LGBT RightsTransgenderism

Her Name was Melonie – Another Trans WOC has Committed Suicide

Melonie Rose looking absolutely beautiful, a shot of her from her shoulders up

Another transgender woman of color has taken her own life. Melonie Rose was a beautiful 19-year-old trans woman from Laurel, Maryland. From the start, Melonie had a hard life, having been shuffled from foster home to foster home. She dealt with emotional problems, as a result. No doubt, the discrimination Melonie endured did not help the young woman, who attended a therapeutic, alternative high school, Pathways, where she graduated in 2014.

I learned about Melonie from her close friend, Hunter. Like me, Hunter is a transman. He attended Pathways, with Melonie, and they graduated together, last year. Hunter describes Melonie as, “bright, and full of life and energy.” Melonie was Hunter’s female counterpart. His love for his dear friend is clear, as he writes about speaking at her memorial, telling the story of the last movie they saw together.

HunterwithMelonieRose

Hunter was quite upset, when he attended the memorial service for Melonie. He was shocked to see that her family had an open casket, and instead of dressing her the way Melonie would have wanted to dress, they put her in a suit. Additionally, family members spoke about her by using her birth name and using male pronouns, even though Melonie had legally changed her name. All of the paper materials handed out at the memorial, listed her as her former name, although a picture of Melonie, presenting as a male notes her chosen name of Melonie Rose in parenthesis, next to her birth name.

 a picture in the obituary of Melonie shows  the young woman as a male, before her transition

Melonie is not the first transgender person to commit suicide recently. She joins a growing number of young transgender people who have killed themselves, since 2015 began. She also isn’t the first to be denied her basic human rights of being buried, presented in death, and listed in her obituary and funeral materials by her chosen name and gender pronouns. Twitter is filled with hashtags, including #HerNamewasLeelah (for trans teen, Leelah Alcorn), #HisNameWasZander (for trans teen, Zander Mahaffey), #HerNameWasEylul(for Turkish transwoman, Eylül Cans?n), and #HisNameIsDamien (for trans teen, Damien Strum, who was stopped before he could go through with killing himself, and is now in a psychiatric ward). With that in mind, I ask you all to celebrate the life of Melonie Rose by sharing her story, and refusing to let her be forgotten through the hashtag #HerNameWasMelonie.

I have attached the information that Hunter received, at the Memorial, so you can see how Melonie’s family refused to acknowledge her status, as a proud transwoman, and even in death denied her the comfort of being referred to by her chosen name. Friends of Melonie say she had endured a lot, but that her death was unexpected. Hunter claims was she one of the least likely people, he knew, to commit suicide. Melonie, and the friends who truly knew her and loved her, for the vibrant woman she was, feel a profound sadness, at the loss of their dear friend.

the obituary of Melonie uses her birth name, not her chosen one

We need to do better for our transgender youth. Melonie deserved to be accepted. She deserved to be remembered the way she felt comfortable, not how her family thought they should remember her. It is very important for transgender people, and their loved ones, to protect themselves from intolerant family members going against their own wishes. For transgender people who are over 18, it is imperative to have a will and power of attorney, clearly listing who can make medical decisions and end-of-life/death decisions. This is one of the only ways to prevent family members from exerting their own will into such sensitive matters. For transgender youth under the age of 18, this can be hard, because family is considered the default authority.

What needs to happen is, parents and other family members need to start accepting their children, no matter their gender identity. As parents, it is our job to love our children, no matter what. Sadly, the parents of Melonie Rose, and the other transgender youth mentioned above, have forgotten what being a parent means.

I will never forget you, Melonie. Rest in power, and know you are loved.

Please spread Melonie’s story far and wide. We cannot let ignorance lead us to forget her name: #HerNameWasMelonie. To find out more about Hunter, visit his blog.

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27 comments

  1. This is so sad, and she lived just about a half an hour away from me. Although I didn’t know her personally, as a QPOC, my heart breaks for her.

  2. As a post-op trans girl, I will say this…….. and the trans community will say oh how horrible as everyone attends yet another candlelight vigil, and then everyone will go back to their lives until the next murder or suicide and the next candlelight vigil.
    I'm curious, when exactly is the trans community going to get pissed off and demand an end to this outright extermination ?

  3. She didn’t commit anything. Suicide isn’t a crime.

  4. […] would like to submit a piece on intersectional violence? Maybe?   Eugh. And, this-just-in: Her Name was Melonie – Another Trans WoC Has Committed Suicide. FFS. Hey, cis people, maybe we can all email Don Plett (again…) and tell him off for his […]

  5. So sad how Christian assholes exploited her suicide, and misgender her and disrespect her and treat her like shit in death. Tis the life of a Trans Person, treated like shit in life and death, there is no calm for us.

    I fucking hate Christianity and anyone who acts like these horrific vultures abusing this poor child’s death for their own twisted agenda.

  6. May she now rest in peace. Such a shame that her family could not accept her for who she was.

  7. Why is this happening again. Why can't and won't parents and "loved ones" accept and support those children they gave life to. Gender isn't what is in you pants, its what is in your mind. People please, please STOP judging people. Please, please STOP hating what you don't understand or approve of. You don't HAVE to approve of someone else's choice, its THEIR choice, not yours! Live your life the way you want to, and let others live their life the way they want to.

  8. […] Alcorn, Melonie Rose and now Ash.were misgendered by their family in news […]

  9. Parts of the trans community are already pissed off. Big parts of it. If you don't see it, then you need to seek out others because it sounds like you're surrounded portion that is all-talk no-action.

  10. very sad, very very sad..

  11. this is horrible. melonie deserved better. #HerNameWasMelonie

  12. […] well as Alcorn, Zander Mahaffey, a 15-year-old trans boy from Georgia, and Maryland trans girl Melonie Rose, 19, took their lives in […]

  13. […] well as Alcorn, Zander Mahaffey, a 15-year-old trans boy from Georgia, and Maryland trans girl Melonie Rose, 19, took their lives in […]

  14. […] Mahaffey, a 15-year-old trans boy from Georgia, and Maryland trans girl Melonie Rose, 19, also took their lives last […]

  15. I was pleased to see your mature and compassionate handling of the sad news of the passing of Melonie Rose. Who, like Leelah Alcorn and several others, committed suicide late in 2014 & early in 2015 because “christian” family didn’t accept their transgender nature. And they refused to acknowledge their chosen name, often even after a legal name change. Josie & Lori here are both trans women, and transitioned, had SRS, and have recently celebrated our 20th anniversary. Both of us have gone through similar stories, as all of us do. Josie, in particular, had a father that refused to acknowledge her name AND gender, and tried to disown her because of it. She pestered him anyway! He was her father! Eventually, one week before he died, he used her chosen name. It was the last time she would see her dad alive! He worked himself to death in his yard, lowering his blood sugar (he was diabetic and a heart patient) to a lethal level and causing a heart attack. He laid dead in his home 3 days before a neighbor found him dead. It seems that using Josie’s name pushed him over the edge. He knew better than do that kind of work, but he did it anyway. She grieves every day 18 yrs later! So we both know what transgender prejudice can do to people.

    So I hope my next comment won’t offend. It’s not about content. It’s about the website formatting. You see, this site is heavily scripted so much that it resists selecting text. Selecting text is necessary to use a firefox addon that we created called Prostetnic Highlighter. It allows highlighting text in a plethora of custom user created colors and creates a database of highlighted text to facilitate finding highlighted text. This article was EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to us so highlighting & archiving this article is our way of mourning our fallen comrades. But it seems unnecessarily bureaucratic to block select text functions none the less. The layout is beautiful however. I just wish selecting text wasn’t disabled. Sorry!

  16. Rest easy baby girl.

  17. Thanks for your words. I bought the template, so I didn’t design that feature (to disable highlighting).

  18. The obituary her family composed to remember her is not about Melonie, but about their idea of what they wanted Melonie to be: John. It's a damn shame her family could not, would not recognize her, respect her, and accept her even in death. Now we know the origin of Censorship. It didn't start with the State; it was borne out of the family.

  19. […] a trans woman of color who lived in Maryland. My friend had no story printed about her, and Melonie only had one on the entire […]

  20. […] age 17, 2014. Story. 5. Kate Von Roeder, age 27, 2014. Story. 6. Melonie Rose, age 19, 2015. Story. 7. Charlotte Amelia Loh, age 22, 2015. Story. 8. Eylül Cansin, age 23, 2015. Story. 9. Aubrey […]

  21. […] age 17, 2014. Story. 5. Kate Von Roeder, age 27, 2014. Story. 6. Melonie Rose, age 19, 2015. Story. 7. Charlotte Amelia Loh, age 22, 2015. Story. 8. Eylül Cansin, age 23, 2015. Story. 9. Aubrey […]

  22. life is not all about appearance, love and sex. Life is about enjoyment, rides, food, and all. Why not enjoy other thing? Why look at a glass as half empty?

  23. […] the reported suicides of 23-year-old Eylul Cansin on January 5 in Istanbul, Turkey; 19-year-old Melonie Rose on February 11 in Laurel, Maryland; 15-year-old Zander Mahaffey on February 15 in Austell, […]

  24. […] the reported suicides of 23-year-old Eylul Cansin on January 5 in Istanbul, Turkey; 19-year-old Melonie Rose on February 11 in Laurel, Maryland; 15-year-old Zander Mahaffey on February 15 in Austell, […]

  25. […] those who are the least spiritual, and thus, own their individuality the least, often find suicide and addiction as ways out. However, this gets even more complicated when we consider the […]

  26. […] support in the aftermath of their suicides that they never received in life: Leelah Alcorn, 17; Melonie Rose, 19; Ash Haffner, 16; Blake Brockington, 17; Taylor Alesena, 16. Without people to support them, […]

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