Ashley Hallstrom, a 26-year-old transgender woman, took her own life on Wednesday morning in south Logan, Utah, after leaving a suicide note on her Facebook account asking people to work for acceptance of trans people. Hallstrom stepped in front of a truck and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Wrote Hallstrom on Facebook:
These are going to be my final words. I can’t stand to live another day, so I’m committing suicide. The reason why I’ve decided to do this is because I’m transgender. For those of you that unsure of what that means, it means that even though I was born in a male body, I am and have always been female. I’ve known I was female for as far back as I can remember. This caused me to become severely depressed from a very young age. From a very young age I was told that people like me are freaks and abominations, that we are sick in the head and society hates us. This made me hate who I was. I tried so hard to be just like everyone else but this isn’t something you can change.
It wasn’t until I was 20 that I found out I wasn’t alone. I had hope that I would finally be able to live as and love who I am. I finally came out as transgender and began transitioning. For the first time in my life I could say I was genuinely happy. Despite this huge change in my life I never completely got over the depression being trans caused me. Everywhere I’d turn I’d see the hated that society had for us. I had already been poisoned by a society that didn’t understand us and, even worse, didn’t want to even try. I saw the pain it caused to people like me and going though this same hurt myself it has just become to much for me to take anymore. I wanted so much to help those going though what I had to because nobody should ever have to feel that they hate their life so much that they want to end it all just so they won’t have to experience another moment of this sadness. I’m not the first to feel this way and sadly I know I won’t be the last.
I’m writing all of this because I’ve need my story to be shared. I don’t want to be just another number of a tragic statistic. People need to know that I’m not just another face of someone they never met. I was alive. I have a family and friends that I love very much and I’m so sorry to them for the hurt this will cause them. I loved being around those that I love. I loved listening to music and singing. I loved going out to eat with friends and enjoying good food. I was a real person. I still want to help people and I believe I still can. Please share my final words. I believe my last words can help make the change that society needs to make so that one day there will be no others like me. Please help make this change because trans people are everywhere. You may never know who you’re hurting until it’s too late. Please help fix society.
While not much is known about Hailstorm’s family life, her death is reminiscent of that of Leelah Alcorn, who took a similar path in December 2014.
Hallstrom also published her note to Reddit.
Hallstrom was a frequent Reddit contributor in TwoXChromosones and asktransgender as LittleCollette. In the last few weeks, she complained that her therapist’s methods were outdated, but mentioned that, after 6 years of living full-time as a woman, she had “passed all the requirements needed for her to write me letters” to go through sex reassignment surgery.
Two months ago, she pleaded with a fellow Redditer not to take her own life.
“Please talk to us. Look at all these people who love you and will miss you. We all want to help you. Don’t give up on us and I promise we won’t give up on you,” she advised. “We will help you get to were you want to be in life. There are many of us that have been were you are now. I am one of them. My dysphoria nearly killed me to but I’m still here and I’m glad I am. We will help you get to where you want to be in life and all you have to do is let us help you.”
She went on her first date with a man only three months ago but, and though her date said he was fine with dating a trans* woman, by the end of the date he said there was no physical attraction due to Hallstrom’s masculine features “coming through.”
Many Reddit users expressed deep sadness for another trans* member committing suicide, wishing that they had been able to talk her out of it.
The website Planet Transgender says that Hallstrom’s is the 20th trans suicide they have recorded this year.
If you are a young person in crisis, feeling suicidal, or in need of a safe and judgment-free place to talk, Trans Lifeline’s number is (877) 565-8860. More information about the hotline can be found at www.translifeline.org. Trans Lifeline is volunteer-run and supported by community contributions. You can contribute here.
Resources are also available at the Trevor Lifeline now at 866-488-7386.