The news about the death of Leelah Alcorn outside of Cincinnati brought to my attention a similar tragedy much closer to home.
On Saturday, December 13, 2014, 24-year-old Andi Woodhouse died by suicide near the 10th Street Bridge in Pittsburgh. Andi was from Lebanon, PA. He was in Pittsburgh temporarily for some services and he worked at a local McDonald’s. I remember reading about his death, but he was misgendered in the original article. I had no idea he was part of our community until Kasey told me.
Andi Woodhouse Photo courtesy of family & friends
Andi’s ex-girlfriend and good friend Kasey saw my post about Leelah and reached out to me. Andi’s family is grieving very deeply and hopes to organize some sort of closure event memorializing Andi as well as encouraging other young trans people. I’ll be working on that with them.
Andi’s family has requested that memorial contributions may be made to Mental Health America of Lancaster County, 630 Janet Ave., Lancaster, PA 17601 or Transgender Foundation of America, 604 Pacific Street, Houston TX 77006.
I did not expect once again to be writing about the impact of the death of a young trans person, not 24 hours after my most recent post. Do I just copy the words from yesterday? Do I focus on setting up a memorial? What do I do except feel angry and sad?
Andi was right here. He walked the streets that I walk, his life ended on a bridge I cross regularly. He was right here in Pittsburgh and we didn’t know. He was right here, just blocks from community resources that I help to build and support and promote. He was right here.
I knew this day was coming that I wrote about Pittsburgh. I just didn’t anticipate how much it would hurt. And how much it would be about my feelings.
Rest in peace, Andi. I hope we can help your family and friends find peace, too.
If you know someone in crisis, please reach out with support and tools.
If you need support, please reach out to the GLBT National Hotline (888-843-4564). LGBTQ youth can call the Trevor Project Hotline (866-488-7386) and transgender people can utilize the Transgender Helpline (855-345-8464).
In Pittsburgh, these resources are available:
UPDATE – a vigil for Andi Woodhouse will be held Saturday, January 3 at 2 PM starting on Pittsburgh’s South Side.
Photos courtesy of Andi’s family
Photo courtesy of Andi’s friends.