As the son of a Holocaust survivor, I’ve always been an activist for people who have been persecuted. I was brought up with a heightened awareness of the harm that being perceived as different can cause. Through my music and influence, I want to demonstrate the importance of acceptance and understanding.
Transgender people often lack a support system and are more likely to be fired or bullied, to experience difficulties and have a much higher suicide rate. I, for one, will not stand for it and I hope people will unite with me against this injustice. Certain LGBT organizations provide critical support services to the transgender community to help prevent suicide, and I’m determined to help them in doing this.
When the president of my own record label, Peaceman Music, Laura Ford (formerly Lawrence Ford), informed me that 41 percent of all transgendered people attempt suicide, I decided they needed my help the most.
Some additional statistics on transgender issues:
- The transgender murder rate is at a historic high
- 41% of transgender people have attempted suicide (compared with 1.6% in the general population)
- Transgender households are more than 4 times as likely to have a household income of $10,000 or under, and are unemployed more than twice the rate of the general population
- 20% of transgender people say they’ve been homeless. More than half reported being assaulted by residents and staff at homeless shelters.
- 19% of transgender people reported they have been refused medical care due to their gender status, with higher numbers for people of color. 28% said they have been harassed in a medical setting.
- 25% of transgendered people reported losing a job because of their gender and 90% have experienced discrimination at work.
There are several organizations and initiatives that provide resources and support for transgender people and transgender issues:
1. National Center for Transgender Equality www.transequality.org
The National Center for Transgender Equality is the nation’s leading social justice advocacy organization winning life-saving change for transgender people. NCTE was founded by transgender activists who recognized the urgent need for policy change and set out to provide a powerful transgender advocacy presence in Washington, D.C.
2. The Trevor Project www.thetrevorproject.org
The leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ young people, aged 13-24. The Trevor Lifeline: 1-866-488-7386
3. Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) www.glaad.org/transgender
GLAAD works with print, broadcast and online news sources to bring people powerful stories from the LGBT community that build support for equality. GLAAD also works closely with transgender people and transgender advocacy groups to raise awareness about transgender issues. GLAAD provides free media trainings to empower transgender people to share their stories.
4. Trans Student Educational Resources (TSER} www.transstudent.org
TSER is a youth-led organization dedicated to transforming the educational environment for trans and gender nonconforming students through advocacy and empowerment.
5. Trans Youth Equality Foundation www.transyouthequality.org
The Trans Youth Equality Foundation provides education, advocacy, and support for transgender children, youth, and their families. Their mission is to share information about the unique needs of this community, partnering with families, educators, and service providers to help foster a healthy, caring, and safe environment for all transgender children.
6. Trans Youth Family Allies www.imatyfa.org
TYFA empowers children and families by partnering with educators, service providers and communities, to develop supportive environments in which gender may be expressed and respected. L TYFA’s vision is to create a society free of suicide and violence in which ALL children are respected and celebrated.
7. Anti-Defamation League (ADL) www.adl.org
ADL’s A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute is a leader in developing anti-bullying and anti-cyberbullying training, curriculum and resources for youth, educators, youth providers and adult family members.
8. The It Gets Better Project www.itgetsbetter.org
Its mission is to communicate to LGBT youth that it gets better, and to create and inspire changes needed to make it better for them.
9. Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) www.glsen.org
GLSEN is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. GLSEN works to ensure that LGBT students are able to learn and grow in a school environment free from bullying and harassment.
10. Gender Spectrum www.genderspectrum.org
Gender Spectrum provides consultation, training and events designed to help families, educators, professionals, and organizations understand and address the concepts of gender identity and expression, enabling clients to gain a deeper understanding of gender all along the spectrum. Gender Spectrum provides an overview of how society currently defines gender and how these restrictive definitions can be detrimental to those who do not fit neatly into these categories. They then help one identify and remove the obstacles so all are free to be their authentic selves.
11. Hetrick Martin Institute (HMI) www.hmi.org
HMI believes all young people, regardless of sexual orientation or identity, deserve a safe and supportive environment in which to achieve their full potential for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth aged 13-24 and their families. Through a comprehensive package of direct services and referrals, HMI seeks to foster healthy youth development. HMI uses its expertise to create innovative programs that other organizations may use as models.
12. Transgender Foundation of America www.tgctr.org
13. Bridg-It www.bridgit.com
Bridg-it partners with schools, communities and organizations to address bullying and harassment with comprehensive and compliant solutions that cultivate safe, positive environments. Bridg-it addresses community conflict through its comprehensive Report, Review, Resolve process.
KISS ALL THE BULLIES GOODBYE
The music video for Sir Ivan’s anti-bullying song “Kiss All The Bullies Goodbye” shows the story of a transgendered teen being bullied. Sir Ivan is donating the net proceeds from video views, song streams and downloads of this song to several important anti-bullying organizations, including The Trevor Project, GLAAD, ADL and the It Gets Better Project.
Kiss All The Bullies Goodbye feat. Taylor Dayne (Paul Oakenfold Original Mix)