You were loved – Transgender developer takes life

Kate von RoderOctober 1st was a sad day for many when a young transgendered software engineer decided to take her own life. Kate von Roeder, also known as @ItsDamiya on Twitter and best known as jerleminara (a commentator for Dota 2), was an avid gamer and as much of a nerd or geek as myself and many others in the world. She enjoyed the classics like Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and enjoyed League of Legends, whether it was playing or watching others via streams. (These are just a small fraction of her interests.)

Now beneath this normal exterior of gaming and geekery, Kate was dealing with one of the toughest internal things a person can go through, and that is gender identity disorder. The mental and even physical stress of being transgendered is more than most can imagine. Now most people will not be able to empathize because they have always known who they are, but over the past four decades there have been roughly 30,000 to 40,000 surgeries for SRS performed. On the lower end of the statistical side, this means that in the U. S. over the last 40 years approximately 1 for every 2,500 people have undergone the surgery. Even more suffer from GID and express it regularly through other outlets but may be unable to take steps further in their transitions.

Kate began to post cryptic comments and countdowns towards October 1st and nobody but herself had a clue to what it actually meant. Shortly before the act she posted a goodbye Facebook letter to her friends and loved ones. Two parts of the note that struck home very hard for me:

“(I shouldn’t have done it. Not because I’m not trans, but because I didn’t have a fraction of the personal strength to succeed at it unlike some of the amazing trans people I’ve been privileged to know), my physical struggles (heat sensitivity, and more recently hair loss), or my mental pain (I can’t even look at myself in the mirror.).”


“All the hurt and the pain and the constant need to compare myself to all the normal people I meet.. That’s all *done*.”

Now these are things that just about every transgendered person goes through at some point or another. It can be a breaking point for many that causes them to do things they normally wouldn’t do or act unnaturally to those around them. There are so many mornings where I, too, look in the mirror in pure frustration or flip on TV and see all these beautiful women and begin to curse at the world for being born different.

Kate took the time in her note to thank those who have attempted to befriend her and to apologize to those she had felt she had been a burden to, or her proclaimed failed attempts to be a good friend. I hope that Kate is much happier now and can somehow able to read any of the posts from her followers and friends who truly show that she was loved and cared for.

We are more often than not our hardest critics in life, and at times hold ourselves accountable to unrealistic levels. This can turn into a more serious issue and it can apply to anyone, Transgendered or not. The thing I have learned in life is to set both realistic and unrealistic goals, and at the end of the day count your victories and learn from your defeats.

In the end life will work out. It may not be what we envision it to be, but that’s part of getting older and truly learning what life really means to ourselves. I want to encourage everyone to try and find someone that truly cares for them, whether it be a family member, friend, coworker, mentor or even an acquaintance. Whether you may know it or not, we all have someone in our life who cares for us more than we realize, and it is up to us to figure out who it is and to keep them close to our hearts and to reach out to them in our times of need.

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Jada Griffin
Jada Griffin 334 posts

Legends tell of a princess captured and raised by Ninjas to be their future leader. Jada was trained from an early age to max the luck stat, always strike first and to never surrender.