I spent my birthday crying my eyes out while dancing.
Galen Hooks posted new choreography to Billie Eilish's "everything i wanted". The concept is "one dance, many ways".
In the song, Billie refers to a dream where she killed herself and no one cared or noticed. While dancing, all I could think about was how 82% of trans people seriously consider suicide, and 40% of trans people have attempted suicide. But no one seems to care or notice our suffering. Black trans women face a life expectancy of 35. As of this writing, 39 of our trans and non-binary siblings have been murdered this year alone.
Trans and non-binary people are not just morbid statistics. We are flesh and blood. We are chosen family. We support and love on one another when our own families cast us out. Trans and non-binary people are amazing, and this dance is in tribute to all of us lost, and all of us who survive against the odds.
I have also struggled with suicidality and depression. After getting out of the military last year, I fell into a deep depression that lasted months. I was intensely socially anxious, barely able to be outside my home, growing more and more addicted to substance, and having unwanted thoughts of suicide almost daily.
I had very little interest in things that used to bring me joy, but sometimes I would put on music and my body would just move. Being able to turn off my brain and be absorbed in dance, just for a few minutes, was like medicine. I couldn't name every pain in my heart, but moving and, often, crying was like hitting the release valve on an over-pressurized tank.
One year later, I'm grateful I'm still here. I celebrated my birthday this weekend. This dance is for my trans and non-binary family. Wishing us happiness and long life.
If you are in crisis, please seek mental health support as soon as possible. Here are some crisis hotlines to help you through tough times:
BlackLine for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color https://www.callblackline.com/: 1(800)604-5841 (call or text, 24/7)
Trans Lifeline: (877)565-8860
Crisis text line: text HOME to 741741