A transgender woman just committed suicide. Trump supporters respond in the worst way possible
Donald Trump loyalists recently took pleasure in the news of a transgender woman’s suicide, openly celebrating on a Facebook page to honor her memory.
Last Wednesday in Pierre, South Dakota, Lizzy Waites committed suicide out of loneliness and desperation. She posted her suicide note publicly on her Facebook page.
“I’m so sorry to all the people I hurt by killing myself. I truly am. I’ve been hurting so bad and I can’t form words to communicate it to you,” Waites wrote. “I’m so lonely.”
According to the Daily Beast, Waites’ partner, Amanda — whom she had been with for 9 years and with whom she had a 5-year-old son — was about to write her last goodbyes as a comment on the Facebook note when hateful messages from profiles invoking Donald Trump’s name and face began posting hateful comments.
Facebook user Jaroslav Tiptek changed his profile picture to a photoshopped image of Lizzy’s face, writing, “I’m glad he is gone.” Another commenter whose profile used the name “Oi McVeigh” wrote, “Lol good riddance.”
What may have drawn the ire of Trump’s supporters was a paragraph near the end of the note, in which Lizzy Waites wrote, “The pills are taking effect and I can’t think straight. I love you all,” before writing, “Dump Trump. Kill him. Mike Pence too. Goodnight white pride. Steal the hats and destroy them. Best [sic] fascists with a baseball bat.”
Amanda Waites told the Beast that in the full context of how many transgender Americans are constantly fearful for their lives, especially under a Trump administration, the last part of the note seemed to be her last push of resistance against a system that constantly disenfranchised her.
“I know people thought there was a lot of hate and awful things spewed at the end of her note. I don’t think people understand that she was worried about her basic civil liberties,” Waites said. “She had been harassed by a boss for using what some people believe to be the wrong bathroom.”
As the trolling continued, Lizzy’s brother, David McClure, heard about his sister’s death from his mother, prompting him to call a friend to confirm. When he heard about the ongoing harassment of Lizzy and her loved ones by Trump supporters on Facebook, he pulled over to the side of the road and cried.
“That day was horrible and those fucking Nazis made it worse,” McClure told the Daily Beast. “I hate the world a little more now.”
Amanda was eventually successfully in getting Facebook to memorialize Lizzy’s profile, which the social media platform does for users who have passed on, limiting the people who are able to comment on posts. Amanda remembered her former partner as a “renaissance woman,” saying she chose to remember her by her many talents, rather than the flood of hateful messages from people who never knew her.
“She was good at everything she picked up. If she decided she wanted to learn Japanese, she’d learn Japanese. If she wanted to be a calligrapher, even though she had the world’s crappiest handwriting, give her a month. She was a calligrapher,” Amanda Waites told the Beast.
Waites’ suicide, according to Amanda, was likely brought on by a persistent decline in her mental health, which was exacerbated by the outcome of the presidential election.
“She was so worried about if she was going to have basic civil rights. She was working so hard. She had her medications stable. She had a great therapeutic team,” Amanda told the Beast. “The election felt like a turning point. She got really hopeless after that. It’s really, really conservative here. She was afraid that unless national politics got better, local politics were going to get worse.”
David McClure encouraged LGBT youth suffering from depression to not give in to their despair and reach out to someone, even him if necessary.
“Don’t let the assholes win,” McClure said.