Bruce Parker

10 Year Old Gender Variant Child Commits Suicide

Filed By Bruce Parker | February 15, 2008 7:21 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: gender identity, gender variant, hanging gay people, suicide, transgender youth, TransYouth Family Advocates, TYFA, United Kingdom

Being a board member and on staff for TransYouth Family Advocates plugs me into an entirely different network within the transgender community that more traditional adult-oriented activism did not. Just a few minutes ago, Shannon Garcia, President of TYFA, passed along the news that a ten year old gender variant child in the United Kingdom has hung him(her)self. You can read a news article about it here. You can learn about TYFA's still developing program to combat suicide among gender variant youth here.


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Gender torment of 10-year-old Cameron at
http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/Gender-torment-of-10yearold-
Cameron.3781793.jp
I thought it may interest you.

This is why we do what we do, 24/7, 365

Kim Pearson
Executive Director
TransYouth Family Advocates
www.imatyfa.org
kimp@imatyfa.org

Michael Bedwell | February 15, 2008 10:02 PM

I'd just finished drafting a comment for Waymon's thread about the shooting in Southern California that included Cameron's story when I discovered you'd started this separate thread.

It's at the link below and discusses what I feel should be THE number 1 priority of all LGBT groups: defending our youth, as well as those tormented similarly, who can't defend themselves!

http://www.bilerico.com/2008/02/wheres_the_outrage.php#comments

This is happening too much and yet our community still seems to be asleep.

Thanks to TransYouth Family advocates and other youth programs for making a difference. I wish everyone in our community cared as much as all of you...

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | February 16, 2008 10:43 AM

Years ago (circa 1995)while having a coffee between business appointments in Peoria Illinois I picked up a local paper touting a center that worked with and helped Gay teens deal with the oppression of living in a small, Midwestern town. Coming from a small, oppressive Midwestern town (like Peoria)I felt an immediate connection. I got the address of the center and sent a check and letter on my (then) corporate letterhead stating that I was a Gay businessman who routinely included Peoria on my route and would be happy to volunteer an evening to answer questions of the kids and let them see that there is a life beyond the present trials they were enduring. I had been a founding member of the Gay Liberation Front at Purdue University and let the center know as much. Even though they cashed my check I never received a thank you or acknowledgement which left me feeling as though I was being considered a child molestor. I did want the kids to see that one can be Gay, grown up and successful and there is a life beyond teenage. In that I, and my life partner of 31 years, also sponsored little league teams in our inner city Chicago neighborhood I have to say that we were treated better when we delt with straights. How many more GLBT children should suffer because the centers themselves are suspicious of sucessful mentors? This tragic child, if he had somewhere to go, to be supported, might be with us today, but because I did not know where or if money sent to a group was actually helping anyone I stopped in my tracks. We all own the loss of this child, but we must go further in trusting one anothers motives. This is embracing diversity.

To me, the suicide of a gender variant child of ten years old goes way beyond tragedy.

It must end.

When I read of the murder of a gender variant prostitute in Detroit, I wonder what drove her to have to work like that just to survive.

That must end.

When I hear of the murder of a gender variant 15 year old in a classroom, I ask what drove the murderer to do such a thing?

That also must end.

Please. Please go to the Trans Youth Family Adocates web site, and don't give until it hurts. Just give until it helps.

They are making a difference. You can help, too.

Please.

Shari M.

That was me in 1980, only I held out a couple more years before I tried to kill myself. The sheer suffocating hopelessness is very hard for a child to bear. Sometimes it's too much.