Hey Henry, thanks for coming to chat in #SafeSpace. What was going on in your life when you were thinking of suicide?

When I was 12, I started to struggle with my identity and felt wrong in my body. I was transgender and, at first, my parents didn’t respond the way that I wanted them to and they couldn’t accept it.

Oh no... How did that make you feel?

I felt trapped and stuck. It felt like I wasn’t being fully accepted for who I really was.

Did anything make those feelings worse?

Exam periods and stress at school. I was self-harming, and viewing other people’s self-harm online also triggered suicidal thoughts.

What happened?

I attempted suicide once, but I’m very glad that I wasn’t badly injured and my life was not in danger.

How did you stay safe?

I planned lots of stuff and made sure I had a lot of stuff to look forward to in the future. Making change for myself and others was and is still a big motivator. I’m doing a lot of advocacy work, which makes me feel good.

What else helped you feel better?

Living according to my gender identity has helped me feel right in my body. I have a psychologist and counselling has helped me learn new ways to solve problems, manage stress, reframe how I think about things, cope with self-harm urges, plan for the future and learn about the LGBTIQA+ community.

What about your family and friends?

Fortunately, my parents did change their attitude and are now very accepting and supportive. I have a good support network and my friends were always really caring and non-judgemental.