(CN: depression, self-harm, suicide, alcohol)

Watching gay wedding videos and wanting to cry. I don’t see any of NB people getting married, but gay is close enough. The whole #itgetsbetter movement: yes, watching gay people get married is reassuring and it really, really, helps.

I turn 20 in two weeks. I didn’t always know that I will get here. I don’t know that I will live through the next two weeks, but the odds are very good. Sometimes it hurts and it hurts and it hurts but I held on, and I hold on, and I will hold on.

It hurts to just live from one day to the next, as a human being. Had I been cishet, I would probably still be depressed. It also hurts that I am just trying to figure out who and what I am, and there are all these people shouting about how I am a freak and wrong and disgusting and a travesty and just looking for attention. It hurts that who and what I am takes so much explanation.

There are days when I look around and am so glad that I live. Taking the bus when it is just about to rain, and the colours are somehow brighter, and everything makes sense and is lovely, and in that moment, everything is worth it. Taking the train through Malaysia and leaning out of the door and wind rushes through my hair. Watching the sun rise in the early morning on a remote mountain that took a hell lot of climbing to get to. Playing in water and drying off in the sun. These are moments I hold onto.

Depression first emerged shortly after I turned 16, entering junior college. I know the statistics about queer people and mental illness. For me queerness and depression seem to be separate phenomena that converged. I didn’t identify in any way with queerness until several months ago and was nevertheless depressed and suicidal, but identity has rapidly wrapped itself up with my mental health; I suppose it is a rather significant stressor in people who are otherwise predisposed to mental illness anyway.

I am still learning. I don’t cope with things very well. I could stand to drink less. There are probably better ways to deal with things than self-harm. I am learning to talk to people, to ask for help, preferably without drinking first. I am making my way through Kate Bornstein’s “Hello, Cruel World: 101 alternatives to suicide for teens, freaks and other outlaws”.

I wish I could skip to the part where it gets better, and I find the chosen family that so many people have promised, who understand and respect and support and love my gender and me, and small things stop bothering me so much. I wish that life wasn’t so much pain, all day everyday. But I KNOW that it will happen, if only I will give it time, and give myself love and patience in the meantime.

I still think of suicide a lot. Lots of things that should be easy, from buying a train ticket to making a new friend, are not. Often it feels easier to just not be anymore. Often I am a transgender teen in crisis. Often I feel like Other People Have It Worse, and Who Am I To Complain. But I deserve help and I deserve happiness, and I deserve to ask for it.

I know that many people love me, and I have to take care of myself, even when it hurts.

I don’t know what this life has in store for me. It is only just now beginning.


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