Kyler's Mom calls for change

I wrote about Kyler on Tuesday: Sometimes life gets too hard

Kyler's mother has decided to use Kyler's painful passing as an instrument to create change.

The passing of my son was the most devastating, terrible thing that could ever happen to any parent. But I want to use my pain now to help make change for the better and to help spread support, understanding and awareness trans youth and their families need.

--Katherine Prescott







There were a number of complex reasons for the suicide. One of the biggest as society's lack of understanding and tolerance for transgender kids.

One issue that my son faced and a lot of other trans kids faced is being misgendered all the time. A lot of people around him had a hard time changing the pronouns they used, and he felt stabbed in the heart every time someone would say 'she.' It's really traumatic to keep getting called something you truly feel you're not.

People keep saying it's hard to remember and you have to remind them, but it's really not that hard. Once someone has stated their preference for a pronoun, you just need to get behind them and let go of all your preconceived notions about genders.

--Katherine Prescott

Prescott also said she thinks the medical community needs to be more aware about the issues trans kids face, and insurance companies need to cover procedures like hormone treatment and sex affirmation surgery.

They need help from the medical community so that their bodies can match what they feel deeply on the inside. It's very important. It's not something that can wait until the magical age of 18. It's absolutely traumatic to feel your body is betraying you by showing signs of a gender you feel you are not.


Of course, not all transgender people desire surgical transition...nor is it appropriate for everyone.

Greta Martela, who founded one of the first U.S. nationwide suicide hotline for trans people staffed by trans people, told ABC News in April there had been about one trans teen suicide reported every week this year.

It's hard to keep track of all of the names, sadly, and there are probably more suicides than actually reported.


Martela added the risk of suicide is higher for trans teens who are being bullied and don't have the support of their family. She said she started Trans Lifeline after being hospitalized for suicidality five times and feeling a lot of hotline operators and hospital staff she encountered weren't culturally competent and knowledgeable about what being trans meant or what issues trans people faced.

Kyler wrote a poem:



My mirror does not define me 

Not the stranger that looks back at me

Not the smooth face that belongs to someone else

Not the eyes that gleam with sadness

When I look for him and can only see her.

My body does not define me:

Not the slim shoulders that will not change

Not the hips that give me away

Not the chest I can’t stand to look at

When I look for him and can only see her.

My clothes do not define me:

Not the shirt and the jeans

That would look so perfect on him

But that I know would never fit me

When I look for him and can only find her.

And I’ve been looking for him for years,

But I seem to grow farther away from him

With each passing day.

He’s trapped inside this body,

Wrapped in society’s chains

That keep him from escaping.

But one day I will break those chains.

One day I will set him free.

And I’ll finally look in the mirror

And see me--

The boy I was always meant to be.

--Kyler Prescott




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I was asked the other day what...

Robyn's picture

...I thought would be one tangible thing that could help bring change. I'm afraid I was at the time too non-plussed to give a coherent answer.

I'll take a stab now:

Somehow a campaign needs to be started and driven furiously to acknowledge publicly and forcefully that transgender women are women and transgender men are men (and obviously that transgender girls are girls and transgender boys are boys.

That's not "enabling our delusion," as many right wing sources claim...and try to enforce through local "bathroom laws." That's accepting us for who we human as the rest of you.

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