Today I heard my child say something disturbing. Although it was said with her best overly-dramatic Valley girl voice, the words hit me like a ton of bricks, illuminating one of my biggest fears.
While talking with T, she told me, "If I had to be a boy I would totally kill myself."
"I would kill myself."
Like I said, she is 5 going on 15 and her flair for melodramatic statements knows no bounds most days but the grim reality of how many trans, gay and lesbian youth who see suicide as a solution stopped me in my tracks.
"Well, good thing you are a girl then," I told her, "Killing yourself is never OK. Mommy, Daddy and your sisters love you way to much to ever live without you." Then I finished dishing up lunch and sat down to eat with my kiddos.
Before I knew it, we were wrapped up in fighting over who got which color cup and who got to sit next to Mommy and the moment had passed. However, the haunting feeling I had from knowing too much and reading too much stuck to me. It hurt like a punch in my guts, leaving me to decide whether I wanted to cry, scream or run-away, none of which are options for a fierce mama raising fierce children.
I've heard different stats relating to transgender youth suicide attempts. Anywhere between 30 and 50 percent of transgender people will attempt suicide. HALF. That's INSANE and a stat that I have a hard time even wrapping my brain around.
Of course the risk decreases with familial and social acceptance, something I hope is in no short supply around here but what about the kids that don't have that. How can I help them?
Simple, by telling our story. By making people realize that this is OK. It's healthy and natural and part of life, part of society. People are people. We are people. We are a family. We all breath the same air, sleep each day and wake each morning. Hopefully in our waking moments we all share, connect, and live. But more importantly hopefully we all LOVE...like a lot. That's not saying that I don't spend some of my waking moments thinking that some people are just assholes, plain and simple. That happens too. (People can be real assholes) However, I know that when I look back at all my days, the good will overwhelmingly outshine any of the bad.
Because I am "only" one mom. (Notice the quotes...I am a firm believer that mom=super-powered bad-ass some days) I decided to share an article I read this morning by another gender mom.
She educates and articulately answers questions that parents of gender creative and trans kids get daily. Education equals power equals understanding equals change. Real change. Change that hopefully involves dropping those ugly stats from 50% to less than 1%.
Please read. Please share, because this is real. We are real. She is real and THAT is important to know.