i know you meant well when you said 30 isnt ancient, but im nb so my life expectancy is actually 30 :(
Hey anon, I’m so sorry that that’s a fear you’ve had to live with. I know that trans people are at greater risk of violence and suicide, and I’ve heard people say many times that the life expectancy of trans people (or trans women, or trans women of color, depending on who you ask) is anywhere from 23 to 35. Your ask troubled me, so I’ve dug deep looking for solid evidence of any of these, and I don’t believe that these statistics are true.
A trans woman, Helen, looked into the “23 years” claim and traced it back to someone’s notes on two workshops at a 2007 conference, which stated that trans people’s life expectancy is “believed to be around 23” (emphasis mine) but cites no actual source. This claim has been presented as fact in many news articles since then, but as far as I can tell, no one seems to know where this figure came from.
Another claim is often sourced to an Argentine psychologist quoted in this NPR article:
Psychologist Graciela Balestra, who works closely with the transgender community, says it’s an especially vulnerable population.
“Transgender people have an average life expectancy of about 30 to 32 years,” Balestra says. “They don’t live any longer; I think that statistic alone says so much.”
But again, the article gives no source for this figure.
I found an article claiming that a 2014 report by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) “concludes the average life expectancy of trans people in the Western Hemisphere is between 30-35 years.” However, when I tracked down the report, An Overview of Violence Against LGBTI Persons (pdf), its only reference to this is (emphasis mine): “[T]he IACHR has received information that the life expectancy of trans women in the Americas is between 30 and 35 years of age.” Again, this is no source.
Someone said on my post that these statistics may have come from the NCTE/NGLTF report Injustice at Every Turn (pdf), but I can’t find any reference to any such claim in the report.
Thinking about these claims, they seem unlikely for some basic reasons. Consider that we simply don’t have a long enough span of data on trans people, and that what data we do have is extremely limited because we can’t always know who is trans and who isn’t. Consider also that, although obviously the murder rates for trans people are extremely high, the number of deaths of 20-something trans people would have to be ENORMOUS to offset the existence of older trans people and bring the average down to 30. Especially since, unlike with racial groups for example, the data on trans people would likely include almost no childhood deaths, simply because it would be much more difficult (and in many cases impossible) to identify these children as trans. And since we know that trans women of color are extremely disproportionately affected by violence, statistics that include white people and/or trans men would be especially unlikely to be so low.
And as to your specific situation anon, again given that trans women of color are most at risk, I don’t think we have reason to believe that being non-binary specifically puts a person at anywhere near this level of increased risk of dying young.
I don’t say any of this to question anyone’s experiences or to deny the state of emergency that trans women face with regard to violence. That is very real. But I think it can be harmful, even dangerous to trans people to spread claims like this around, especially without evidence. Expecting to die by 30 would take an extreme emotional toll on anyone, and trans people deserve better.
It certainly is not the same as a murder, but publicizing a low “life expectancy” rate for transwomen of color is another way to steal away their future, a “crime” that has been committed repeatedly by trans, LGBQ, and mainstream press. Think about the people you know or have heard of who have been diagnosed with a fatal illness and given a short time to live: how many of them have enrolled in college, undertaken lengthy training for a new occupation, had a new child, or tried to establish a new non-profit? A few do, certainly, but many more focus on their bucket list, arrange for their good-byes, or simply give up entirely, essentially relinquishing whatever time they have left to depression and regrets. When we tell transwomen of color they cannot expect to live very long, we rob them of hope. We rob them of any motivation to invest in themselves, their relationships, and their communities. We rob them, in short, of their lives even while they are still living. (This statement in no way negates the need to systemically work to improve and increase the life expectancy of trans people through working to end transphobia, racism, poverty, pervasive violence, and health and healthcare inequities, and more.)
One trans woman of color was trying to come to grips with an estimated lifespan figure more than ten years shorter than the one that has been published most often. (We are not repeating any of the (incorrect) estimated lifetime figures that are circulating, to avoid even inadvertent reinforcement.) Faced with the report of yet another attack on another trans woman, she wrote:
These days, I look at the latest reports of stabbed, shot, beaten trans women, search myself for tears, and I cannot find a thing. I want to mourn and rage. I want to honor all of our sisters — the hundreds each year who are ripped, namelessly and without fanfare, from this life — who are taken so young before their time. But the grief and anger — even empathy — do not come. I don’t feel anything but numbness and fatigue, and somewhere far below that, fear.
The terrible irony of the life expectancy “fact” is that it is based on an impossibility. The only ways to determine a given population’s life expectancy are to: examine decades or more of death certificates or census data containing the information being studied, or follow a specific set of individuals for around 100 years and record every single death. There is not and never has been a census of transgender people. Our death certificates do not mark us as transgender. There has been no 100-year-long study of a representative group of trans people. So where are the estimated
lifespan figures coming from?
FORGE tracked the most commonly-cited figure back to what was most likely the 2014 Philadelphia Transgender Health Conference, where a workshop presenter gave the figure and explained she had calculated it by averaging the age of death for all of those listed on the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) website. This means the figure is actually the average age of those trans people who were both murdered and came to the attention of someone who added them to the TDOR list.Interestingly, this average is very close to the average age of everyone who is murdered in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Justice statistics. [I’m not seeing an average age given in the cited source but you can see on page 5 of this Bureau of Justice Statistics report (pdf) that the average age of homicide victims in the U.S. was between 30 and 35 from 1980 to 2008.]
But not everyone is murdered.
Despite how many there may appear to be, only a tiny, tiny fraction of transpeople are killed by other
people. Most of us, transwomen of color included, live average lifespans and die of the most common U.S. killers — heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, and unintentional injuries (accidents).
Please don’t add to fear and hopelessness by spreading inaccurate and profoundly disempowering data.
Since I can’t respond to everyone directly, I’m @ing some people who’ve brought this up on my post and may be interested: (urls removed after posting for their privacy). I appreciate your thoughtfulness in bringing this to my attention. If you or anyone else has a source on any of these figures that can provide specific methodology, I’d be very grateful to see that.
In closing, here are some resources that provide a more hopeful view of trans aging. They are well known but I hope they will be helpful to someone.
if you have seen the way the corporate media, conservatives, and the centrists in the labour party have treated jeremy corbyn then this smear against bernie sanders is just another example of the attempt to vilify the progressive left. neoliberal centrists argue about unity, but they would rather throw progressives under the bus because they actually threaten the status quo (and their bank accounts).
the right-wing AND the centrists using this shooting of republicans to attack bernie sanders just demonstrates another tacky way they have both tried to undermine the progressive left and deliberately manipulate a tragedy. bernie sanders has never incited violence. he has only ever campaigned on bringing universal healthcare, free college tuition, ending poverty, and ending corporate corruption. he has a D- rating from the nra, and he remains one of the most vocal critics of trump. to equate bernie sanders and all of his supporters with this violence is outrageous and cruel. it is shameful.
Another reason liberalism is bankrupt: We will NEVER convince all white people, or even a majority, that racism is as real and insidious as it is. Do any of us believe rich people will give away their wealth to end poverty if enough poor folks plead the right way, at the right time? Do any of us believe if enough of us just took shorter showers the California drought would have ended? Do any of us believe if enough Black and Brown folks wear the right clothes police won’t harass and shoot them? I hope not. Because individual change doesn’t dismantle structural violence.
Yo peeps, so as you can probably tell, I’m about to blow your mind. You might want to sit down, grab some water, you know, keep yourself hydrated. Maybe do a few stretches.
Now that you’re all ready, let’s begin! A girl who wrote about hotdogs and Costco got into Stanford and most Ivy League Schools, a student who wrote about his love for food got into Stanford, while Cornell’s admissions officer’s favorite essays were about lint and failing the driver’s test four times. Observing a pattern here? All these people chose kind of silly topics to write about. You might be wondering, “Yo,why would I want to sound stupid in front of the admissions officer, this doesn’t make sense!” . Well, that’s a valid argument. Now read this excerpt from one of the essays I mentioned above.
“While enjoying an obligatory hot dog, I did not find myself thinking about the ‘all beef’ goodness that Costco boasted. I instead considered finitudes and infinitudes, unimagined uses for tubs of sour cream, the projectile motion of said tub when launched from an eighty foot shelf or maybe when pushed from a speedy cart by a scrawny seventeen year old. I contemplated the philosophical: If there exists a thirty-three ounce jar of Nutella, do we really have free will? I experienced a harsh physics lesson while observing a shopper who had no evident familiarity of inertia’s workings. With a cart filled to overflowing, she made her way towards the sloped exit, continuing to push and push while steadily losing control until the cart escaped her and went crashing into a concrete column, 52” plasma screen TV and all. Purchasing the yuletide hickory smoked ham inevitably led to a conversation between my father and me about Andrew Jackson’s controversiality"
Yes, yes, she’s literally talking about hot dogs and Costco. Now don’t underestimate her, this girl got accepted to 5 Ivy League Schools and Stanford. Jeez, that’s impressive. So now, you might be thinking , “Okay, enough of this, just get to the juicy part, give us the magic potion!” . Luckily enough for you, I’m getting to the point.
If you want to write an essay that slays everyone else’s like Beyoncé, first you gotta be true to yourself. You’re 17 or 18, you don’t want to end poverty or save the world. Maybe you enjoy pepperoni pizza, maybe you love watching horror films, maybe you love shopping at Macy’s, whatever it is, write about it.
The key is to choose a seemingly silly topic and present it in an intellectual light. Your ability to turn something silly into something genius will impress them and make you more memorable. In order to do that, you need to have a lot of knowledge about the topic you chose, which is why you need to be true to yourself. But then again, don’t write a pointless essay, don’t tell the officers that you can stuff 20 cheese balls in your mouth. Although I think it’s impressive, the admissions officer will beg to differ.
So there’s the secret formula to write a winning essay. Best of luck and I hope you get into your dream school!
My class if full of the stupidest people I ever want to know. Here are some things they said over the year.
“Do we breath helium and hydrogen?”
“Can someone have 2 Y chromosomes?”
“Why can’t we end poverty by printing more money?” (This one needs to learn some history, specifically before WWII)
“PHONES HAVE BATTERIES!?!?”
“PENS USE INK?!?”
“What’s an ionic compound?” (Normally, I wouldn’t say anything, but we took a test on them the day before)
“Why do helium balloons float up?”
“How do we even know if dinosaurs were real?”
“Why are there 118 elements, what, 20 weren’t good enough?”
What's your opinion of the Basic Universal Income that's being piloted in Ontario, if I may ask?
Its a good idea.
Automation will replace jobs, and even without that the quality of Canada’s jobs is deteriorating and has been for a while.
I’ve personally experienced the financial hardships that a poor job market mixed with precarious employment represents. It put me further in debt and required me to move back home with my parents. Because of it I’m back at university (putting myself further into debt), hoping that when I graduate (again), this time that job prospects will be better.
I don’t believe you should end up in debt or poverty just because you can’t get a job.
It will also help fix issues surrounding homelessness, access to university, access to healthcare, and stimulate the economy.
What? Have you ever met a LESS ambitious person? He could do literally anything he wanted to the world. He could start or end wars. He could restructure the government. He could end hunger and poverty. He could appoint himself king of everything. And what does he do? He skips lines and makes people tell him their secrets!
Communism now - if it means anything - means this: to seek the end of the boredom of struggle. The end of the boredom of poverty, the end of the need to battle property to have food, shelter and the ability to exist. It means the end of the boredom of work, the end of the struggle against work, the end of the day in the field or the factory or the dullness of the call centre. The end of the boredom of struggle against those who would prevent what we chose to be, what we chose to do and who we chose to love. While we might see the best of what we are in the struggle now, we can only imagine the best of what we might become without this weight upon us. Without this weight of violence, without the boredom of struggle.
So, as part of my How I Met Your Mother rewatch I just rewatched my favorite episode, 9x16 ‘How Your Mother Met Me’, which is basically the back story of Tracy (The Mother) McConnell.
And I realized something from that episode.
It shows her painting and playing music, showing she has Lily’s artsy side.
She talks about wanting to end poverty, showing she has Marshall’s drive to change the world.
Her drink of choice is scotch and she has a hard time letting herself love, both Robin traits.
She gets the 'bar named Puzzles’ joke, showing she has Barney’s sense of humor.
Tracy is literally an amalgamation of all the important people in Ted’s life, and that’s why she’s perfect. How this never occurred to me before I don’t know.
Also sidebar: while typing this I realized there’s an extra layer to the Umbrella. The initials on it are TM, which Ted and Tracy debate whether it stands for Ted Mosby or Tracy McConnell, but TM is also 'The Mother’.
I'm boggling trying and failing to understand how it is that so many people (in this case, the advocates of violent anti-fascism sending you asks) don't have the idea that _political actions should have the consequence you want, not just be on the right side_. It feels like... not getting that trying to affect reality except in the simplest most local one-dimensional way is even a thing. Do you feel like you understand the mindset better?
One of my favorite articles by Bryan Caplan describes the concept of missing moods.
Modern warfare almost always leads to killing lots of innocents; if governments were held to the same standards as individuals, these killings would be manslaughter, if not murder. This doesn’t mean that war is never justified. But the reasonable hawkish mood is sorrow - and constant yearning for a peaceful path. The kind of emotions that flow out of, “We are in a tragic situation. After painstaking research on all the available options, we regretfully conclude that we have to kill many thousands of innocent civilians in order to avoid even greater evils. This is true even after adjusting for the inaccuracy of our past predictions about foreign policy.”
I have never personally known a hawk who expresses such moods, and know of none in the public eye. Instead, the standard hawk moods are anger and machismo. Ted Cruz’s recent quip, “I don’t know if sand can glow in the dark, but we’re going to find out” is typical. Indeed, the hawks I personally know don’t just ignore civilian deaths. When I raise the issue, they cavalierly appeal to the collective guilt of their enemies. Sometimes they laugh. As a result, I put little weight on what hawks say. This doesn’t mean their view is false, but it is a strong reason to think it’s false.
2. The immigration restrictionist. Immigration from the Third World to the First World is almost a fool-proof way to work your way out of poverty. The mechanism: Labor is more productive in the First World than the Third, so migrants generally create the extra riches they consume. This doesn’t mean that immigration restrictions are never justified. But the reasonable restrictionist mood is anguish that a tremendous opportunity to enrich mankind and end poverty must go to waste - and pity for the billions punished for the “crime” of choosing the wrong parents. The kind of emotions that flow out of, “The economic and humanitarian case for immigration is awesome. Unfortunately, there are even larger offsetting costs. These costs are hard to spot with the naked eye, but careful study confirms they are tragically real. Trapping innocents in poverty because of the long-run costs of immigration seems unfair, but after exhaustive study we’ve found no other remedy. Once you see this big picture, restriction is the lesser evil. This is true even after adjusting for the inaccuracy of our past predictions about the long-run dangers of immigration.”
I have met a couple of restrictionists who privately express this mood, and read a few who hold it publicly. But in percentage terms, they’re almost invisible. Instead, the standard restrictionist moods are anger and xenophobia. Mainstream restrictionists hunt for horrific immigrant outliers, then use these outliers to justify harsh treatment of immigrants in general.
The idea is that, if you’re pushing for some policy that involves doing or ignoring great wrongs in the service of necessity, it should hurt. You should be agonizing over it. You should be desperate for alternatives, and you should be grieved you can’t find any. The point is not ‘your opinion is not valid if your feelings are not valid’, but when that feeling is absent, it’s incredibly hard to trust the opinion.
I think that to antifas and the people who gravitate towards them, the entirety of liberalism has a colossal missing mood. There are Nazis and white supremacists holding rallies and chanting in favor of unthinkable, colossal atrocities. Lots of people sympathize with them. Shouldn’t we be terrified? Shouldn’t we be angry? Shouldn’t we be desperate? Whatever you think of the merits of smashing unarmed Trump supporters in the head with metal bike locks and then running away, the proponents of doing so are vocally and demonstrably angry and terrified and desperate, and if the thing you’re looking for is people who are angry and terrified and desperate then you find them. And if all of the people who seem to grasp the magnitude of the threat are saying sickening street violence is the way to fix it -
- and all of the people observing that that doesn’t fix it, that it makes it worse, that our institutions suffice and have sufficed and that there are better avenues of resistance should they fail, seem to be insufficiently desperate and angry and frightened -
- then people believe the antifas, even though antifas constantly give incoherent or conflicting accounts of how their methods are supposed to help and threaten and alienate their allies and spend a lot of their time threatening to kill gay Jews on the internet because we disagree with them about how to fight fascists.
And to people who are not sympathetic to antifa, it seems obvious that they have a gaping missing mood: compassion, or concern, or awareness of collateral damage. And if you know anything about violent resistance, indifference to or denial about collateral damage is the most chilling blind spot imaginable.
So both sides perceive missing moods, and it damages trust, and even though we both want to prevent the rise of fascism there’s basically no confidence that the other side actually wants to prevent the rise of fascism, and most efforts I’ve had to bridge that divide have sort of run aground on ‘I don’t think your evidence is very good and you don’t think my evidence is very good’, and so it’s really hard to fix.
This is a roundabout answer to your question: the straightforward answer is that I think they understand actions can have downstream effects and counterproductive effects, but don’t trust us about it and don’t trust anyone proposing alternative courses of action and were also drawn to antifa specifically by the desperate, angry dominant mood and it’s not a dominant mood conducive to realizing that doing nothing at all would be better than what you’re currently doing.
So this has been ruminating in my head the last few days, basically since the last KS chapter came out. I was honestly surprised that the hatred and criticisms towards Bum’s grandmother was and is so intense. Some people have said they hope Sangwoo kills her too while others have simply bitched her out for standing by and letting Bum be abused.
So, I’d like to ask, what would you like for this womanto do?
can i rant about something that i feel like is super important yet extremely understated? ok here goes:
heath care givers, scientists, and other health advocates oftentimes overlook the obstacle that poverty has on cancer prevention. i’m not talking about treatment, which we all know can absolutely devastate a family’s finances. i’m talking about the “simple” and “easy” day-to-day lifestyle actions that can dramatically decrease one’s risk of certain cancers, and how they can be hard to achieve when money is tight.
take sunscreen for example. sun protection is the #1 best way to decrease one’s risk of skin cancer, the most commonly diagnosed type of cancer. but sunscreen can be a luxury when that ~$6/bottle needs to be spent on food, or saved up penny by penny for utilities or rent. and take into consideration that many low-wage jobs are spent outdoors, like farm workers.
diet and exercise–other great ways to lower the risk of certain cancers (and other diseases). but the ratio of fast-food places to grocery stores with fresh produce can be extremely skewed in poorer neighborhoods. and then think about how much $5 can buy in terms of fresh vegetables and fruits (and then other ingredients to cook them with, along with the utilities to keep them fresh/cooked well) vs items from the dollar menu at mcdonalds. i see so many ads calling for the “mediterranean diet” to prevent cancer, and i always think… ok that’s pricey. fish is pricey. also if i was someone who worked a labor-intensive job, and only had $3 to spend on lunch, would i go for a low-calorie salad, or a high-calorie high-protein burger?
and trying to jog through unsafe streets, without access to nearby and well-maintained parks? not easy.
and then there’s cancer prevention routines at the clinic–like mammograms and pap smears and visits to the dermatologist to get a mole checked out. covered by insurance or not, these procedures involve having that time off from work/other responsibilities, and having the transportation to get to the clinic. again, very real obstacles for those who can’t afford them.
none of what i’m saying here is new, nor is it isolated to just cancer prevention. talk to anyone experiencing or has experienced poverty about these concerns and they’ll say “well duh”. but the thing is that we–the people advocating for these “simple” cancer/other disease prevention strategies–are not listening to them and making the necessary changes to society.all i hear from scientists and doctors is “prevention is key!!!” and yes, that’s true, but i want to yell back “well what are you doing to address the societal and financial barriers to that!! your fancy DNA test to detect cancer early is neato and all but can everyone afford it!!!”
and i get it. sometimes we as scientists and doctors can’t really have control over this (money has to come from somewhere, and we all have mouths to feed). but as a society, a community of people who can care for others, there are things we can do: raise minimum wage. have better employee benefits like more personal time off (to go to clinics). expand public transportation. have affordable universal healthcare. aliquot more government spending on scientific research to offset costs. promote neighborhood gardens, parks, better infrastructure (without gentrification). end the cycle of poverty and crime by means other than prison (like reaching out and understanding mental health needs, improving public education, etc). basically make the fundamental changes to society so the downstream effect is that people can realistically afford positive impacts to their health.
bottomline: we can’t hope to prevent or cure cancer–or any other disease–until we address affordability and accessibility. a new diagnostic test is sweet and all, but it does absolutely nothing if it can’t actually help people.
I am currently enrolled in Economic Demography and Economic Development, so I’ll probably be posting things from those classes with a few things from other places sprinkled in. I’m currently studying for an Economic Development midterm, so I’ll throw in some questions in between hardcore study sessions.
On a side note, a lot of my Econ Development topics will come from four books we are reading in class: End of Poverty (Sachs), Bottom Billion (Collier), White Man’s Burden (Easterly), and the Mystery of Capital (de Soto)