AUSTELL, Ga. — Another transgender teen has taken his own life, leaving behind a suicide note describing sexual trauma and alleged bullying by family members.
Zander Mahaffey, 15, of Austell, Ga., died Sunday, leaving behind a suicide note on his Tumblr blog, in which he declares, “I am a boy, even if the (world) doesn’t see me as one. But I know in my heart I am a boy.”
In the lengthy note, Zander blamed his disabled mother, calling her an “abusive piece of shit” — “I want her to know she murdered her son. I want her to know that she is the reason I’m dead.”
Zander also wrote that he had been raped when he was younger.
“I know there’s going to be people hurt and devastated by this. And I’m so, so, sorry about that. I don’t know what else to say. I’m just so tired, I’m so tired and I just want to go to sleep,” he wrote.
In his letter, Zander also asks friends that if there are any memorials, “make sure my right name and pronouns are used,” a last wish that was ignored by his family, who used his birth name and female pronouns in his obituary and, reportedly, at his funeral on Wednesday, and his gravesite marker.
Friends have since launched memorials and a blog in his memory, using the hashtag #HisNameWasZander.Zander’s story is similar to Leelah Alcorn, the 17-year-old transgender girl from Ohio who killed herself in December by stepping into oncoming traffic on a nearby interstate, attracting national headlines and memorials around the world.
Leelah also left a suicide note on Tumblr, calling for her death to “mean something.”