April 12, 2021 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Trans Lifeline, A Transgender Crisis Hotline Run By Trans People

Trans Lifeline, which describes itself as the only crisis hotline for trans people operated entirely by trans people, is flooded with calls every time the nation’s highest office does something that threatens the LGBTQ community.

Recently the Trump administration finalized a rule that reduces protections for transgender patients from discrimination by doctors, hospitals and health insurance companies. 

Trans Lifeline was founded in 2014 by San Francisco software engineers Nina Chaubal and her partner, Greta Martela.

Chaubal had come out as trans a year earlier, and Martela, also a trans woman, had wrestled with depression and suicidal thoughts. During that time Martela experienced ignorance and neglect from mental health professionals she reached out to for help. 

Throughout their lifetimes, many trans people face rejection from family and friends, are victims of discrimination and harassment, and live in fear and isolation — factors that increase the risk of suicide. Four out of 10 transgender adults reported attempting to take their own lives at some point, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality.

Chaubal and Martela imagined a support network that would confront this epidemic head-on.

The organization has grown consistently, with the first big jump in donations and calls coming just after Donald Trump was elected president in 2016.

Since 2014 the hotline has answered more than 65,000 calls, with operators available 24/7. The need for social distance during the COVID-19 pandemic creates new pressures, amplifying the sense of isolation and loneliness. Calls in which people describe suicidal thoughts to operators have increased 89% since March.

Unfortunately, Trans Lifeline hasn’t been unscathed by scandal. In early 2018, Trans Lifeline’s board removed founders Chaubal and Martela after an internal review found that they had diverted “significant funds” to an unapproved side project.

Elena Rose Vera, a longtime educator, activist and reverend, was hired to help Trans Lifeline recover.

Today, Trans Lifeline says it is still the only hotline in the country staffed entirely by transgender operators. The 70 volunteer operators undergo 36 hours of online training.

If you or someone you know is exhibiting warning signs of suicide, seek help from a professional by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-TALK (8255).

You can reach Trans Lifeline at (877) 565-8860.

Related Posts

National AIDS Memorial Mary Bowman Arts in Activism Award Given to Westside Local

April 11, 2021

April 11, 2021

Poet, Activist, Artist, and Westside local Ima Diawara uses her art and activism to raise greater awareness about bigotry, stigma...

Edify TV: Helping Local Cultural, Religious and LGBTQ+ Centers

April 11, 2021

April 11, 2021

Westside cultural, religious and LGBTQ+ centers stand to benefit from a new fund the City of Los Angeles has created...

Lil Nas X “Satan Shoes” Controversy

April 9, 2021

April 9, 2021

Since releasing his controversially queer-positive music video “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” gay singer/rapper Lil Nas X has had...

West Hollywood Celebrates National Poetry Month

April 9, 2021

April 9, 2021

The City of West Hollywood will celebrate National Poetry Month in April with a variety of events and exhibitions honoring...

L.A. Stage Alliance To Cease Operations After Several Companies Exit

April 9, 2021

April 9, 2021

The Los Angeles Stage Alliance (LASA) announced that it would “cease all operations” following the departure of more than 25...

James Charles Admits Messaging 16 Year Old Boys

April 4, 2021

April 4, 2021

YouTube star, makeup artist and Los Angeles resident James Charles issued an apology video entitled “Holding Myself Accountable” admitting to...

Tina Turner Documentary Breaks Records

April 4, 2021

April 4, 2021

Singer, song writer and gay icon Tina Turner released a documentary on HBO Max as a farewell to her fans...

Trans Los Angeles A Film Full Of Queer Latinx Talent

April 4, 2021

April 4, 2021

Trans Los Angeles is an anthology composed of four short films directed and written by transgender director Kase Peña. Each...

Venice Pride Flag Lifeguard Tower Gets Facelift

April 1, 2021

April 1, 2021

The Venice Pride Flag Lifeguard tower gets a fresh coat of paint and a bit of a facelift just in...

Trans Visibility Day Proclamation From President Biden

April 1, 2021

April 1, 2021

Yesterday marked the 12th anniversary of Trans Visibility Day and the first time a sitting president has ever made a...

Pride Poets’ Corner: Double Dutch Nymph By Féi Hernandez

March 28, 2021

March 28, 2021

The Pride LA and West Hollywood Poet Laureate Brian Sonia-Wallace would like to introduce Féi Hernandez featuring their latest work...

Los Angeles Becomes First No-Kill City For Animal Shelters

March 28, 2021

March 28, 2021

The City of Los Angeles has become a no-kill city for animal shelters for the first time, thanks to the...

Bisexual Men Have Higher Chance Of Developing Eating Disorders

March 28, 2021

March 28, 2021

March is Bisexual Health Awareness Month and according to a study done by the University of California San Francisco bisexual...

First Gay Teen Captain America Revealed By Marvel

March 28, 2021

March 28, 2021

Marvel Comics has revealed the first look at a new Captain America who happens to be a gay teen.  The...

Long Beach Rainbow Lifeguard Tower Burned Down

March 25, 2021

March 25, 2021

Long Beach’s rainbow lifeguard tower, painted by lifeguards in June in honor of Pride month, was destroyed in a fire...