sadly, i received this email this morning from triangle foundation, michigan's leading LGBTQ activist organization, and i thought i'd share:
Dear [name removed],
It is with a heavy heart that I share the tragic loss of one of our community's beautiful children. Ian Guarr, a 16-year old transgender young man from West Michigan, took his own life on Monday. The Guarr family have been staunch allies and good friends of Triangle Foundation from the beginning of their journey. Ian's mother Amy is a founder of TransYouth Family Advocates (http://imatyfa.org), a national organization addressing the issues facing transgender youth and a national partner of Triangle Foundation's Camping.OUT program.
Ian was one of my daughter Chloe's dearest friends. Ian was sensitive, thoughtful, brilliant, hilarious, and painfully shy. Our world is less bright without Ian's presence. Even with an amazingly supportive and loving family such as Ian had, the youth of our community face an incredibly difficult path. In the United States, every hour an LGBT youth commits suicide. The statistics for transgender youth are even more harrowing -- the attempted suicide rate is higher than 50%!
Ian's family did everything right. They loved, cared, and advocated for who Ian knew he really was –not just for who society wanted him to be. This community owes the Guarr family a debt of gratitude for all that they have done for Ian as well as for all transgender youth.
Triangle Foundation joins our friends at TransYouth Family Advocates and TransActive Education & Advocacy in once again renewing our commitment to working with and on behalf of transgender, gay, lesbian, bisexual and questioning youth who, like Ian, are struggling with a society that is often unwilling to accept them for the unique and beautiful people they are. Our work will continue until no young person feels that suicide is their only option.
Please join Triangle Foundation in sending our loving thoughts to Ian's family, loved ones, and the community which joins them in mourning his loss.
Colette Beighley and the Triangle Foundation family
PS. Please reply to this email if you would like Triangle Foundation to pass a message along to Ian's family.
If you are, or you know, a young person thinking of suicide, please know that you are not alone and help is available. Contact The Trevor Project immediately at 1-888-488-7386 or visit www.thetrevorproject.org for help and more information.