Trans teenager penned a heartbreaking letter before killing herself
A transgender teenager who killed herself penned a heartbreaking letter to her family before doing so.
Hope Verbeeck, 17, took her life earlier this month on March 6.
She came out as transgender nearly 15 months ago, but for a long time, she struggled with her gender identity.
She was also coming to grips with being a pansexual person.
Speaking to the Miami Herald, her mother Patricia explained that her daughter felt like she was trapped “in a box” by her identity.
However, her parents insist that they always tried to provide the utmost support, with Patricia once telling her daughter: “I don’t want to tell you what to do or think you should do. You tell me the journey you want to take.”
After coming out, she began hormone replacement therapy and having therapy sessions.
However, Hope made the decision to take her life.
She wrote in a heartbreaking letter: “Dear Mommy and Papa, I am so sorry to do this to you but I have killed myself by jumping off the top floor.
“I could no longer live my life as a lie.
“I’m so sorry I lied to you… I was losing hope in the world and could not see my way out of the wrong body so I decided it was time for my life to end,” she wrote.
Hope wrote that she wanted to be remembered “as a transgender pansexual teenage girl named Hope. Being transgender is my gender identity. My sexual orientation, or sexual identity, is being pansexual, meaning that I do not care about what the person is; I care about who they are. Sexual orientation is who you go to bed with and gender identity is who you go to bed as.”
Despite explicitly stating that they wish to be remembered as a trans woman called Hope, a number of media outlets have misgendered her and used her dead name.
Patricia said that she spoke with her child the night before she took her life, and she had told Patricia that she was once again feeling “trapped”.
She also said that she believed her child “wasn’t bullied”.
“Everybody we talked with, no one would have guessed,” Patricia added.
In a moving message she’s given to other parents, Patricia urged them to not “slam the door on your son or your daughter if they come and express a sexual identity issue.
“I would want them to know to open their hearts, minds and souls to accepting this unique situation that their son or daughter may be expressing and experiencing — because it would be the biggest gift they could give.
“It’s not about money or the next gadget, but to accept, love and embrace who your son or daughter is telling you that they are. Expand the space in your heart to support and to provide every possible avenue to them to succeed in their identity.”
“This was an issue that he [sic] suffered with even though he [sic] was unlike many of the teens who get no support and who don’t have anybody helping them. He [sic] had everything.”
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It is not clear why Patricia switches between using female and male pronouns for Hope.
Hope excelled at her school in Tampa, Florida, where she was an honour roll student.
She was “passionate” about performing arts and performed for over seven years in a local musical theatre group.
The Mad Hatter from Lewis Carrol’s Alce in Wonderland was her favourite part she ever played.
Suicide is preventable. Readers who are affected by the issues raised in this story are encouraged to contact Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org), or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to contact the National Suicide Prevention Line on 1-800-273-8255.