New Year's Reminiscences in the Context of the Ongoing Struggle for Cultural Change

January 13, 2015 5:20 PM

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A friend recently asked me to look back on my life and recall the decisions I've made that I consider my best. The question was raised shortly after I heard the news about the gruesome suicide of 17-year-old Leelah Alcorn, the young trans woman who committed suicide on I-71 in Ohio after leaving a social-media note pleading for us to "[f]ix society." It left me wondering about stigma -- why it is that with so many trans persons contemplating suicide, and many actually making the attempt, some follow through and others don't. I could talk about learned hopefulness vs. hopelessness, resilience in the face of culturally induced stress disorder, and PTSD in the brains of trans children. Instead I will simply report on my personal experiences, on some of the decisions I've made in my life, and leave the deeper questions for another time.

• The decision to finally complete my gender transition after a decade of dallying, due to concern about the impact it would have on my children, and address my traumatic depression. It turned out that I needed the therapy to deal with associated emotional-health issues or I wouldn't have had the st...

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