Three years ago tomorrow, the world lost a life-changer.
His name was Alex. Alex was the strongest, bravest individual I have ever known.
I met Alex in a context that lent itself easily to those casual friendships that deepen in an instant, and ours certainly did. We spent hours hanging out, doing homework, laughing with each other, and having those kinds of conversations you have when you’re young and still figuring out the world– about life, politics, identity, etc.
And then one day, we were standing around having a smoke (as young radicals do, you know) and making plans to go get pizza. I could tell Alex was upset about something, but I didn’t know what, and he wouldn’t tell me, until he blurted out that when he was born, his name was Alexis. I shrugged and asked if we were going to get pizza, and we didn’t mention it again until later that night when we were alone.
Alex told me he felt a need to come out as trans. He felt that, in our small environment, it would be safe enough to come out– and that people would be less prejudicial if they knew that the boy they knew and loved had been born with a biologically female body. So, he began to come out. Slowly but surely, he began to educate, inform, and come out.
Alex died for that decision.
His death was officially ruled a suicide.
Whether the official ruling was wrong or not is a matter of some debate, but…
Either way, when Alex died, so did a bright spot in the world.
And today, I honor him in any way I can find. And in return, I believe he watches over me.
I miss you.