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The Right to Go

| Aug 20, 2018
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Note: At the writing of this piece it was announced that Zombie Boy had committed suicide. It has since come to light that it may have been an accident. The thoughts conveyed here that were provoked by this announcement still stand in the overall contemplation about suicide.


A lot of people kill themselves on a regular basis. Then there was the year of 2018 where a lot of people we knew of killed themselves on a regular basis. And within this technological over-share of an age, the people now get to leave their suicide notes upon all of our desks.

Rick Genest, aka Zombie Boy

Rick Genest, aka Zombie Boy

On August 1, 2018 Zombie Boy decided to drop his body. At the time of my writing this we have no further information. We do not know if he was physically ill, mentally troubled, or just unhappy. “Just” unhappy. He left us at the ridiculously young age of 32.

As I read through the comments on Mr. Zombie’s final Instagram post I see people grieving. They are angry and upset. They do not understand. Some say they do understand and a few respect his decision. Others call him a coward while a very small handful say we all have the right to go.

Lady Gaga posted telling us that we all need to save each other.

Do we have the right to go and how far do we go to save each other before there is nothing left? We do have the right as it is not illegal to kill yourself, but people sure do have a problem with those who ultimately do. I think the heart wrenching part of suicide is tangled up in people who exit because of feelings.

It’s a no brainer when we learn that the person was physically ill or was so very mentally disturbed. It’s a buffer and we can all sit back with a sigh, “Well, they were suffering so very . . .”

It’s the people who are lonely  or so completely wrapped up in their own turmoil that make this hard to understand. It’s probably because we all consider ourselves wrapped up in our own turmoil and feel as though we are fighting to survive.

I have always thought that those people committing suicide are beyond the pain which I have ever felt in my adult years. The last time I was suicidal I was a teenager and a brat. Of course, I say that now but at the time I was dead serious and it sure as hell meant everything to me. Which might be why so many of us wish the people who killed themselves would have worked through it. For most of us there is always a light at the end of every darkness. Most people go down into darkness but eventually come back up. And when they do, they see that their life is worth living.

Suicide is about the people who never come back up into the light or have never been in the light for all that long. They have suffered all along and we usually didn’t know about it. They live their life trying to get by and one day they decide they’ve tried enough.

Perhaps that is why those people may have the right to go. It almost seems like it was a solid decision, even though we wish they would not have made it. It’s so very final. I can hardly decide what to have for breakfast in the morning, so I can’t imagine being certain I was ready to press my own “off” button.

The question that constantly comes to my mind around suicide prevention is if we really can prevent deaths like Zombie Boy and others whom we didn’t exactly know were suicidal. There is definitely a reason for suicide prevention and intervention, but you can’t stop what you don’t even know is happening.

I lost a best friend to suicide several years ago. She posted something one night on Twitter about looking forward to something in her life and the next day she killed herself in her bathroom. That storyline brings to mind other people you’ve heard of like Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington. The people with so much to live for with the happy family. The ones who leave everyone behind lamenting, “They were just laughing with me yesterday and planning their next vacation.” Are we really going to save those people?

I think that’s a solid “no.” These people were happy. These people knew about suicide prevention. These people knew they had loved ones to reach out to and they did not do that. I don’t believe telling them about the Suicide Prevention Hotline would have changed their minds.

No, we’re talking about the people who advertise their suicidal tendencies. The friend who is down and telling you about it. We’re telling you to make sure they are not a checkmark on the To Do List. Reach out now. Reach out regularly. Let them know you care.

We’re also talking about the people who use social media to continually lay out their plans in a public format, numbing us to the cause. It’s numbing because they never actually commit suicide, they  just talk about it all of the time. And these people make me angry because they dull an otherwise very sharp topic. These people anger me because I don’t want them to commit suicide and they’ve talked about it so long that we’ve all given up on them. All of their hundreds of friends have commented saying, “I love you, don’t do this…” We have all reminded them that they have a purpose and are an inspiration. And yet week after week we find ourselves back at the same post telling them the same thing. What are you doing? They’re not looking for attention and yet they are. And that makes me so upset with them.

That is the unpreventable part of suicide prevention. We will never be able to solve the problem completely because the suicidal person will always be by themselves eventually. Unless we are locking them in a padded cell they will sooner or later be home to their own devices. We can only do so much. We can only comment so much or call them on a regular basis.

“I love you, what else more do you want!?” But they do want more. They need more than we can give them, because the well within them is too deep. That well has been empty for a long time and I think they have sadly not found a way to fill it from within. I think those of us who painstakingly concern ourselves with the suicidal are those who wish these people could see their own power. They had everything they needed all along. It was right there within them and it had nothing to do with us out here. (Yes, just like Dorothy and her goddamned shoes.)

I don’t want you to die like that. I don’t want anyone to give up living. I am so very self motivated, because no one has ever supported me like I wished they would. If I don’t get any help then I’ll do it myself. I feel that way about doing and I more importantly feel that way about loving. If you don’t love me enough I’m going to love myself instead. If you can’t please me, I’ll be sure to please me. If you don’t want to take me out to dinner and a movie then I’ll take myself out. Table for one and make it a big ol’ booth, too. There’s no one who can entertain me and make me laugh more than I do myself.

This world is so wrecked on the assumption that there’s always a helping hand. It would be nice, but it’s not real. If I waited for help or the love I felt I deserved, I’d be nowhere. I guess I’d be dead or at least severely unproductive. I never understood those movies where the victim is screaming for help. Just laying there yelling, “Somebody help me!” Dude, there isn’t anybody out there! This is on you.

If there is a suicide prevention it’s probably about filling your own very empty well. Help yourselves and help each other. Don’t commit suicide.

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Category: Transgender Body & Soul, Transgender Opinion

The Artist D

About the Author ()

The Artist D is a true raconteur and provocateur! He has been performing online since the mid 1990s. A relic from the cam show age before MySpace was any space. Author of In Bed with Myself, an autobiographical tale of transgenderism and Internet celebrity. Executive Editor of Fourculture Magazine and host of the Kawfeehaus podcast.

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  1. Sophie Lynne Sophie Lynne says:

    Well written and provocative.

    As someone who deals with “The Darkness” every minute of every day, I know exactly what you’re discussing. I talk about it in my blog and on FB. I do so because I’m too damn honest for my own good. Sorry if that makes you upset. You know where the “block” button is.

    I maintain that my life is MINE, and that if I wish to end it, that’s MY decision.

    I lost one of my dearest friends to suicide. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about her, and the choice she made. Some call her a coward. I say she was VERY brave. She knew exactly what she was doing, and what the result would be, and did it anyway.

    I’ve survived 2 attempts- one because of dumb luck and lack of preparation. Do I “see that [my] life is worth living?” Nope. Just the opposite. Yet I am still here. Still breathing. Still writing.

    I know that, barring accident or murder, I will end my own life someday. But today was not that day, and tomorrow will not be either. I have things I look forward to doing. While I lost all Hope long ago, I can still do that.

    I will say this- all those people who say wonderful things about the recently departed: don’t wait until they’re dead. Tell them NOW. It may be the thing that keeps them alive.

    It has been for me.

    Be well.

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