15-Year-Old Georgia Transgender Teen Commits Suicide

On Sunday, February 15 2015, the world lost another transgender teen, Zander Nicholas Mahaffey. He was from Georgia and only a mere 15-years old. His suicide note was posted on Tumblr, explaining the mentally abusive nature of his mother, experiences of sexual assault, and emotional trauma. “[If] there are any memorials for me,” Zander writes, “I want you both to make sure my right name and pronouns are used.”

Zander Mahaffey

Zander Mahaffey

But the funeral proceedings used only his birth name and female pronouns, causing a massive uproar in the media. Using #hisnamewaszander, people are doing all they can to do to uplift his identity and help the struggling youth of the transgender community. The Youth Suicide Prevention Program states that over 50% of transgender youth have had at least one suicide attempt by their 20th birthday.

Zander’s suicide note is hauntingly nostalgic of the recent downfall of Leelah Alcorn, another transgender teen who ended her life due to destructive unacceptance from her parents. Unlike Leelah, Zander does not ask for his death “to mean something.” He states, “I’m not noble, I’m not really trying to make this mean something huge. I’m just a coward who wanted to cut my strings and be free from my troubles.” But social media will not let this go, creating artwork to memorialize Zander and raise awareness of these situations.

On March 7th, Zander’s birthday, supporters will honor his memory by drawing a star on their wrists. Raise awareness and let transgender teens know we are here to fight this battle with them. In the worlds of Leelah Alcorn, “fix society.” Zander will not be forgotten.


 

If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or depression there is help waiting:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Transgender Lifeline: 1-877-565-8860

The Trevor Project (LGBT): 1-866-488-7386

 

Related News

  • Ken Norton, LICSW, Suicide Postvention as Suicide Prevention
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIaJ5oAMdnE

    This is a quote from the video page:

    Published on Dec 15, 2014People
    easily understand the need to provide comfort and support to family and
    friends after the suicide of a loved one. But they may not realize how
    many others are affected by that death…or for how long afterward. In
    this talk, Ken Norton, LICSW, Executive Director of the National
    Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) in New Hampshire, discusses the
    role of “postvention” not only as a response to what has happened, but
    also as protection against and preparation for what could happen.
    Based on his experience with the development and implementation of
    “Connect Suicide Postvention Training, Mr. Norton describes how a
    community can come together to keep its members safe.

    Ken Norton,
    LICSW, is the executive director of NAMI New Hampshire, the NH Chapter
    of the National Alliance of Mental Illness. NAMI NH developed the
    Connect Suicide Postvention Training which is included in the Suicide
    Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) Best Practices Registry. Mr. Norton
    is on the Steering Committee for the National Suicide Prevention
    Lifeline. He is also on the NH State Suicide Prevention Council which
    was established by legislation he proposed. Mr. Norton also wrote
    legislation that established NH’s Suicide Fatality Review Committee, the
    first state-level or legislatively-established suicide fatality review
    committee in the country.

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