September 26, I made a memorial sign containing the names and photos of the 16 trans people reported to have died by suicide so far in 2015; and I took the sign with me to the Second Annual Journey to Hope Walk for Suicide Awareness and Prevention. Della Fergusen, organizer of the event, invited me to join her on stage during the opening ceremonies to read all of their names aloud to the gathered crowd. It was a sobering experience that will stick with me for the rest of my life, as I recall how close I too have come to my own death over the years.
Less than 48-hours later I learned of not one, but two more reported suicides of trans people occurring on September 28, 2015. In Toronto, Ontario, Canada, friends and peers of 29-year-old Ryley Courchene have taken to social media to talk about her passing and comfort one another through their grief. There has yet to be any significant coverage of her passing through online news sites or in any Canadian publications.
Also on the 28th, 16-year-old trans activist, youth leader, and accomplished writer, Skylar Lee, Wisconsin, scheduled a Tumblr blog post to go live which contained his suicide note. In it, he discussed his longtime struggles with depression and mental health issues, and requested of mourners: “Don’t turn my name into a hashtag”. Read More via Planet Transgender