Australian state to hold inquest into deaths of trans and non-binary people
Author: Emily Chudy
The Australian state of Victoria is to hold inquests into the deaths of five trans and non-binary people, in a bid to prevent further tragedy.
The deaths of the trans and non-binary people, who were undergoing gender-affirming care, and who were born between 1987 and 2001, are otherwise unrelated, but will be investigated together in the hope that it will lead to recommendations that could help prevent future suicides, The Guardian reported.
The lead case in the inquest involves Bridget Flack, a 28-year-old trans woman who went missing in a Melbourne suburb in November 2020, and was found dead the following month.
Flack was last seen by a friend on 30 November, with her disappearance making national headlines in Australia. More than 120 people helped the family search for her.
Flack’s sister described her as an artistic person who sang, played and wrote music, and DJ-ed.
“She writes beautifully, beautiful poetry and stories. She loves her job, she loves studying,” her sister added.
The coroner, Ingrid Giles, said: “In July 2023, I assumed carriage of the investigation into the deaths of five young people who were undergoing a gender-affirmation process prior to passing, and who had died by way of apparent suicide.
“To assist the court in referring to the deceased persons in a respectful and culturally appropriate manner in these proceedings, the loved ones of the deceased were consulted in relation to the names that were in use by the deceased, and which had been chosen by the deceased to correspond with their gender identity.
“I have determined it appropriate to refer in this proceeding to each deceased by what the evidence supports as their chosen name, even where this had not been legally changed.”
The inquest, expected to last three days, will reportedly begin in late November.
Nine in 10 young trans adults have had suicidal thoughts
A study in May found that a majority of trans and non-binary young adults have experienced suicidal thoughts or feelings.
The study, carried out for LGBTQ+ young people’s charity Just Like Us, found that 88 per cent of trans people aged between 18 and 25 had experienced suicidal thoughts.
Within the LGBTQ+ community as a whole, almost three quarters had experienced suicidal thoughts or feelings, compared with 43 per cent of their straight, cisgender peers.
Amy Ashenden, then the interim chief executive of Just Like Us, said: “We know that young LGBT+ adults face disproportionate challenges because of their identities, whether that is bullying at school or work, difficult family relationships, or violence and abuse.
“If we can improve the experiences of LGBT+ young people when they are growing up, this will have a positive impact on the health challenges they face as adults.”
Suicide is preventable. Readers who are affected by the issues raised in this story are encouraged to contact the Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org), or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to contact the National Suicide Prevention Line on 1-800-273-8255.
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Actual Story on Pink News
Author: Emily Chudy