Note: I first posted this to Facebook. Placed it here with links as a call to action.
I know a lot of trans people in my life, and in the past year, I had to convince several of them to please stay alive. At least two of them were unsuccessful in attempts. This terrifies me, and yet at the same time, I can understand their pain and fear and frustration. It’s hard to see the worth in living in a society like ours.
Society treats us like we’re garbage. There has been numerous times where I’ve encountered people referring to me as an “it.” I’ve had death threats leveled against me. In an alarming amount of states, politicians are putting forth legislation that would make it harder for me to use public restrooms (if I can at all). Studies have shown that trans people have tremendously high rates of discrimination in health care, housing, employment, and are often in poverty. Since the start of this year in the US alone, nearly a dozen trans people have died — some murdered and some by suicide, and these are only the ones reported and found. It is hard to not feel like society is waging a war to destroy us.
Over 40% of trans people will have (or have) attempted suicide. Society tells us over and over that we are better off dead, that we shouldn’t exist, and even in our deaths, we are erased. Families often refusing to honor pronouns, burying us with the wrong names.
For all my trans friends out there, please know that you are loved. Yes, society treats us badly, but I care about you and I don’t want you to die. Please, stay alive with me and let’s build our safe space together.
And to my cisgender friends, please don’t sit on the sidelines. Please fight against society’s war on our bodies and identities — and please help remind us that life is worth living, that we are beautiful and worthy in our own rights, that are identities will be respected and honored, and that we do have hope for a better future.
I really want to believe that life can get better. That death isn’t our only option, and that someday we will live in a society that respects all trans people, affords us the care and dignity all should have, and doesn’t try to kill or vilify us. Please, you have to help us fix society.