Going around the internet today is a news article about a transgender teenager who killed themselves and then left a time released tumbler suicide note after the fact where they spoke about how hard it was being transgender and blaming their parents for a lack of support and not being supportive. The story is starting to go viral and people are promising that the teen will not be forgotten.
Does this sound familiar?
It probably sounds just like Leelah Alcorn, but it's not, its 15 year old Zander from Georgia.
Suicide is a terrible thing, a terrible loss, a terrible waste of life. It is sad and causes us to reflect on who did what wrong and how we could do things better as a society. I'm here to suggest one of those things:
Please do not champion the cause of suicide unwittingly. Please do not give these kids a level of celebrity that they would never have achieved in life otherwise. I know it sounds a little heartless, but it is the exact opposite. When you make these kids famous for killing themselves, you increase the risk of other kids in similar situations to take like measures. We've all have been there, that point in life where you think no one understands you, when there seems to be no hope. Your parents are morons, your friends are idiots, your finances are dismal, and you got finals coming next week. You aren't as popular as you would like and you wish you could do something to be noticed, something to make those who ignored you pay, you get the idea.
I'm not telling people not to grieve, or not to reflect. I'm just asking not to participate in the near idol like worship of these kids. Keep your sorrow private. Let's not fuel the machine. Let's not cause teenage angst to be the quick path to immortality. If you do need to share the news, may I suggest that instead of focusing on what was wrong in their lives, how their parents were wrong, how horrible it is being transgender (which I don't believe it's horrible), let's focus on what they've missed out on in life and the pain they've caused others by their actions.
Just trying to give food for thought.