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Rev. Elsa Worth
Keene, NH

In the early 2010s, Rev. Elsa Worth’s child came out as a transgender woman. “She told us that sometime during junior year of high school, she began to feel depressed and anxious as she became increasingly aware that she was not a boy after all — she was truly a girl,” Rev. Worth explained. “She wanted her peers to know that even popular kids have struggles, and also wanted them to know that people they knew and respected could be transgender. So she courageously came out publicly.”

Rev. Worth said that coming out as a transgender girl seemed to be a profound moment of liberation for her child, who began to think about planning her transition. But suddenly, on January 28, 2017, Rev. Worth’s child took her own life. “Forty percent of all transgender teens either commit or attempt suicide. That’s 40 percent of all of our transgender sons, daughters, siblings, friends and family members. My husband and I did not know that statistic until it was too late,” Rev Worth said. “There is enormous stigma in our culture around being transgender no matter how much personal support you have, whether before or after a gender transition — especially for a transgender girl like Em. Even if your friends and family love and accept you, many in society do not, and there is little recourse should you encounter discrimination or hostility in housing, employment or in public spaces. Putting nondiscriminatory measures in place are a basic and important step in offering vulnerable teens like Emelia the hope, confidence and inner peace to keep going despite the significant pressure of bias and stigma they will face.”

Read More Stories By:  Freedom New Hampshire

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