisco. The prevalence of attempted suicide was 32% (95% CI = 28% to 36%). In multivariate logistic regression analysis younger age (<25 years), depression, a history of substance abuse treatment, a history of forced sex, gender-based discrimination, and gender-based victimization were independently associated with attempted suicide. Suicide prevention interventions for transgender persons are urgently needed, particularly for young people. Medical, mental health, and social service providers should address depression, substance abuse, and forced sex in an attempt to reduce suicidal behaviors among transgender persons. In addition, increasing societal acceptance of the transgender community and decreasing gender-based prejudice may help prevent suicide in this highly stigmatized population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Crime Victims* / psychology
  • Crime Victims* / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prejudice*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • San Francisco / epidemiology
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology*
  • Suicide, Attempted / statistics & numerical data
  • Transsexualism / psychology*
  • Transsexualism / surgery