Shortly after the latest school shooting, a murder-suicide, the University of South Carolina announced "the threat has passed." But has it? A rash of potential suicidal gun wielders may make us rethink our safety. And it's been on my mind since we've had two murder-suicides within four miles of my house.
My desire is to never lose that ability, that I never admit defeat, or become another name on the list of those who've lost the war on their minds. I hope that, as time goes on, and if the setbacks continue to occur, I seek not an exit but a welcome embrace. Until it is over, for better or worse, I will continue to chronicle my struggles, making them public in an effort to let you know you are not alone.
Guns and grief are a bad combination. Our judgment is clouded and undone in moments of aggrieved passion; we are least suited at such times to take on the roles of both jury and judge, leaving aside the illegality of such vigilantism. We may, in the throes of passion, misconstrue causes and misdirect blame. But we may hope to live through such moments, and see in a calmer, clarifying light.
For parents of kids who are transgender, gender education alone isn't going to provide that reassurance. What I think would really help are more everyday success stories -- people who can show trans kids, their parents and society as a whole that being transgender doesn't have to forever define you (unless you want it to).
This needs to end now. Those of us with the resources to fight in any way need to continue to stand up to those who are actively working to see more trans people dead, and we need to be absolutely present with those trans people who, at any given moment, may have fewer emotional or material resources than we do.
I believe that religion can be comforting and enlightening and bring order to a world that feels chaotic. However, that only works when all people feel welcomed. It works when the basic principle is love and finding community through kindness and acceptance. In cases when acceptance is not offered, religion can scar a person's soul.
There is a lot of hurt on all sides that boils to the surface when we learn of the suicide of a teen who was desperate for clarity, for acceptance, for love, and for inner peace. But instead of doing the challenging work of finding entry points for discussion that can lead to understanding and eventually acceptance and healing, so often we're reinforcing this "us vs. them" dichotomy.