MY BANDANA PROJECT
My Bandana Project is meant as a way to provide hope for transgender and gender diverse people who are considering ending their life. This simple project endeavors to provide any trans* person who has been thinking about ending their life with means of hope for tomorrow. Every trans* person who would like a bandana will be mailed one with the following directions:
1. Tie the bandana around one of your ankles each day as you get dressed.
2. Take a photo of the bandana and send it to a friend or loved one via text or email.
3. Make the commitment that in taking these steps, that today you will not hurt yourself, you will not end your own life.
4. After sending the photo, delete the image from your phone and start with a new photo the following day.
5. Ask the person to whom you send the photo to check on your well-being if they do not get the text or email by a certain time of day (ideally the same time each day).
For any who are willing, please send a photo to be added to the online collection of trans* and gender diverse people who are committing to healthy living. In addition to the instructions, there will be a list of trans* affirmative suicide prevention resources.
The statistics about suicide, suicide attempts, and suicidality for trans* and gender diverse people are staggering. Suicidality is complicated for gender diverse people by the fact that they face myriad challenges in daily life.
● Lack of recognition from family and co-workers
● Lack of safety in the workplace
● Lack of protection from laws and institutional policies
● Disparities in access to competent health care
● Undue intrusion about personal matters from relative strangers
● Cultural norms and expectations that reinforce the gender binary
Suicide is a very serious matter that impacts most people’s lives, though not always directly. However, for trans* and gender diverse people, simply learning that another trans* person has completed suicide can be an insurmountable emotional blow.