CW: I will be leaning heavily into MDD and SI as point examples. Please proceed with caution for you own well-being.Continue reading
I don’t do content warnings like I should. Sorry, I don’t always realise I ought to. I try to learn by example. People tag this post’s topic pretty consistently. I am not clear why, but I don’t have to be.
CW: SUICIDE & SUICDAL IDEATION. Also TRANSPHOBIA, and possibly HOMOPHOBIA
I actually spent two hours rambling about this topic. I lost focus, lost my point. In short I was me, and very ADHD, and very tired. But I saved that to pick bits from one day. I now realise what I want to say.
Hi, I don’t want to live.
This is, I want to make clear, not a suicide note. I fully intend to wake up in the morning. I might even be a bit put out if I don’t. What I won’t be is significantly upset if I don’t.
I have had suicidal ideation as long as I can remember. At least since I was eight. Constantly? At this point I honestly don’t really know. I have depression, it takes spoons … sometimes a lot of them … to simply get out of bed.
There have been times when I have been done. Living, for me, is exhausting. It used to be worse. I used to have negative spoons every time I got out of bed, every day. I … sometimes think I’m still in spoon debt. It might explain all the things I’m so blasé about, instead of lacking the spoons to deal I lack the spoons to give a fuck. It’s a theory.
I’m alive because of cats.
Let me back up.
I am transgender. I am a lesbian. I have always known. I didn’t always know quite what it was I knew, but it was there.
Gender dysphoria is hard. Harder still when it’s heaped up. Hardest with … bad representation. Negative stereotypes.
Do you think the girl who knew she was a girl even if she admitted it to know one, least of all herself, whose first crush was a girl in her kindergarten class didn’t get weighed down by the homophobia of the 1980s?
That was a kind of dysphoria too. If I don’t admit I’m a girl, I can’t be a lesbian!
It’s bad enough to have a wrong gender identity foisted on you at birth. Worse to enforce it, sometimes cruelly, at yourself. Do I mean “at”? That seems wrong, oh well.
Now add puberty.
I loathed myself. I wanted things that in retrospect would have been self-harm. Luckily I don’t care for pain.
As a teen I knew what I was: I was a woman’s soul trapped in a man’s body. I was a prisoner of my own flesh.
I couldn’t change it! Thank you Jerry fucking Springer. Your fucking She-Make episodes were so godsdamned uplifting.
I wanted to die. I needed to die. I needed to get this life over with so I wouldn’t be trapped in this body in this hideous, grotesque shell. This prison, this terrible lie, this travesty, this vile horrid hateful mistake.
I … tried isn’t the word. But I tested the sharpness of a knife I was sharpening against my wrists. If I had achieved an edge that broke the skin with gentle pressure? Easy, I would have found peace.
I … I wasn’t really in enough pain to want to die painfully or slowly. So while the knife could have, my resolve was just short. And I had Jennifer & Kissy. They wouldn’t understand, and they would miss me. I knew they would be okay, and well cared for, so it’s a really good thing I never got that knife to a razor’s keenness.
College was hard. I had no cats. I hated my school. I hated my life. And my dysphoria had no place to be but worse. I thought of so many ways. None felt right.
I met my wife, we hung out. I had a kind of happiness. Or I guessed it was. MDD, I gather, makes it hard to feel certain you’ve ever felt authentic joy instead of emulated, performative joy.
Life got hard dysphoria harder. I had cats again, but I was grieving one lost too young. And I was just so very tired. I was in such pain. I was a monster, a grotesque thing. Sex was wrong, pleasure was wrong. Sensation was wrong. My existence was wrong.
So many times, so many final straws. So many times the blade was to my skin be it figuratively or literally. So many times I stopped, sobbing, because what would happen to my kitties? So many times my wife stopped me, usually screaming at me that the cats would miss me and not understand.
I hated her, I resented her. I resented those cats. And I hated myself for thinking that. I loved them, damnit! But I didn’t want to, and I wasn’t sure I did because did I know how? Surely they didn’t actually love me anyway. How could they? Why would they? I was less than nothing. I was worthless. I was wrong, and broken, and hurting so much.
That went on. Eventually time claimed Tas first. By then we had Einie, a dog who adored Tas and who mourned that cat so much. Then Jackie went, Bella and Visit, especially Visit, were devastated. Einie was sad again. I was broken.
My health was so bad. Once I couldn’t gain weight if I tried. Occasionally I’d tried. I was gaining weight. I’d grown a beard because … really because I had nothing like enough spoons to shave it. The house was a mess and filthy because cleaning was just a waste of time and of my nonexistent energy.
I had had so many heartbreaks. Shannon had one definite miscarriage, maybe others. Tas, Jackie … Visit was shattered by Jackie dying and it … he mirrored me, really.
There’d been so much time spent just waiting for the end to come. For a proper chance. I was keeping my babies and wife off the streets and if not for that I would have given up. I was so far past ready to tap out. I couldn’t stand to see myself in a mirror,
In all of this I would have been willing to accept certain levels of pain in exchange for various degrees of immediacy, and efficacy.
Slow and lingering wasn’t on the menu.
An emergency landed me in hospital, emergency surgery.
While recovering I concluded something: I had had enough.
I had put up with living for 32 years and some. I was exhausted. So either I let go some burden, or I let go life. I could stop pretending I’m a man, or I could just not muck about with that whole turning 33 business.
For some reason I chose transition. Probably Einie, Visi, and Bella.
It’s funny but it’s like I had only so much ability to cope with dysphoria at a go. I started out just intending to social transition. Pronouns, clothes …
But once I wasn’t dysphoric there I had room to feel the pain my name caused. I changed it. My blood chemistry and body followed.
At this point I am dysphoric of the things that will never change. My voice, my inability to give birth, the lost childhood, the trauma and pain of my teens, the hellish misery of my 20s.
Not very long ago a bunch of muderers in the United Kingdom got their way. Puberty blockers, which were first being offered to trans kids right about my 10th – 12th ish birthdays give or take, were taken away.
I cried for a day. I was in a dark place I hadn’t been in awhile. I felt deeply for those kids because I had been them in ignorance, they know this stuff exists, but it was taken away!
I am not being hyperbolic: that judge, those people who pushed for this, those who celebrate it they 👏 are 👏 murderers. Full stop, no apologies, no caveats, nothing. If we will not hold them accountable for every single one of those kids who doesn’t make it through this and responsible for the effort against each one who does then I hope that there is some judgment awaiting them and I hope the gods do not have any mercy.
“Gender Critcals” or TERFS or whatever you wish to call them are bullies, and murderers. They treat transgender folks as gay & lesbian (into which bisexual was lumped because people are stupid but … just keep up) were in the 90s. Forced out of sport, denied entry, discrimination in schools. DADT, DOMA, Sec 28, etc? Bathroom & locker panics. “tHiNK oF thE ChIlDr3N!”, and more.
I once again am short of spoons. To see over much of their vitriol or to engage with them too far leaves me shaking. Not metaphor, not “emotionally shaken”, I am left quite literally trembling.
I once again am surrounded by politicians legislating my life out of existence. But instead of my human rights as a lesbian, my rights as a woman & to be respected + accepted as one.
Guess what? I am not in a good place most days. I’m not there, but I don’t know that I’m ever far away. I wonder if I can ever be far away.
So, they are murderers. Republicans? Centrists? TERFS? Anyone who wants regression or to keep the status quo or is an obstacle to substantive solutions are every single one of them solidly guilty of murder. Not manslaughter, murder. Maybe if you don’t like that word, then genocide? War crime, that. Though so is mass murder innit? Crimes against humanity?
Would I still want to die if capitalism was finally destroyed before sunrise today, and the gods made a gruesome example of those who spread hate and use lies to foment fear?
Yes, I think I would. I just might not be in any particular hurry. I’m to the point I am uncomfortable if my suicidal ideation is too quiet for too long. I’m just not me if I want to live … in a way. There’s a distinction between a longing for a genuine peace, and needing to find it right now
When you complain about diversity and representation, it’s real people you hurt. It’s real people you damage. It’s real people who die. I am someone’s daughter. I could have been yours. My parents are not some weird macrobiotic kale smoothie eating flakes or whatever your image of a transgender person’s parents may be. They’re from rural Iowa & small town Arkansas. They’re an army vet & a Walmart worker. Be mindful who you’re possibly harming.
When you voice hate, there are real people harmed. Those lies kill real living, feeling people. People who might be your child, spouse, nibling, or sibling, cousin, or best friend.
It’s hard enough growing up, ffs, don’t make it worse and don’t let your government either.
That title actually makes sense, just keep with me here.
SHUT THE FUCK UP ALREADY!
That feels better.
For the more articulate point.
These people are supposedly all about protecting families, especially children. Yet they are bound and determined to kill … untold hundreds, thousands, millions? of them. And I wish it were hyperbole, but it’s not. Literal death by violent attack, by suicide, or figurative death of spirit.
LGBTQIA… I think the Tumblr crowd has it up to 47 letters borrowing from Icelandic and Cyrillic these days, but these kids need to know what’s up.
Pre-school, kindergarden … as early as possible. I Am Jazz needs to be part of elementary curriculums and in every library across the world. There needs to be sexuality ones too, frankly.
Kids need to know that a transgender person isn’t this:
But rather, is this:
That the little boys don’t have to date/marry the little girls, and vice versa.
Kids are neither blank slates, nor do they exist and grow up in a vacuum, in a bubble, unless you force them into it (citation: look up the history of David Willis sometime … simple version: Joyce is, basically, him). They’ll have heard of homosexuality and transsexualism. And some versions are more hurtful than others.
Imagine, if you will, a child who knows there are “men” who “want to be women” who “get it cut off” … but that’s it. That’s all she knows of the medical advances of transgender treatment. Now, when she’s 8 and the fact that she has testes is starting to withdraw her into clinical degrees of shyness and self-consciousness she doesn’t know that, really, yes, she could be the girl she is and isn’t forced to be a boy. If she doesn’t know this, then she grows up, puberty has it’s horrible way, and … well this story can go one of two ways. For me, not so badly. I was blessed to look so feminine that even when I was trying so desperately to be male that I grew a big bloody Grizzly Freaking Adams beard people did double-takes when they’d see me in the men’s room but no one has ever given me a second glance in the ladies’. Or there are those for whom a mix of financial woes and biological ones … look a bit more like Martin dressed up as Shanaynay (hey, I grew up in the 80s and 90s and haven’t really watched much TV since 2002, what did you expect for a reference?).
Lesbian and gay … life’s getting better. Not great, no, but better for them. It’s no longer Hollywood Montrose everywhere you look for gay and lesbians are nowhere to be seen. Bi … somehow bi confuses some people, but all of the bi people I know seem to have a firm enough grasp on it I honestly don’t know if from their point of view it was bad and isn’t that people, in looking around for something to put down, haven’t started making it bad for them. I’ll leave this one alone because I can’t make heads nor tails out of what the hell happened with bi, or if it’s just another place where I’ve always lived in remarkably accepting circles.
Seriously, kids need to know this is okay. Because we’ve been doing the opposite for a long time and these kids suffer for it. The transkids … let’s just think of those statistics. Too many Leelah Alcorns. Kids need to know that, if they’re not feeling anything whatsoever for the opposite sex and are noticing how attractive their own sex is … this is a Thing and it’s not a Bad Thing and that maybe they shouldn’t try to force themselves into a relationship or a life of loneliness over it.
Seriously. Don’t come around talking about the sanctity of the family, and protecting children and all that other complete and total bullshit that every last one of these psychopathic, sociopathic, deranged assholes start spouting every time this matter comes up when you’re encouraging the kinds of environments that drive these kids to suicide, to madness, to self-hatred, and more. Don’t talk that kind of idiocy while applauding parents who disown their children. Don’t stick up for “morally righteous families” like the bloody Duggars.
These kids need to know about the world around them. The real world around them. They need protected, not … not whatever you call nearly a dozen US states suing President Obama and the Department of Education over their transgender guidance. Of states that ban discussion of LGB+ matters even in secondary school. Well, honestly, most of those states support “abstinence only sex ed” which has its own laundry list of stupidity.
In case it isn’t abundantly clear by this point, this is something I’m a bit passionate about. It’s a place where I’m looking around at my country, and at the world, being complete twats about something that shouldn’t be any sort of issue or controversy except that some loud mouthed jerks seem to get their flippin’ jollies off by finding someone they can get away with making the lives of miserable; by oppression if preference is offered.
Would I feel this way if I were neither lesbian nor trans? YES, I’m pretty well positive I would given that I felt this way even when I didn’t understand that I was … I mean when you spend the better part of three decades convinced you’re a straight man you maybe get a broader perspective on your own “what if” scenarios. I was as impassioned about it then as now, just with less … insight … given my own determined efforts to avoid seeing it on a personal level. But that too. How common was, and all too often still is, the story of someone not realising their gender or sexuality until adulthood? Until failed marriages and a life of serious depression? Thankfully less and less. The world is blessedly shifting toward a higher balance of Jazz Jennginses than Caitlyn Jenners.
Yeah, people are possibly going to want to say something harsh about “passing privilege”. All I’ll say about it is: yes it’s a matter now thanks to idiotic nonsense like HB2 in North Carolina, but by and large it’s something that just has to be considered moot. If someone with a full face of beard, wearing jeans and a flannel, can stand in the gents’ and have guys walk in and double check the door to make sure they went into the right one … it’s no use. Someone is going to mistake Barbie for a man and Thor for a woman because there’s just no telling what criterion people are going to use to decide a person’s gender visually. There are cis women with beards, and cis men with breasts. It happens. Yeah, it definitely makes life easier when people are less inclined to get it wrong, believe me, I understand and know that. But let’s stop talking about “passing privilege” and maybe focus on understanding and acceptance altogether from BOTH sides. There are, after all, some gender non-conforming people who bend gender to a breaking point and while that’s fine, let’s try to remember that you’re going to confuse people – give them a break – just as they should at least be civil enough not to start beating the shit out of you and screaming just because there’s a person in the ladies’ with facial hair doing nothing more than washing her hands.
I’m going to be late for work if I don’t force myself to stop venting and get dressed.
- Chris Matthews: “Where should Jennifer pee?” – Watch (slowlyboiledfrog.com)
- Whoopi Goldberg Producing Transgender Model Series for Oxygen (yahoo.com)
- Obama’s last great battle is in the bathroom (spectator.co.uk)
- Who Do You Fancy? (aanirfan.blogspot.com)
- Totally Jazzed: Bay Area Schools Host Reading of I am Jazz (hrc.org)
I’ve been thinking about Leelah Alcorn’s death and her suicide note a lot lately. There’re numerous reasons that hers would affect me in ways more personal than most … but they all come around to, that note resonated a little, uncomfortably, close to things I’ve thought or felt at various points. I, thank all the watching gods, have a wonderful family who is supportive and understanding of who I am and that led me to have … well, it’s why I’m able to be 33 and happy instead of the alternatives.
They’ve made me think long and hard about the way I tend to see the world and the people in it. I don’t know that Leelah was a bookworm. I don’t know, if she was, if she liked the sort of stories I write. It doesn’t matter, she’s gone from the world, but there’re others still here facing a struggle similar to her own – even the happy (or maybe I should say “happier“) ones.
I think, in our society, there’s an odd balance between the status known as celebrity (no matter how minor) and privacy. I think, too, that while we spend a lot of time trying to erode the privacy of some kinds of celebrity, we’re willing to provide virtual anonymity to others. To most people, for example, a writer – be it a columnist, a journalist, a novelist, a poet, a playwright, screenwriter, et al we tend to let those who wield quill and parchment all the reclusiveness she might crave and be content for her to be naught but a byline and maybe a short, uninformative bio at the back cover or last page of a book and one that neither the text nor photo of ever changes in the course of a 30 year career.
But in today’s world, with social media and everything else, we find ourselves able to interact on a quasi-personal level with those authors we love. Twitter, Facebook, Ello, and … okay, I’m not really big on the whole social media business so I’ve exhausted me list of interact-able venues. Well, Goodreads, somewhat and, of course, our blogs.
More and more authors are gaining a level of celebrity. We do start to learn about them as people. They suddenly do have a face. We know things about the lovely Ms Rowling, the quirky Mr King, and the hilarious Sir Pratchett that, maybe even 20 years ago we never would have.
There’ve ever been the ones who were very open, forward, and willing to share and interact with the world. I present as Exhibit A, the sweetest and most generous human I’ve ever had the pleasure to speak with: Mr Ed Greenwood. There’re so many wonderful stories from the early days of TSR of him at gaming cons being just the most personable “star” anyone’d ever met; like a bearded and jolly George Takei or James Doohan (the latter, I suppose was fairly jolly himself, now I think on it).
I’ve guarded my own privacy … well, there’re many ways one can use the phrase “guarded jealously”, and I feel rather like I might be justified in claiming more than one of them. In my own defense, I do not think in terms of caring who an author is as a person. I make an assumption that the photo of Dennis L McKiernan, in the back of my copy of Dragondoom, is actually him so I know he’s a) a him (or it’s a reasonable assumption) b) he’s bipedal c) humanoid d) apparently monochrome! e) incredibly young! (I’ve an OLD copy of the book). All I much know about him is he’s good, and I love his work. Then I realised, I do know more. Because of the internet I know that Mithgar grew out of his own pen & paper RPG sessions.
We can’t, I think, avoid learning bits and things about the people whose books we enjoy. Human curiosity and the internet work together to ensure we can learn more and we often go looking for it.
I’ve guarded my privacy because I didn’t want people to say they love or hate my work because of me, I wanted them to do so because of it. I wanted Lauren and Sally, Allison and Jake, all the rest, to be the role-models and to be judged by my skills and talent as a writer. I’ve said before, and I know it’s a real thing that people who know a book is by a woman, or a homosexual, or a 17′ tall rabid badger from Mississippi will buy it or reject it just because of that. It grates against my sensibilities. A person can have a wonderful library of diverse characters and tremendously wonderful role-models of setting and characters and every single last one of those works can be by rich, straight, white, ennobled, cisgender men. All it takes is for those authors to be empathetic, sensitive, thoughtful, imaginative, intuitive, creative, and talented story tellers. Exhibit B: John Scalzi. I can’t, to be honest, speak related directly to his novels, I’ve never read them (my wife has, but only one so she’s no help), but if his blog is any gauge …
That said … to hell with it. My own examples: Ed Greenwood, John Scalzi. I’ll add the likes of Neil Gaiman, Seanan McGuire, and Patrick Rothfuss … yeah, lot of those are SF/F authors, I told you that’s most of what I read. They all interact with the public. And I’m no recluse living in a cave with no social media accounts or ones only known about and accessed by some intern working for peanut butter and saltines.
I don’t follow their blogs. I don’t read them every day. But I do read an enjoy their blogs when the whim strikes me. I do get to know them as people. I’ve interacted with Ed Greenwood, mostly via Candlekeep.com, but I have. With the Takei’s … these days celebrity aren’t lofty, remote deities to be admired from afar.
I forget, too, I grew up in the 80s, and early 90s. I own (no, not past tense, I still have it) an 80286 with a 2400 baud modem. I’ve got floppy discs with Prodigy on it from before there was an internet for it to access. I’ve used BBSes, FIDONET, and IRC. I remember with ICQ was brand new, and Search.com was what Google is now. Maybe I see the world, sometimes, through the lenses of an 80s kid instead of a 21st century one. I’d have had virtually no way to know the sexuality or birth-assigned gender of a favourite author. I’d only know their race if the book had a photo, and I’d have their name (and said not-guaranteed-to-be-present photo) to guess their gender … but today that’s just not true. When books really make an impression on people it often includes the author becoming someone they might look up to. I’m no Maya Angelou, but … then again, early in her career … was she?
I plan to begin trying to write a for really real author bio for the places I’ve got my current silly one. I may miss one, please feel free to point this out to me, I’ll be very grateful. I may begin to include one, though probably a bit different, in my books. Certainly I’m going to be more open about myself from now on.
If my books had only 1/10 the sales figures I do, I might assume that too few people know I exist to actually care, but I have hit best seller charts. I have sold as many or more copies of Love or Lust than most first printings of a new author’s first book. I finally had to admit to myself, like it or not, a blog with some 500ish followers, a decent daily hit rate, etc. means I’m achieving some degree of notice and that translates to celebrity even if it is very minor. More bluntly, people know who I am, know what I wrote, and might be curious about me. Some of those people might be Leelahs, and I want them to know that it can (I won’t say does, that depends on factors both in and out of the individual’s control, but it undeniably can) get better. On the outside chance that there’s someone struggling with sexuality or gender identity or whatever who needs someone to look to for an example of that “can get better” business … I present myself.
I am Ms Jaye Em Edgelciff. I am a transsexual lesbian living in the Georgia in the United States and from the Ozarks part of Arkansas. I am happily married to a woman who I met in college, I have two ridiculously odd, but wonderful little kittens and a hyperactive (as in for the breed) black-mouth cur. I, sadly, do not have any children … yet. I’m 33, and my birthday is 8 July 1981. I’m an Army brat who never got to see too many places but I did get to live in San Antonio and Honolulu. I’m a geek, and always have been. Hard as it is, looking at the world today, but even if I’d known what I was as a little girl I could not have transitioned … it just wasn’t done back then. I didn’t know what I was, or why I felt the ways I did. I was awkward, I was shy, I was … I won’t say unhappy, as I had wonderful friends and a good family, but I was terribly depressed and had more than a few suicidal thoughts growing up. As a teenager I finally started to get words around how I felt … I clearly had spent many of my past lives as a woman and had made the exceedingly foolish choice to come back around as a man (or had done something awful and was being punished with a penis, in some of my more self-hating moments). Eventually I learned what transgender and transsexuality actually were (as opposed to the rather limited and skewed understanding I had under the term “sex change operation” where one envisions a guy going to get it cut off because he wants to be made into a woman … language matters, and connotation of sentence choice makes all the difference in the world).
With the help of hormones, and all the other fun things that go along with transitioning I am now a much happier, much more confident, much more me person than I was when I was young.
I don’t really write my books for myself. Joe doesn’t exist to represent me or what I am. Joe exists because, in the ficton of Now & Forever, Joe exists and is a transsexual man. Lauren and Sally don’t represent myself and my wife … the most we have in common is I’ve red hair and hazel eyes, but Lauren has those features because Lauren has those features … my own eye and hair colour are rather different shades from hers and while I’m fond of them, clearly I’m not so vain as to force them onto someone else. My stories are just for you to enjoy. If they have any social purpose, any moral reason then it’s is only to remind people that we are all of us people. To quote Stranger in a Strange Land, “thou art god, thou art goddess”. I write what I write and the characters I do because they had the story I loved enough I wanted to take the time to write it down and share it with you, and if that story happens to illustrate a point you can take away and maybe see the world differently then that’s a bonus. I read for pleasure and entertainment, I’m not about to write something with a purpose other than that; but I will admit there is a moral message that evolved as I wrote, but it was a pretty easy one … but it comes back to the Golden Rule which Bronson Alcott proved ages ago is so simple and obvious that 5 year old children are able to reverse engineer it with a little help from the Socratic method.
I do not feel that I am really all that interesting a person. There’s not a lot about myself to talk about. I enjoy cooking, though not much lately due to having an exceedingly tiny kitchen that makes cooking more a chore than a pleasure. I enjoy foods, especially sushi and pasta. I play video games, and board games, I love nature and hate cities. I’m quiet. I don’t get out a lot, but I also live somewhere that there’s nowhere to go if I wanted to get out. I’m average height, if a bit petite in build. I’m black, Cherokee, Irish, Dutch and German that I know of. I’m a distant cousin of George Straight and that’s about as exciting as my universe gets.
I’ve said before, it’s not because of what I am as far as sexuality and gender that are why I’m inclined to care about rights and equality. That’s just who I am. When I thought I was a straight white male I still felt this way. People don’t have to be LGBTQ or black or whatever to empathise and care and understand that equality matters. It also doesn’t require someone to be non-white, not-straight, and/or non-cis* to be discriminated against. White people experience racism in Hawaii, the natives are a little angry about the whole annexing the place at gun point (I’m simplifying the history, but really … Hawaii didn’t want to be a state, dirty pool was used to make it #50), in some forums of the internet there’re LGBTQ who can get just as mean or meaner to straight and cis who venture in there as they might assume that the hetero-cis would be … and maybe turn away a potential ally. Men can be feminist, and we do have unrealistic and harmful stereotypes about men just as we do for women; in short, they face their own brand of sexism and objectification … I think fewer of them seem to care, but it doesn’t change the fact it’s true. In short, you can be the king of flippin’ England and still care about ending sexism, ending anti-lgbt* nonsense, ending racism, etc. just because you take the few seconds to care and to remember:
What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.
- Parents, please remember that the most important thing any parent can do is to love and support who their child is. Please do not be Mrs Alcorn saying “we loved our son” when speaking of your trans* daughter who has died because of too many of that very statement; and please extrapolate down for the less extreme (and not-trans*) analogues to that statement.
- Kids … maybe you’re somewhere, right now, where you’re misunderstood and alone. Maybe you’ve parents who … maybe they’re confused but do love you, or maybe you’re right and they don’t … but if that’s the case they’re no parents; do what you must to be safe, but within that context be you. Do your best to get by, channel your sorrow and pain into determination to have the best schools all banging down your door for you to attend, or if you’re crafty/creative/musical/whatever … use your pain to fuel your exodus into somewhere accepting, tolerant, somewhere that you are at peace and happy. For the trans* kids, yes it is easiest to transition as a child, easier as a teen, but possible as an adult and hey … depending what aspect of it you’re talking about, it’s possibly been within your lifetime that transition was even possible for someone who wasn’t an adult. It can be okay, but you have to hang on long enough to let it do so, and you can’t just cross your fingers and wish for it to get better. The wishes that come true best are the ones you make true. Not every dream can come true. I won’t paint a fairy tale where every mom & dad eventually sees how foolish they were and accepts you for who you are, it happens so don’t give up hope, but if your dream is that … steel yourself that it might not happen, but the fun of the word ‘might not happen’ is it contains the caveat of ‘could happen’. Family has a number of meanings. My wife has little to do with her blood family for a laundry list of reasons, not all of it, but a fair chunk. Her family is, mostly now, mine. You can control your destiny, somewhat, if you give yourself the chance to do it.
And … depression is real. It’s serious. Life can be roses, unicorns, sunshine, and bunnies cuddling and you still hate the world and want to die. I know this, first hand I know this. If you can work through it yourself, fine. But I know that nothing I say will make that pain and those thoughts go away, that’ll take the right help and what that is varies from person to person. Need someone to talk to? Suicide hotlines exist in droves, contact me if you like, friend, pastor, cousin, dog, cat, tree, or rock. Maybe you need someone to care about … of all things, one of the biggest reasons I’m still alive is that I’ve always had cats and I’ve always loved them too much to leave them. Maybe you straight up need meds; fun part is, a competent doctor might recognise (for the trans* I mean, obviously this won’t help for anyone else) your issue and help you get your parents to help you transition … you really are a boy/girl trapped in a girl/boy body and your brain craves the correct hormones and your body isn’t making enough. Everyone else AND some of the trans* folks … sometimes you need anti-depressants, St John’s Wort, Prozac, or whatever. Do what you must and can to make that better, it’ll make the rest of life a lot easier.
There. Now you know me, sort of. If this helps one person, it’s worth it for the loss of privacy and for the loss of that barrier between people judging my work through the lends of who and what I am instead of by simply looking at the page. Because life is far more precious than any of that nonsense.
I’m going to sticky this until I can get ’round to working out what to say in my bio. So please don’t forget to scroll down to see if there’re any new posts made after this.
The world is a far lesser place without the laughter and joy he has brought to so very many souls in his life.
Depression is no joke. It can blind one to just how much you mean to others and leaves you feeling worthless even when you might be one of the most precious people of an age. True, a lot of us never knew Robin well, but what if he knew how his death would affect the world … would he still have? Maybe, it’s hard to say. We don’t know what in his life was such a tragedy to him – the sad thing about depression is, there doesn’t even have to be.
Still, perhaps he’ll be making the world a better place even now as he brings laughter and joy to the gods and heavens instead.
If you’re feeling a bit down yourself, find someone to talk to. You may just find there’s something to live for. Never underestimate the restorative powers of a pet, either.
For those in the US try this: http://www.suicide.org/suicide-hotlines.html
For those in other countries, I’m sorry, but Google was being rather Amero-centric and its typical unhelpful self. Please, put the revolver or sleeping pills down and take a few seconds to find your equivocal, or go find a priest, any priest, or just hold a purring cat … something.
- Robin Williams Lived (sarahgriffithlund.com)
- Robin Williams Dead Of Apparent Suicide (4umf.com)
- Farewell Robin Williams (nerdist.com)
- Coroner Suspects Robin Williams Death ‘To Be A Suicide Due To Asphyxia’ – Read The Police Report (radaronline.com)
- Robin Williams dies at 63 – Suspected Suicide (patriotrising.com)