Thoughts on Bravery

I’ve had several people now tell me they think I’m brave. Most recently, a professor and mentor who was also somewhat of a surrogate maternal figure when I was in college. I never honestly know how to feel about such pronouncements, and my initial emotional response is that of denial mixed with gratitude. Objectively, to […]

Leelah Alcorn and LGBTQ Teenage Suicide

Perhaps I’m cynical, but sometimes it feels like there’s a cycle. One or more LGBTQ teens kill themselves, the media has their heyday, people get up in arms for a few weeks, and then we all return to our lives. Until the news cycle catches wind of another heart wrenching story.

Nothing, however, ever really changes. Or the changes don’t ripple far enough to save troubled teens like Leelah. This article by Mintpress News compares the rash of deaths of transgender individuals to a genocide, highlighting its rampant and violent nature.

Every year we celebrate the Transgender Day of Remembrance, but does the list of names ever really get smaller? And that list doesn’t take into account the transgender individuals whose lives were lost due to violence against themselves, like Leelah’s.

Surviving Abuse

I have a lot of complicated emotions surrounding the coverage of Leelah Alcorn’s suicide in the media. I’m not transgender, but I am queer and the child of conservative Christian parents who did not deal well with my coming out. They cornered me in my room and wouldn’t let me leave. They threatened to turn […]

You Should Know

I know I cannot speak for everyone; perhaps some who attempt or complete suicide don’t care. All that follows is based on my own experience. But I feel it is important to break the silence in this instance, to come out against the myth that suicide equals not caring for one reason: I know I did. I wish I could express how deeply and profoundly it’s possible to care. I wish I had words for the guilt compounding already unbearable pain and desperation.

For those who are grieving over the loss of a loved one to suicide, I want to say I feel sure they loved you very much. I am sure the thought of you kept them going for many days, weeks, or months longer than they would have otherwise. They also knew you loved them, and there is nothing you could have said or done to stop them. But love isn’t always enough.