We condole the demise of a member of the Chennai queer community on Sept 20, 2014, a week short of his twentieth birthday. Although the cause of his decision to take his life was not known, we believe he was driven to do so by the collective apathy and hostility of the larger society that we live in, a society that alternately denies our existence and punishes those of us who do not conform to stifling norms around gender and sexuality.
We cannot help thinking – if only he had not chosen to end his life but reach out to the community, it is possible that he would have found support and courage to tide over the difficult period in his life. Or, had he indeed tried to reach out, and failed to find an empathetic ear? As we stand in condolence with his family and friends, we are also shocked at the fragility of life.
Let us remember we can always reach out before crisis strikes. Let us look out for signs in ourselves and in people close to us. Let us reach out ourselves or refer those in need to individuals and organisations for peer or professional counselling support.
And, as we mourn his unmade dreams and desires, let us resolve to root out harassment and hatred, for it crushes us.
At this moment, we also reiterate that taking one’s own life is not the answer. Life gets better only if we stand with each other, acknowledge and embrace our differences.
Join us at the remembrance gathering on Sep 28th, 5 PM – near Kannagi statue at Marina beach, Chennai.
You are not alone. We are here to listen to you! Reach out to us. Visit our crisis support page.
And remember, life gets better.