An emotional Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) adjourned the state Assembly session Thursday in memory of two transgender teenagers from northern San Diego County who committed suicide.
The teens -- identified by Atkins as Taylor Alesana of Fallbrook and Sage David of Encinitas -- were “sweet, loving and bright,” she said.
“Sage and Taylor had friends, allies and supportive families,” said Atkins, her voice breaking slightly. “Yet they still suffered enough that they took this tragic step.”
Atkins noted that studies have shown that transgender people “suffer disproportionate discrimination and violence in our society.”
Alesana, 16, posted several videos in which she described the hurtful comments made by other teenagers, although she also praised her teacher and counselor at Fallbrook High for being supportive.
Atkins said she hoped that all LGBT youth know that there are suicide hotlines, and that adults learn to watch for signs that a teenager is considering suicide.
“And anyone tempted to mock or marginalize transgender Californians should stop and think what that action could mean to a vulnerable young person,” she said.
FOR THE RECORD:
A previous version of this post identified Taylor Alesana as a transgender male. She was a transgender female.