As I was scrolling through Facebook today, I came upon a post about the suicide of 17 year old transgender teen Leelah Alcorn. After reading the article, which included her suicide note posted on Tumblr, I went to her Tumblr page and read both of the notes she left and continued to scroll through the many posts and pictures she had reblogged. While there were many pictures indicating desperation, there were also pictures of Asian pop idols and anime. I smiled to myself thinking about this young girl sitting at a computer in her room,sharing pictures she related to and felt spoke of her true self. That smile was instantly shaken as I began crying, almost uncontrollably. Another teenager lost. Another useless death.
As I was sitting in front of my computer tonight, waiting for Alex’s family to come over for dinner, I was thinking about how much my mom loved having people over on Sunday nights. She would invite a few people over and we would all sit around the dining room table and eat chili and raw apple muffins or chicken curry with homemade garlic bread. Later, after the other guests would leave, my mom and I would sit in front of the fire and drink coffee while talking about a range of topics from her desire to have Hilary Clinton as president to the best Woody Allen film to random memories of her being a Pi Phi. The night would drift on as we would play Bob Dylan and Neil Young records, smoke cigarettes and the stories would turn funnier until we would both be rolling in laughter. Finally, it would be time for me to go home. She always asked me to stay overnight, but I always refused, desiring to be in my own bed. Now Alex and I live in my mother’s home and I sleep here every night.
Today on Facebook, I asked for suggestions about topics I should write about on my blog. Somebody suggested I write about a crush I had in high school, which will be my next post. Tonight, I went down in our basement and started rummaging through all of my plastic containers holding remnants of my past, in search of my pictures from high school. I had thought that during a drunken rage years ago, I had set fire to all of my journals, notes and high school memories…but I had not. What I found truly amazed me.
As I sat at my computer today, making final editing changes on my upcoming book, I flipped over to Facebook for a few minutes and immediately saw the news about the passing of legendary poet Maya Angelou. It would be easy for me to say, as a writer, that she has been a role model for me or that I have been greatly influenced by her immense works, but the truth is that she has affected me on a much deeper level by her sentiment, words and wisdom.