Monday, January 5, 2015

Defining who we are Pt. Vll: A Cry for Us to Fix Society Now!!!

By Sabrina Samone, TMP

We often hear of the struggles that Trans kids face in school. The majority of us who are Trans know to some degree, but others seem to face unusual obstacles. While there are successful Trans kids being accepted by family, schools and friends there are more often horror stories that we hear about. The most recent was the horrific suicide of Leelah Alcorn, a 17 year old trans kid who was forced to undergo a type of conversion therapy often put on by psychotic fundamentalists.

This is not the first I've heard of conversion therapy. In fact, 3 years ago the Pfox group held a former trans-female roommate of mine as it's transgender spokesperson. The testimonies were full of a life as Transgender being the cause of drug addiction etc. The truth was that Darrell, my roommate, came from an emotionally abusive home not unlike Leelah. Kicked out of high school due to drug addiction and mental issues, Darrell did not start the process of becoming transgender until well into her/his thirties. I will also state that not once did she undergo any type of psychiatric or medical care for her transition, all hormone therapy was received black market. She was down and out, or had hit rock bottom as the saying goes when she discovered Pfox. They gave her money, clothing etc., to undergo de-transition, then plastered her all over their websites and pamphlets as a spokesperson for a changed trans. She even tried recruiting me back in 2005 by sending me all their information. I knew the truth of who she was, the self hate that was there long before ideas of transitioning and knew she was the type of person always in search for some answer but never knowing the question. The latest update unfortunately is not pleasant, she is currently back at rock bottom. While Pfox addressed her issues as a transgender the real mental problems were never addressed; addiction, therefore her story has yet to improve just wasted years by Pfox executives.

Transgender  is also known as “Gender dysphoria” which is defined as “clinically significant distress” arising in people whose gender assigned at birth differs from the one with which they identify. It is medically treated with a near 100% success rate. Young Leelah was one of those candidates; born as male, she identified as a girl from an early age.  According to her suicide note, Alcorn had felt "like a girl trapped in a boy's body" since she was four, and came to identify as a transgender female at the age of fourteen. When she told her mother that she was transgender, her mother, reacted "extremely negatively" by telling her that it was only a phase and that since God had made her a male she could never be a woman.

The old saying 'God didn't make any mistakes" is the only and most common defense used by bigots. Not for once considering the fact someone is transgender and must walk in those shoes, is in fact part of God's plan. Those and many others have wrongfully turned millions of LGBT people away from God. I know I'm correct when I say to any preacher that does this; turning someone from God is one of the most vial of all sins.

The death of Leelah has sparked an outrage that seems all of a sudden to mainstream society but a rage that has been boiling in the Trans community for decades. A rage that as many reports monitoring social media, is not going away. Countless pages in support of Leelah have been created along with petitions to legally end conversion therapy. Conversion therapy is the electric shock treatments of our day. A cruel and monstrous way of falsely treating people by clinicians and clergy with zero expertise in a field.

One of the biggest demands from young Leelah, I feel, was a direct request from her to her peers. Every Trans-woman and man, democrat or republican, white or black, American or otherwise to, "Fix it. Fix Society." It is a call to all of us to live visibly and proudly so others like her may have hope. It's a call from her for us, to consider giving back to our community and make life easier for the trans* one person at a time. It's a call to give up the redundant hierarchy of Trans society that expels anyone that does not fit into 'its personal' ideas of being Trans. It's a call to put aside the racist, supremacist behavior of so many within our community. It's a call to stop alienating the Trans porn star or sex worker; accept their past contributions and help fight to take back the power of their bodies and put the power back into their hands. It's a call for the trans sex worker to give up a world of 'it's all about me' and see there are brothers and sisters that need you. Do not let her death be in vain...accept what fate is screaming at us...a call for all Trans people to unite...stand tall...hand in hand to be a force that the world MUST take notice and reckon with.



FIX SOCIETY, Leelah Alcorn's last words.
If you are reading this, it means that I have committed suicide and obviously failed to delete this post from my queue.
Please don’t be sad, it’s for the better. The life I would’ve lived isn’t worth living in … because I’m transgender. I could go into detail explaining why I feel that way, but this note is probably going to be lengthy enough as it is. To put it simply, I feel like a girl trapped in a boy’s body, and I’ve felt that way ever since I was 4. I never knew there was a word for that feeling, nor was it possible for a boy to become a girl, so I never told anyone and I just continued to do traditionally “boyish” things to try to fit in.
When I was 14, I learned what transgender meant and cried of happiness. After 10 years of confusion I finally understood who I was. I immediately told my mom, and she reacted extremely negatively, telling me that it was a phase, that I would never truly be a girl, that God doesn’t make mistakes, that I am wrong. If you are reading this, parents, please don’t tell this to your kids. Even if you are Christian or are against transgender people don’t ever say that to someone, especially your kid. That won’t do anything but make them hate them self. That’s exactly what it did to me.
My mom started taking me to a therapist, but would only take me to Christian therapists, (who were all very biased) so I never actually got the therapy I needed to cure me of my depression. I only got more Christians telling me that I was selfish and wrong and that I should look to God for help.
When I was 16 I realized that my parents would never come around, and that I would have to wait until I was 18 to start any sort of transitioning treatment, which absolutely broke my heart. The longer you wait, the harder it is to transition. I felt hopeless, that I was just going to look like a man in drag for the rest of my life. On my 16th birthday, when I didn’t receive consent from my parents to start transitioning, I cried myself to sleep.
I formed a sort of a “fuck you” attitude towards my parents and came out as gay at school, thinking that maybe if I eased into coming out as trans it would be less of a shock. Although the reaction from my friends was positive, my parents were pissed. They felt like I was attacking their image, and that I was an embarrassment to them. They wanted me to be their perfect little straight Christian boy, and that’s obviously not what I wanted.
So they took me out of public school, took away my laptop and phone, and forbid me of getting on any sort of social media, completely isolating me from my friends. This was probably the part of my
life when I was the most depressed, and I’m surprised I didn’t kill myself. I was completely alone for 5 months. No friends, no support, no love. Just my parent’s disappointment and the cruelty of loneliness.
At the end of the school year, my parents finally came around and gave me my phone and let me back on social media. I was excited, I finally had my friends back. They were extremely excited to see me and talk to me, but only at first. Eventually they realized they didn’t actually give a shit about me, and I felt even lonelier than I did before. The only friends I thought I had only liked me because they saw me five times a week.
After a summer of having almost no friends plus the weight of having to think about college, save money for moving out, keep my grades up, go to church each week and feel like shit because everyone there is against everything I live for, I have decided I’ve had enough. I’m never going to transition successfully, even when I move out. I’m never going to be happy with the way I look or sound. I’m never going to have enough friends to satisfy me. I’m never going to have enough love to satisfy me. I’m never going to find a man who loves me. I’m never going to be happy. Either I live the rest of my life as a lonely man who wishes he were a woman or I live my life as a lonelier woman who hates herself. There’s no winning. There’s no way out. I’m sad enough already, I don’t need my life to get any worse. People say “it gets better” but that isn’t true in my case. It gets worse. Each day I get worse.
That’s the gist of it, that’s why I feel like killing myself. Sorry if that’s not a good enough reason for you, it’s good enough for me. As for my will, I want 100% of the things that I legally own to be sold and the money (plus my money in the bank) to be given to trans civil rights movements and support groups, I don’t give a shit which one. The only way I will rest in peace is if one day transgender people aren’t treated the way I was, they’re treated like humans, with valid feelings and human rights. Gender needs to be taught about in schools, the earlier the better. My death needs to mean something. My death needs to be counted in the number of transgender people who commit suicide this year. I want someone to look at that number and say “that’s fucked up” and fix it. Fix society.

A recent study by; a national school climate survey states that 55% of lgbt youth felt unsafe at school.

School Safety
• 55.5% of LGBT students felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation, and 37.8% because

of their gender expression.

• 30.3% of LGBT students missed at least one entire day of school in the past month because they felt

unsafe or uncomfortable, and over a tenth (10.6%) missed four or more days in the past month.

• Over a third avoided gender-segregated spaces in school because they felt unsafe or uncomfortable

(bathrooms: 35.4%, locker rooms: 35.3%).

• Most reported avoiding school functions and extracurricular activities (68.1% and 61.2%, respectively)

because they felt unsafe or uncomfortable.
 Many Transgender people have attempted suicide at some point in their lives. Here are some helpful tools for anyone feeling alone or anyone you may know of.

Suicide Warning Signs

People who kill themselves exhibit one or more warning signs, either through what they say or what they do. The more warning signs, the greater the risk.

If a person talks about:
  • Killing themselves.
  • Having no reason to live.
  • Being a burden to others.
  • Feeling trapped.
  • Unbearable pain.
A person’s suicide risk is greater if a behavior is new or has increased, especially if it’s related to a painful event, loss, or change.
  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online for materials or means.
  • Acting recklessly.
  • Withdrawing from activities.
  • Isolating from family and friends.
  • Sleeping too much or too little.
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye.
  • Giving away prized possessions.
  • Aggression.
People who are considering suicide often display one or more of the following moods.
  • Depression.
  • Loss of interest.
  • Rage.
  • Irritability.
  • Humiliation.
  • Anxiety.
                             Remember when faced with someone suicidal.
  1. Take it seriously, even if your friend brushes it off
  2. Suicidal ideation (continual suicidal thoughts) is not typical and reflects a larger problem
  3. An angry friend is better than a dead friend
  4. Ask, listen, tell, if the threat is immediate stay with the person
  5. Bring friend to a trusted adult. If they don’t know what to do or don’t take it seriously find another adult
  6. Be a good listener but remember suicidal ideation reflects a bigger underlying problem such as depression, substance problems, abuse, problem-solving difficulties. You can listen but they need to speak to a professional.
  7. 30% of attempters tell someone before, many don’t tell anyone after.
  8. When some talks to you, that is the moment for intervention
  9. With each suicide attempt, risk of suicide increases
  10. Warning Signs
  11. Change in mood- sadness, anxiety, irritability
  12. change in behavior- isolation
  13. Change in sleep
  14. Change in appetite
  15. Increase in aggression or impulsiveness
  16. Agitation
  17. Feeling hopeless, worthless
  18. Saying things like “No one will miss me” or “You’ll be better off” (feeling like a burden)
  19. Feeling ashamed or humiliated or desperation, as after a break up or test
  20. Collecting means
  21. Talking about wanting to kill themselves
  22. Drop in grades
  23. Risk taking 
  24. Giving away prized possessions

If you are in crisis, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)National Suicide Prevention Lifeline



1. Know the difference between being proud of being Trans and acceptance of your Trans life. Being proud of who you are is a major step but one cannot begin to move forward and help others like them unless they are truly accepted who they are. Join local support groups, befriend at least one other trans person outside of the internet if possible.

2. Pay it forward; if you have fully transitioned there is always someone Trans that has a million and one questions and would greatly appreciate your guidance.

3.Get involved. Caring about the society and doing your part to shape it is the first step we can do as a community to make things just easier for the next Leelah.

4. Educate...educate...educate. Many of us face this on daily basis, where life will present an opportunity to educate someone about being trans. If you find yourself in a safe situation and someone genuinely wants to know how to understand Trans at that moment are the official spokesperson for millions. Educate but educate wisely and accurately. Know your community.

5. Do away with Trans hierarchy rhetoric; meaning those that believe their is an end of being Transgender and that surgery makes them done. At some point you will always know you are Trans, accept that...embrace that and share that with the next genderation.


Defining who we are pt. VI: The Complexities of Trans dating

 Defining who we are pt. V: Learning to Care for Our Own 

 Defining who we are part IV: A message to Cis-gender people, Transgender is not sexuality
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