Accountability and Change

There MUST be accountability and change in our community. If I am to survive and continue in this fight, to be here for our young people, to be here to offer love and to be here to receive love, I will need you to fight alongside me – – especially in the coming months, while I am deeply depleted and grieving the loss of the greatest love I have ever known.

As the person that was closest to Diana, I really need folks to understand and accept that Diana’s mental health did NOT ultimately push her to take her life. She warrior-style battled mental health issues all of her life, and damn near overcame them entirely in the last three months of her physical existence. She wasn’t anxious, she wasn’t depressed, she wasn’t manic. If anything, in our many recent discussions, she was clear, grounded, rational.

She was also clearer than ever that she was worth more than the world was offering to her (and many other brilliant and highly employable trans folks), and she wasn’t willing to settle. She wasn’t willing to work three jobs to keep her apartment. She wasn’t willing to keep doing sex work. She wasn’t willing to expose herself to systems that might cause further harm to her, just to survive.

For those that missed this, she wrote this on November 19th, 2016, a day before TDOR, and a month and one day before ending her life:

“… I’ve gone through a whole world of hurt this year.

There were many times when I wanted to throw in the towel. I’ve lived a lot of life, and a lot of lives, and my prospects for the future have seemed bleak. Therapy and medication have helped a lot as far as how I feel and think goes, but haven’t changed my circumstances.”

She went on to say:

“TDOR is officially tomorrow. More of my people have been murdered in the United States this year than ever recorded before. Many many more have ended their own lives – children, youth, adults, and seniors – in every circumstance imaginable. Death is an ever-present reality when you are trans, and it rarely waits for old age and infirmity to take you. That was true long before this past election, which has folks so terrified.”

Her circumstances, a result of systemic oppression and trauma, killed her.

We need to really examine and own how we regard and (mis)treat trans folks in our community [especially trans women, sex workers, non-binary, neurodivergent trans folks] — from employment, to health care, to mental health care. This conversation is long overdue.

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