A Santa Rosa, California, physician was found dead in her home September 30, 2013. She was 53.
Danielle Kaufman, M.D., a blogger for the Huffington Post, Huffpost Gay Voice, wrote about her feelings and difficulties as a transgender. Sadly, she took her own life.
Her former wife, Cathy Kaufman, wrote a moving tribute to Danielle that you can read at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cathy-kaufman/my-life-with-david-danielle-kaufman_b_4072395.html.
But I wanted to talk about transgender suicide. We see within the transgender population depression is just a simple footnote while hormones and surgery remain the headline.
Cathy writes about an occasion when they were married, "One day, he came home and told me that he had just been standing on the top of the hospital building, trying hard not to jump. Although I'd been with him for nine years, I'd had no idea that he had been taking antidepressants all that time. I'd also been unaware that he had attempted suicide twice before I met him, once in his teens and again in his 20s.”
It is just so heartbreaking to see depression is not treated as the most important unresolved issue within the transgender population. Your typical transgender will endure hours of laser hair/whisker removal and engage in painful facial reconstruction surgery and all the other trappings of a gender change. Yet they ignore what can kill them, depression.
Depression is a very serious disorder that should be taken far more seriously within the transgender community. By their own report, 40% of transgenders attempt suicide some time in their life. To me, that sounds deadly serious.
It is deeply regrettable to me this physician could not find help for her depression from the very transgender community she so ardently supported, advocated and even went public for. That is truly a sad footnote on a shortened life.
This occurs far too often.