Honoring Amelia, two years later
Two years ago today, I woke up to the news that my friend, Amelia, was gone.
Amelia was the victim of our country’s transphobia and inadequate response to mental health needs. She ended her life after six months intermittently in hospitals. Since then, I have participated in some of the same hospitalization programs as her. While I have been able to recover, her experiences continue to remind me htat these systems are inadequate, and that transgender inclusion cannot be assumed even in a state whose laws support transgender rights.
My feelings are complicated. I do not feel acute pain any more, but I believe that is because I remember her, and feel a bit of pain, every single day. Every day I think about the things she could be doing, and the things she already did to advance math and science. Things that I am unable to understand because she was beyond brilliant.
So, today, we remember the anniversary of Amelia’s death and we continue to fight for the inclusion and the dignity of transgender people, and destigmatization of mental illness until it is as unremarkable as any other illness.