Yesterday Planet Transgender was contacted by April Quick regarding the article about Ash Haffner’s suicide. This note also appears on the facebook cause Ash’s mother created “Do it For Ash”.
Your story needs to be corrected or retracted: PLEASE SHARE: A STATEMENT FROM ASH HAFFNER’S MOTHER:
If you take the time to read Ash’s letter to society, which stated “I had a loving mother who FULLY accepted me for who I was and NEVER stopped trying”, and gather your facts, you will see that Ash had the FULL support of her family. Additional recent statements posted by Ash stated that she was “having a rough time trying to figure out who she was”. That she says “I don’t know what I am”, I’m confused”. That “she’s trying to figure it out & just wanted people to BE THERE FOR HER”. These statements were addressed to those who made fun of her and did not support her during her time of self discovery.
Had Ash decided that the male pronoun “HE” was the preferred pronoun, I as her mother would have been her FIRST and BIGGEST supporter and would have continued to love her unconditionally and honor her choice. At the time of Ash’s passing, she did not have a definitive pronoun preference. Therefore, you are not incorrect in whichever pronoun choice you choose to use in however YOU knew Ash. But you ARE INCORRECT in thinking or stating that I am disrespecting my child by not using the specific pronoun “HE” exclusively. I ask that you please have respect for Ash and our family and not continue to pass judgment on her/his identity as society constantly did before her tragic death. I also ask that you refrain from negative posts regarding Ash or her family who FULLY supported her.
I also ask that you familiarize yourself with the term “TRANSGENDER” : of or relating to people who have a sexual identity that is not clearly male or clearly female. Those of you who are posting negativity are showing the prime example of what is wrong in our society. You are passing judgment and making statements without even knowing the true circumstances or facts. I “WILL NOT” tolerate any negative slander or false statements by ANY individual, news outlet, media source, etc., printed or spoken and I will deal with any of those issues accordingly. ASH WAS MY WORLD!! Sincerely, April Quick (Ash’s mother)
Were we too fast in identifying Ash as a Transgender male?
The transgender community take our cues from these observations regarding gender expression:
If a person is identified on mainstream media as transgender, for better or worse, we take that to be fact assuming that the media source is educated and has sources.
Ash was said to have recently cut their hair. It would appear Ash was presenting in a masculine manner prior to their suicide. (Planet Transgender is using gender neutral pronouns.)
It follows that since Ash was presently visibly as male Ash would have wanted to be thought of as such.
We have been overwhelmed with transgender children taking their own lives this year, all because of nonacceptance of their gender expression. So many of our community murdered. 43 so far this year. The pain is nearly unbearable.
But looking at the name “Ash’ we see that it is primarily male but that is also could be gender neutral.
Ash’s facebook page, which wasn’t previously viewable list’s their gender as neither and their pronouns as “They”.
A video tribute by Ash’s friends shared by April Quick.
If we are here to help make things get better, it appears for now that we are failing miserably. We, meaning mothers, fathers, classmates transgender writers and editors need to better understand how we are affecting trans youth. We need to look inside ourselves to do that. We Need to Do It For Ash.
R.I.P. Ash Haffner