In late March, I lost my roommate and very good, transgender friend. She had struggled with drug addiction which lead to her to a premature departure from this life. Her sudden passing left me at a complete loss. Living with her was such a rewarding experience as well as an educational opportunity for me. She opened my eyes to the harsh reality of the state of the LGBTQ community, specifically the discrimination transgender people, and just how prevalent the struggles of drug addiction are. People who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and even asexual struggle with higher rates of substance abuse than the general population [2-4 times higher]. Often, they develop these struggles at an earlier age, and continue harmful patterns later in life. This is, in part, due to some aspects of the community itself; however, most of it is tied into struggles with mental health that are associated with depression and anxiety which are all too common among queer youth. Jolene struggled with both, and I saw the toll it took on her quality of life. I wish there were more resources to help people like Jolene. We, as a species, have a moral and ethical obligation to provide equal rights and equal resources to ALL fellow humans. Without bias, without exception. Period.
With that said, for my birthday this year, in honor of Jolene, may she rest in peace, I'm asking for donations to Trans Lifeline. I've chosen this nonprofit because their mission means a lot to me, and I hope you'll consider contributing as a way to celebrate with me. Every little bit will help provide resources to those in need and possibly prevent tragedies like this from happening in the future.
Trans Lifeline is a national trans-led organization dedicated to improving the quality of trans lives by responding to the critical needs of our community with direct service, material support, advocacy, and education. Our vision is to end trans suicide and improve overall life-outcomes of trans people by facilitating justice-oriented, collective community aid.
Appreciation and Love to you all! XOXO