A Post Called "Sorry" That Looked Like "I Love You"

Because I am nothing if not a philanthropist, I read this vile story attempting to silence the story of trans suicides so that you don't have to. The link I provided is also through DoNotLink so if you click it, you're not giving that trash any traffic. Again with the philanthropy, I know. Screen Shot 2015-01-04 at 7.06.25 AM Sarah Ditum, a notoriously transphobic and whorephobic writer, attempts to make a case against sharing the suicide note that Leelah Alcorn posted on her Tumblr account because of ethics in journalism that might give trans kids ideas about killing themselves.  There is an exquisite take down of her piece at The Daily Beast here. If you don't have time to read that, the gist is: TRANS PEOPLE ALREADY HAVE THAT IDEA IN HUGE FUCKING NUMBERS AND POINTING IT OUT IN NATIONAL MEDIA IS FUCKING CRITICAL TO PREVENT OUR STATUS QUO OF VIOLENT TRANSPHOBIA FROM CONTINUING UNCHALLENGED, YOU WICKED TROLL. UGH. More eloquent at the link, but you get the idea.

So, let's take a look at the stats about suicide rates by age overall and the rate of attempts by trans kids:

Trans vs Grown Ups

Even though young people have the lowest rates of suicide by a large margin, half of trans kids have attempted by age 20. Now, I am not a medical professional (I'm a philanthropist, remember?) but that is what I'd call "epidemic proportions." Sharing Leelah's suicide note is about drawing attention to the suffering experienced by trans kids who face relentless physical and rhetorical violence and cannot even escape it from their own parents.

Though lots of media outlets botched the shit out of this story, it  spawned the hashtag #reallivetransadult used by trans men and women to share messages of hope with isolated and suicidal trans youth that there is hope for finding peace, love, and acceptance even in a world mired in hatred and distrust for trans people.

But because nothing will bring out the worst in a social media platform quite like the death of a trans child, it appears that Tumblr has removed Leelah's entire account. Fortunately, the internet can be a sneaky goddess for good from time to time and several mirror sites now exist so she doesn't get erased as so many like Sarah Ditum would like her to.

But chances are, you've seen her suicid note already so I'm not sharing it here. But I am sharing Leelah's last note which has received substantially less attention. There was a post right after that note, a message to what appears to be siblings and friends:

Screen Shot 2015-01-04 at 8.10.26 AM

Even in pain excruciating enough to move her to suicide, Leelah took the time to make her last message one of love for people that had shown her love. She predicted good futures for them and expressed her gratitude for their support of her.   And no matter how many times people like Sarah Ditum tries to shut down stories of what trans people face, there will still be kids like Amanda, Tiffany, Justin, Rylan, and Abby who are alive and who, despite the odds stacked against them being decent toward her, showed Leelad love and care in a world that had taught them to hate her. And kids that have seen someone they love destroyed by hatred and grief are a lot harder to shut down than Tumblr accounts.