Here is a letter I wrote about four weeks ago. I’m publishing it now because these stories must be made public for the world to become a better place:
I’m sorry but I’m extremely suicidal and need (and wholeheartedly trust) your intervention. You know I’m no drama queen, you know I struggle with mental illness, and you know I’ve always been 100% honest with you. So please take me seriously. I’m not trying to manipulate, but I am trying to alert you to a serious problem. I’m putting this matter on your conscience—a sin of omission on your part could prove fatal.
First, know that I do everything I can to manage my bipolar disorder to the best of my ability. I take my medication and limit my vices. I see two counselors, one weekly and one monthly. I practice deep faith. But as you’ve noticed my best management is sometimes not enough and I’ve had to take multiple leave of absences from work.
Second, please do not call 911. A psychiatric hospital is not a safe place for a transgender person. (I know this from experience). It is also not a safe place for someone like me who fights tool-and-nail to preserve their life, as that environment is full of folks who have completely given up. (Again, I know this from experience). If you insist that I go to the hospital, I’ll go, but we need to talk about it first because a hospitalization also will have serious consequences regarding my access to transgender-related medical care.
Its the “fighting tool-and-nail” bit that prompts me to contact you—I will never quit on life while I can think of new approaches to survival.
The driving factor behind my suicidality is that I cannot handle your hostility toward me, your antipathy toward me, your complete dismissal of me. If you happen to find me a threat, I can’t handle that either (I’m harmless). I’d simply “write you off” if I could, but you know I value you too much to achieve that.
I just can’t handle how you treat me. So please stop!
I don’t need the relationship with you that I envisioned two years ago, but I do need you to talk with me. I need us to create a better outcome than the one we currently share. I need you to demonstrate some understanding and kindness toward me.
Please act on this information. The situation is really fucking dangerous.
Please also understand that I try my absolute best to show respect for you at all times. The proof is that I managed to shut up completely about my feelings for 1.5 years, despite intense angst. But in this case my urgency for survival trumps your request for silence. You know my character—you know my decency—you know I wouldn’t draw you into this crisis if I felt there was any other option.
Silence equals death. Please allow me to request your help.