Your Voice Your Vote 2024

Live results
Last Updated: May 21, 7:03:10PM ET

Transgender Crisis and Suicide Prevention Hotline Receives Record Number of Calls After Election

Trans people are fearing setbacks and "more discrimination" than ever.

November 10, 2016, 7:58 PM

— -- Trans Lifeline, a 24/7 crisis and suicide prevention hotline by and for the transgender community, has received "a record number of calls" following Election Day and news of Donald Trump winning the presidency.

"We had more calls during election night and the day after than in all of November of last year," said Greta Martela, Trans Lifeline's co-founder and executive director.

In past 24 hours alone, the hotline has received 542 calls from "trans people in crisis, including many suicidal people," Martela told ABC News Thursday afternoon. She said that Trans Lifeline was only able to answer 187 of the 542 calls because of a lack of staff "to handle the overwhelming and alarming volume of calls."

Based in San Francisco, Trans Lifeline has volunteer crisis counselors across the U.S.

People calling in "are concerned about a lot of things after this election," Martela said. "It's already a difficult time to be living as a trans person, and now it's just going to get worse."

Here's a closer look at what trans people are most concerned about following Trump's election to presidency:

'More Discrimination, More Harassment and More Violence Than Ever'

Martela, who is trans herself, told ABC News today that "trans people already face blatant discrimination and harassment on a daily basis," but many fear Trump's "hateful campaign and rhetoric" could stir "more discrimination, more harassment and more violence than ever."

She noted that this year is the "deadliest on record for trans people" -- citing the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), which tracks reported killings of transgender and gender non-conforming people in the U.S.

The NCAVP announced the 23rd reported killing of a transgender or gender non-conforming person on Tuesday. It also noted that this year's number of reported killings had now surpassed last year's total of 22 reported killings of transgender and gender-nonconforming people -- the most it had ever recorded until now.

"We're scared these numbers could go up," Martela said.

The "most dangerous thing" about Trump "is his tone and his hateful words," added Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE).

"We know from historical precedence and human psychology that if he doesn't change his sense of humanity quickly and dramatically, he is going to -- whether intentionally or not -- encourage a lot of dangerous behavior," Keisling told ABC News today.

Losing Access to 'Affordable Healthcare'

Martela told ABC News that a lot of trans people have called with concerns about losing access to "affordable trans healthcare," including hormone replacement therapy, gender-affirming surgery and mental health treatment.

"A lot of people have been able to afford and get access to trans healthcare through the Affordable Care Act," she said. "And now Trump just wants to take that away."

Trump has said he plans on repealing and replacing Obamacare,expanding health savings accounts and allowing the purchase of health care across state lines.

Trouble Having Gender Identity or Name Legally Recognized

There is currently a social media movement to help trans people get legal help to change their names and listed gender/sex on official documents due to fears they might not be able to do so under Trump's administration, according to Kris Hayashi, executive director of the Transgender Law Center.

Using the hashtag #TransLegalHelp, lawyers are offering free help to trans people who want to make sure their identity is legally recognized before Trump steps into office as president, Hayashi told ABC News today.

Setbacks and Removal of Existing Protections

Martela said she believed that Trump could try to "undo decades of progress the LGBTQ community has made."

Though Trump has not released a specific policy plan on LGBTQ+ rights, he has said he wants to "terminate every single unconstitutional executive order signed by President Obama."

In 2014, Obama signed an executive order prohibiting anti-LGBTQ workplace discrimination among federal contractors.

Keisling added that Trump's attacks against other groups of people will also affect the trans community.

"He is anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, anti-people-of-color and so proudly so and trans people can be Muslims, can be immigrants and can be people of color," she explained.

Despite a long list of concerns and fears, Keisling said she believed the trans community would be "resilient and continue to fight."

"We will do everything we can to take care of each other and keep each other safe, especially those among us who are most vulnerable," she said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Over the last two decades, we have made faster progress than any movement in American history," Keisling added. "The progress has come through supportive and unsupportive presidents because we always fight. Transgender people will fight to show the people in their lives who we are. We will fight to show America who we are. We will fight to protect our children. We will fight against attacks on any community. We will fight to advance justice, and we will fight hard to defend every single advance we have made. We simply will not stop fighting."