President Donald Trump announced last week a new policy banning transgender men and women from serving in the U.S. armed forces. And even though the ban hasn’t actually come into practice, we’re already seeing the disturbing effects the announcement is having.
This week, LGBTQ advocacy group The Trevor Project released data that shows a dramatic spike in outreach to their crisis and suicide prevention hotlines since Trump surprised everyone with his new policy, with the number of transgender people who have called, texted, and DM’d the group more than doubling within one day of the president’s announcement.
“Of the approximately 178 contacts per day (on average) received by The Trevor Project, 7.3 percent typically self-identify as transgender,” the Trevor Project said in a press release. “However, within 24 hours after President Trump’s tweet regarding transgender military service members, contacts from transgender individuals spiked to 17.5 percent of all contacts.”
While Trump’s transgender ban was met with swift and bipartisan opposition from lawmakers, and military officials alike, the Trevor Project’s data highlights a secondary danger—a message of hate and unwelcomeness from the highest authority in the nation, directed at an already vulnerable population.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255