Transgender youths allowed to use their chosen names at home, work and school have lower risk of depression and suicide, according to research at UT Austin. The study was published in March in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
“Many kids who are transgender have chosen a name that is different than the one that they were given at birth,” says author Stephen T. Russell, professor and chair of human development and family science. “We showed that the more contexts or settings where they were able to use their preferred name, the stronger their mental health was.”
Compared with peers who couldn’t use their chosen name, young people who could use their name experienced 71 percent fewer symptoms of severe depression, a 34 percent decrease in thoughts of suicide and a 65 percent decrease in suicidal attempts.