Leila Alcorn, BBC, Racquel discussed on Going Through It
Before we get into this week's episode I WANNA. Let you know that it evolves themes around suicide in self harm. If you're worried about yourself or somebody that you love please please please reach out to the national suicide prevention hotline that number is one, eight, hundred, two, seven, three, eight, two, five, five South Carolina everything. This is going through it a show about women who found themselves in situations where they said no no thanks. I'll have nine and they made a decision to make a change in turn something around. I'm your host, Tracy, Clayton? They're all of these like successful algae. Hugh plus folks Thank it gets better. It gets amazing. All these different things and the truth is for a lot of people that doesn't get better. That's Racquel Willis. Today Racquel is a writer editor and transgender rights activist. She's done organizing work at the transgender law center and she was executive editor for out magazine. Big things big things happen. But at this point of her story, she was just trying to get a footing. So my relationship to Queer and Trans Activism prior to Leila Alcorn stuff. was kind of non existent I also had been in the closet. Gender identity working, and almost the middle of Georgia. My first job as a newspaper reporter picture of. The year is twenty fourteen. You cannot get rails happy out of your head and you also cannot stay off tumbler because tumbler was it. It was the place to be. It was so revolutionary because people there were using their own voices to talk about themselves learn about their own realities and there was a fourteen year old trans girl from. Lee alcorn that Raquel became aware of who did just that she used the platform to discuss and process her life. So Leela alcorn with a Yang Trans girl who really had learned so much about her identity she was active online as of millennials she became known in our community when she wrote a suicide letter that was set to publish on Tumbler after she had died by suicide Leila had battling both depression and parents that she felt were really unsupportive. It was kind of that bizarre instance of using technology to kind of say you know what you were. Going through and then to also have this translates youth telling the world that she was GonNa die because she couldn't a future for herself. When I sat with Racquel, she read the part of Leila's suicide note that resonated with her the most when I was fourteen I learned what transgender meant and I cried of happiness after ten years of confusion I finally understood who I was I'm mmediately told my mom and she reacted extremely negatively telling me that it was a phase that I would never truly be a girl that God doesn't make mistakes that I am wrong. If you're reading this parents, please don't tell us here kids even if you are Christian or are against transgender people don't ever say that to someone especially your kid. There was so much of Leila that Racquel on herself even reading this now I'm like, yeah, this was like me at the age came out of fourteen out gay I didn't have the language of transgender and I grew up in a very catholic environment. So the idea of like charts turning back on you and your parents choosing their faith of our farming you was was an imminent threat I. Always when we're cal I read Leila's note she felt so many fill in all at once I bar since it's here's just as I read more and more about her and I don't something just compelled me to do something different and not care about being. Silent anymore and I stagger these boxes on my like little rinky-dink coffee table and I put my laptop up they are and I recorded myself and I I made this short video where I'm dislike crying you know about this that feeling of helplessness like as a Black Trans Woman and the South I knew what that felt like Racquel hill posted a video to youtube not sure what kind of response she was going to get it got picked up by. BBC They saw it and they asked me to be on this radio show Racquel knew that this opportunity with the BBC could really open up the conversation about Black Trans Women that nobody at the time was having. She had just one little problem. I wasn't out at this now, second job that I was I was like, what's the point of being out? You know let me just like navigate as seamlessly as possible like I did in my last job but killed knew that in order to speak on Trans Women issues in the importance of their voices, she had to use her as I. I really only had like a day to kind of thinking through and I told my immediate boss was woman. Yeah was trans and that I was going to be talking about my experiences on BBC and then she talked to her boss who is like the the of like entire company. Who was a straight man? And I was Oh, how could this go but he also was like very supportive of and they were like you should do it by your voice is necessary inside did speaking on the BBC was a huge turning point racquel found her voice and now she was not afraid to use it. Soon she grew huge following on twitter and before you know it, she became somebody that folks looks who regarding issues facing the Trans Community I think the situations around Leela and subsequently being on the BBC just made me felt like I could be a mirror for other. Trans People. Now I sit down with Kale right as the pandemic it but it was also.