LOVE FOR TED / by Sharmi Basu

I wrote this on facebook after finding out the passing of my friend Ted, who I attended Mills with in 2013 and 2014. I just want to share so my thoughts on this human don't disappear into the ether.

My dear bb friend Ted Linus Farber passed away on Sunday as a result of systematic oppression and depression via suicide. I adore you Ted, and I feel so sad and confused and hurt and mad that you were not able to get the strength and support you needed from this shitty hellworld, but I also feel like some of your stories need to be told because your art and your struggle was based in learning how to be honest with ourselves, in whatever capacity that appeared. Ted is a queer white person, and struggled intensely with trying to identify as gender-queer and/or trans*. I know in particular he expressed to me the difficulty with sorting out what that would mean for his family, how he would assimilate in his friendships, and how difficult it was for him to be perceived as a very masculine hetero-cis man. I know Leelah Alcorn's story carried a lot of weight for him, and I know that he had so much difficulty in trying to figure out how to express his trans identity to people, especially in such a heteronormative academic institution. I just want to reframe Ted's passing as something that we all need to be held responsible for, and that this is the systematic murder of another trans and queer person, and that the lack of resources and dialogue we have around queerness, trans bodies, and tragedy in institutional settings is horrendous, and that the fact that so many of us are on the edge of tipping over into oblivion is offensive. I have no thoughts on suicide as being a righteous or selfish thing, it is a decision that has consequences, just like everything else. Ultimately maybe nothing could have been done to change what happened. I just miss you Ted and am really really sad and hurt and so so angry that we failed you and really wish I got to dress up with you and play music with you and cry with you and hug you one more time before you left. I am sending so much love to you and your loved ones and I trust that your being and spirit is watching over newly budding queer bbs and making them listen to Buckminster Fuller and Built to Spill. My tears this week are for you.