The Straits Times recently gathered information about a unique segment of Singapore’s population—transgender people. According to the news source, there is a troubling prevalence of depression and suicidal thoughts among transgender individuals. Their mode of self-expression affects the way society views and treats these people; and that social stigma, along with other factors, contributes to the depression. Discover some of the challenges facing this group of Singapore citizens.

Understanding the Term “Transgender”

A transgender individual is someone who identifies with a gender other than the one they had at birth. For example, a baby boy may grow up into a teen who feels more like a female. A girl may reach womanhood but decide that the male gender is more in line with her thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Transgender individuals have to sort through many complex emotions and instincts about their sexuality and personality, and coming to a stable place of self-identity can be a long and painful process.

Assessing the Singapore Transgender Population

It’s difficult to know how many transgender people are living in Singapore. According to some international studies, about 1% of any nation’s population is transgender. In Singapore, many of those individuals can only be their true selves in private, for fear of social stigma and censure.

Living in Secret

Consider the case of 31-year-old Amanda Wee. She agreed to meet a journalist for the Straits Times and showed up neatly attired in pumps, makeup, and a black dress. Ms. Wee was born as a male, but she feels like a woman and plans to one day live her entire life as a female.
Ms. Wee’s parents know of the gender change, but they do not accept it or approve of it. Ms. Wee also faces censure from her faith community, since the Catholic church frowns upon the transgender lifestyle. So far, Ms. Wee has only found support from a sister and a few close friends. She struggles with two different lives— her public life as a male software designer and her private life as transgender woman.

Stepping Out of the Darkness

Being a part of the Straits Times new story allowed Ms. Wee to come out of hiding, to a certain extent. She wants other transgender people to find that kind of courage, especially if they are sinking into depression and contemplating suicide. Her plea to Singapore’s population is for gentleness and acceptance. “I hope… that people will think about the issues we face and be kinder,” she says.

Finding Help for Depression

If you or someone you know is transgender or is struggling with gender dysphoria or a gender identity crisis, don’t wait until the emotional and psychological pain becomes unbearable. There is always help and hope available and you will find it at Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic. It’s a safe place where you can be yourself and gain support and treatment for your emotions and depression. With counsel from some top Singapore psychiatrists, you can regain your full mental health and stand strong as your true self.

News Feed from Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic

Source: Straits Times, 21 November 2016