*WARNING: The following article contains mention of attempted suicide/self-harm.*
Richard Alcântara recently went to a family event expecting it to be like any other.
What he saw when he got there was a spectacular show of love and support from his family.
Alcântara has not yet had a mastectomy (generally referred to as top surgery within the trans community) so he binds his chest. This can lead to some awkwardness, especially at a pool party where it is typical to wear only swim trunks and no shirt.
To show their support for Richard, and try to make him more comfortable, the men of the family decided to tape their chests as well to normalize it.
Richard's girlfriend, Yuri Almeida, shared two videos of the men in Richard's family greeting him. The group started with their backs turned, and all that could be seen is that they were wearing swim trunks with no shirts.
When Alcântara arrived and walked toward the group, they all turn around and revealed that they had taped their chests too.
Richard stopped when he saw his family, then hugs were shared and many happy tears were shed.
Along with the videos, Almeida shared some of the history that led to this touching moment, and why family acceptance and respect is so incredibly important for trans people.
(This post and all included comments have been automatically translated by Facebook)
"A year ago he suffered from the acceptance phase and feared the rejection of the family, already tried against his own life because of depression, but what he didn't know is that everything has its time."
"For those who think that for these people lack God, they are wrong...they don't require people to accept them, but require and deserve respect."
"This is a demonstration of unconditional love of a family...with so much diversity always put love and union above all. where happiness, where the conquest and realization of a dream of a member of the family is shared and lived by all. And it's the family I'm grateful to be part of."
She finished with an important message to those who are less accepting of trans identities:
"Prejudice has no space where love and respect are present! (if you don't have love to give the least is to respect)"
Folks on Facebook loved the video, and it's message.
Andreia Cristina Lima/Facebook
Having loving and supportive family can make all of the difference in a trans person's life. Knowing that there are people who truly have your back through thick and thin can be a huge relief and allow folks to focus on the important things in their lives instead of worrying about rejection.
This simple knowledge of support and community can be the difference between someone suffering from depression and even contemplating suicide and their being able to live a full life as their authentic selves. Humans are social creatures and community is incredibly important for our mental health.
Grand gestures like this are definitely great, but they aren't the only way to show support for trans family and friends. Simple things like making sure to use someone's chosen name and the correct pronouns are an excellent way to show that you support someone's identity and are there for them.
The critically acclaimed documentary Gender Revolution: A Journey With Katie Couric, available here, provides an outsider's educational journey to better understanding gender beyond binary and stereotypes.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/
Folks in Brazil who need support can find more information here: https://www.cvv.org.br/ or dial 188 from any Brazilian landline or cell phone.
- TrevorChat — 24/7/365 at https://www.thetrevorproject.org/get-help-now/#services
- TrevorLifeline — phone service available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386
- TrevorText — Text "START" to 678678. Available 24/7/365.
- TrevorSpace — online international peer-to-peer community for LGBTQ young people and their friends at https://www.trevorspace.org/
- Trevor Support Center — LGBTQ youth & allies can find answers to FAQs and explore resources at https://www.thetrevorproject.org/resources/trevor-support-center/#sm.0000121hx9lvicotqs52mb1saenel
Have you listened to the first season of George Takei's podcast, 'Oh Myyy Pod!'?
In season one we explored the racially charged videos that have taken the internet by storm.
We're hard at work on season two so be sure to subscribe here so you don't miss it when it goes live.
Here's one of our favorite episodes from season one. Enjoy!