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Danielle Muscato @DanielleMuscato
, 24 tweets, 12 min read Read on Twitter
For #TransDayofRemembrance I want to tell you a story.

Last Nov/Dec, I was homeless. @realDonaldTrump had just been elected. I was living in my car. I was cold. I was hungry. The pain from my chronic lower back issues was horribly bad, every moment of every day (1/x)
Sleeping in my car was making it worse. I could barely stand, let alone go grocery shopping or walk longer than about 10 min, w/o being totally wiped out for the next day or 2. I was receiving no medical treatment for being #trans, for my #AtrialFibrillation or my back pain (2/x)
I was unemployed, had no degree, didn't pass, and I was severely depressed.

Only a few ppl know this, but I think it's time to talk about it. I almost died last December. I didn't have much $, but I was doing research on the best methods to kill myself that'd be effective (3/x)
inexpensive, fast, & as painless as could reasonably be expected. I know someone who died by jumping in front of a semi; that was cost-effective to me, but I didn't like the idea of causing a crash that could hurt others, or psychologically affecting the driver (4/x)
I thought about pretending to point a gun at a cop, but the same psychological effects would apply, and I might not die or die right away. I thought about jumping off of a building/garage, but I didn't want to make a mess that kids might see, or suffer before I died (5/x)
I found that my preferred method was a shotgun to the head. I wrote a 3000 word goodbye letter containing about a dozen individual notes within it, addressed to certain friends & colleagues who'd touched my life in various ways. I talked about what I wanted to happen (6/x)
to my body, & my things, & how I wanted to be remembered (& didn't want to be remembered). I said if some type of service is arranged, I wanted @JFLCroft or @ramenneedles to speak; I listed some people I did not want to attend, and said that it would mean a lot to me if (7/x)
the music of #FionaApple, my favorite musician, would be performed, if not by her (yeah, right!) then by my musician friends, if they wanted to arrange it. I did not own a gun, didn't have much $. When I got down to my last $300, I knew that I needed to make a choice about (8/x)
buying more gas & groceries, or buying the gun I had chosen. I sent the letter to my friend @kt_hudd, with instructions not to read it until after I was dead.

I don't believe in miracles. But then—a miracle happened.

I do not want to go into the details of how, but (9/x)
last Dec 21st, a woman in California saved my life. She arranged for me to get into a homeless shelter, to see a doctor to start transitioning, & also another doctor to treat my heart condition, & also for someone to start treating my back pain (who I started seeing 3x/wk) (10/x)
She also set me up with a therapist, who I still see twice a week. She sent me several thousand dollars, too. The transitioning doc also put me on #Cymbalta, an antidepressant that made me feel like a dark cloud had been lifted. I could suddenly see, & hear, & smile again (11/x)
Music sounded sweet again. Writing was possible again. I started doing public speaking again.

I didn't want to die anymore.

Not being in constant pain from my back made an ineffable difference to my quality of life. I started androgen blockers on Jan 9 & estrogen March 8 (12/x)
The depression is long gone. I'm having heart surgery soon. I started dressing #femme on July 7 & haven't looked back. She did all of this, for me, bc she is a generous person. Bc she is kind. Bc she is beautiful. Bc she is the embodiment of what a #humanist is & should be (13/x)
She didn't do it for religious reasons; she didn't do it expecting, or even wanting, anything in return.

A few months later, when I asked her why? Why did you do all of this for me?—she told me that she did it because she loves me. I told her that I love her, too (14/x)
Over the last 11 months, we (& the woman in NY who put the two of us in touch, @ruthfulgrace) have come to call each other sisters. I understand now what it is to have a sister, & what it is to be a sister—something that, for a #transwoman, is an incredible thing to say (15/x)
This woman taught me the meaning of sisterhood. This woman taught me how to love someone completely, how to be myself, how to accept kindness without guilt, and how to appreciate life. (16/x)
There is nothing I could ever do to repay her, or even explain it fully. But I want you all to know what she did for me.

Being #trans is ineffably difficult. We receive so much hate. The majority of my family doesn't understand & doesn't speak to me. It is so hard for us (17/x)
to get past a #job #interview, let alone make a good income to support ourselves and the RIDICULOUSLY high costs of transition, therapy, new clothes, etc.

I get hate mail EVERY DAY telling me to kill myself. It goes with the territory of being a #trans #activist. Although (18/x)
you certainly don't have to be a public figure & #trans activist to get this kind of hate. I think it is more-or-less a universal experience for trans people. THAT is why we are so statistically prone to suicide attempts & suicide. That is why I do what I do as an activist (19/x)
Before this woman saved my life, I focused mostly on separation of religion and government in my activism. Surviving as a #trans person has become more of my focus now. Society, we need to do better. And we CAN do better. This #TransDayofRemembrance, let's talk about how. (20/x)
You hardly need to go to the lengths that my "sister" went to for me, to help #trans people in crisis or at risk of crisis. Engage with us. Ask us how you can help us. If your #privilege as a #cisgender person affords you to, pledge to our @Patreon's, @PayPal etc. (21/x)
Offer to take us to lunch. LEARN and educate yourself about #trans issues and activism. We need allies. We need YOU. We can solve the problem of hate if we try, because hate comes from ignorance, and the cure for ignorance is education. That starts with YOU seeking it out (22/x)
I believe every good Twitter thread needs a call to action. To learn more ab #trans rights, living as a #trans person, what kind of support we need, and how you can be a better ally, check out & donate to @TheTaskForce & @TransLifeline (cc @LenoreGore, @GretaGustava) (23/x)
Thank you for reading. I'm so grateful that I'm not a name on this year's #TransDayofRemembrance list, because I almost was. I will never forget how close I came to that. Now, I #payitforward (cc @cryanhyde) to other #trans people w/my activism work. I hope you join me! (24/24)
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