FTM Miscellaneous MTF Social and cultural

Transitioning Saves Lives

Transitioning Saves Lives

“You can save lives if you open your heart, even the smallest bit…”


This is part of the touching testimony that a young man, whose name is concealed, shares in a beautiful video on YouTube about coming out as a trans.

For him, the transition to a life in a man’s body has been life-saving, as has the acceptance of his loved ones, especially that of his parents. Several studies tend to confirm that suicidal thoughts and behaviours disproportionately prevail among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, Two-Spirit or queer (LGBTQ) youths and that links of solidarity and acceptance around the person in distress can help turn the tide.

According to the Quebec Suicide Prevention Center, nearly 1050 people committed suicide in the province of Quebec in 2016. In Canada, according to Statistics Canada, there are 500 young Canadians, ages 10 to 24, who are dying by suicide each year. However, we do not know how many of these people identify as LGBTQ or may have difficulties or problems related to their sexual orientation or their gender identity since this information is not reported on death certificates. However, we know that LGBTQ youths are four times more likely to commit suicide than their heterosexual peers.

In 2007, a British Columbia adolescent health survey found that 33% of youths who identified as LGB had attempted suicide, compared to 7% of youths of the same age. What emerges from all these statistics, regardless of the age of the people involved, is the fragility and distress felt by some people who question their orientation or their sexual identity. The finding is the same when a person has taken the step to identify as LGBTQ. The road to well-being can be rocky, and each individual faces it with their own baggage and a number of factors that are completely independent of gender identity or sexual orientation, but that also play an important role.

Having the freedom to be one’s self brings tremendous well-being to the individual, regardless of their background. Considering the statistics mentioned above, one can only conclude that self-acceptance saves lives and if this acceptance means undergoing a gender reassignment surgery, this transition will also have saved a life.

In 2018, researchers at the University Hospital Essen in Germany conducted a study to measure the quality of life of transgender people by using a specially designed questionnaire. For the first time ever, scientists were able to confirm that gender reassignment surgery significantly improves the quality of life for most patients, to the tune of 75%.

Dr. Jochen Hess, who led the study, said, “It is very important that we have reliable data on the quality of life of transgender people. They generally have a lower quality of life than non-transgender people, with higher rates of stress and mental disorders. It’s a good thing that surgery can change that, but also that we can now show that surgery has a positive effect.”

In most Canadian provinces and in many countries, certain surgeries and gender affirmative treatments are available for free.

If you are feeling lost or if someone close to you shows signs of distress, do not wait — ask for help at 1-866-APPELLE (1-866-277-3553). You’ll find a listening ear, support, and information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Trans Quebec Help has a 24-hour crisis hotline: 1-855-909-9038 #1.

  1. Cassandra-Lynn Simpson

    Going through the post op surgery now, being cared for in a wonderful recovery home designed extremely well with awesome ergonomics along with a great staff. Xoxo.

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