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Trans crisis hotline gets four-times more calls since memo leak

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According to Trans Lifeline, the number of calls coming into their crises center have quadrupled since the New York Times printed a story about an alleged memo that proposes to erase transgender individuals from society. 

LGBTQ Nation reports that the trans-led organization posted about the increase on Instagram. They say first-time callers also doubled.

The article in question titled "Trump Administration Eyes Defining Transgender Out of Existence" was published on October 20, causing activists and allies all over the country to mobilize in protest. 

Reportedly written by Health and Human Services Department, the memo proposes to only define a person's gender by what they were assigned at birth. anyone contesting that assignment would have to submit to a DNA test. 

Speaking with Teen Vogue, Trans Lifeline Executive Director Sam Ames said,  "At Trans Lifeline we are able see in real time that policy debates don’t take place in a vacuum — they have direct and immediate impacts on real lives.” 

Ames adds, “Since the HHS memo was leaked, the number of calls to our crisis hotline has more than quadrupled, doubling the number of new callers who have never needed to access our services before. This is bad news, but it isn’t new news.”

Massachusetts has seen an unusual influx of calls as well due to a referendum on transgender rights headed to the polls next week.  “Playing politics with civil rights of a vulnerable population has consequences. But moments like this are exactly why Trans Lifeline exists,” Ames said.

Here in San Diego trans activist Connor Maddocks said last week he stands with all his brothers and sisters who are the targets of the memo. 

"YOU cannot get rid of us Mr. 45. We are Strong, Relentless, Passionate people who will not bend to you," Maddocks said. "We resist so we can continue to fight your tyranny. Rise up my siblings, the fight is on. First step is to vote, everyone needs to vote this year. No excuses."

Trans Lifeline’s number is 1-877-565-8860.

The San Diego LGBT Community Center can be reached at (619) 692-2077