There’s a post going around right now claiming that Trans Lifeline is a scam that exists to harm vulnerable trans youth. This is false, and much of the “evidence” is fabricated.
Much of it comes from a site called Kiwi Farms, which functions as a sort of base of operations for 4chan-style online harassment campaigns against marginalized and vulnerable people. Over the summer, Kiwi Farms launched a harassment and misinformation campaign intended to discredit Trans Lifeline. This included creating social media accounts to pose as trans people who’d had bad experiences with the lifeline and spread fabricated stories. (Notice that the Twitter account linked in the post is a bot that was only active for a few weeks in August, and that many of the other links go directly to Kiwi Farms.)
The line about the founder showing up at someone’s house refers her reaction to the harassment campaign: locating the person who runs Kiwi Farms and going to confront him in person. Her “vague threatening posts” were in response to being doxxed and having threats directed at her and her family.
Why don’t operators call 911? Because police responding to suicide-related 911 calls have a history of failing to deescalate situations and murdering marginalized people. A lot of trans people feel safer discussing suicidal thoughts with the assurance that they won’t have to deal with cops at their door.
Is Trans Lifeline unable to answer every call they receive? Yes. I’ve witnessed it happen. This is because Trans Lifeline is a small org struggling to fill a massive need for services, not because they’re all sitting around ignoring the phone. And I don’t doubt that some people have had bad experiences with Trans Lifeline operators. However, the project’s flaws result from a lack of resources – which is why they’re fundraising to hire more staff and provide better training for volunteers.
And about their post-election day blog post? They’ve since updated it to read “rumors that eight or more trans folks died” in light of the information that the list may have been fabricated.
Stop spreading misinformation, especially when lives could be at stake.
holy fuck yea that post had almost every single link go to kiwifarms i feel like a complete ass for not checking before reblogging god damn
That post fell wrong/off to me, especially the “mentally ill people shouldnt be in charge of helplines” part and the part abt not calling emergency services. Im glad to get confirmation.
Trans Lifeline isn’t a scam.
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