I remember meeting a girl…

Alivia Stonier, Staff Reporter

On December 15th of 2019 in Tullow, Ireland a small town located on the outskirts of Carlow a 16 year old girl by the name Angela Doran commited suicide on the Tullow bridge in the early hours of the morning. 

Angela was one of my closest friends; we had met on a discord server in 2017. Discord for readers who may not know is a platform described as a cross-platform chat compatible service for gamers, a casual place to join different servers and discuss game culture, that for me became much more. 

I remember meeting a girl who was sarcastic and blunt in humor but kind and caring in nature once you got to know her. It was after a few months of talking privately that I learned more about the struggles she lived with and her home situation. 

She explained that she was transgender and unable to properly transition due to disapproval from her parents, as well as disapproval from peers in school in many accounts of bullying within her time as a student thus far. It was then that I felt deeply saddened and angry, seeing such a genuine person unable to be themselves and accepted. 

Moving forward we talked almost daily; she introduced me to her close group of friends from school who I still talk to today. As time progressed she seemed to lose hope in waves; her other friends and I would try to help. It proved difficult from so far away living in America, unable to find her proper resources when she was scared of how her parents would react. 

Throughout time she had her highs and lows as we all do, and I would be there to talk. We would continue to talk even on the day she passed away when she kept the conversation positive and utterly regular. I can speculate that she didn’t want to worry me or her death wasn’t premeditated; I will never know as those moments belonged to her and her alone. 

On her last day, she sent me the last pictures she will have ever taken; they were scenic pictures of Tullow as an early Christmas gift she could give. 

In the end she gave me so much more, she opened my eyes to the importance of self-identity and the value of acceptance and empathy on a deeper level. How simple things can make an impactful difference. In the end she needed a stronger support system, she knew who she was from a young age. Walking over to the girls’ side in gym class only to be told that she didn’t belong there. 

If only her parents had let her transition, not forced her to cut her hair when she tried to grow it out; if only kids hadn’t been cruel. If only, she was free to love herself the way she did others and people were less judgmental. 

Her story is one that finished too soon, even in death her grave having her dead name written upon it, a funeral on a day plagued by rain and thunder, and a Christian service when she herself was an atheist. 

We can now only hope that people who didn’t accept her will learn of more tolerance, and as I heard of her mother’s shaking hands at the service I felt sorry even after everything; we all did. 

It was later I was shown a little Pokemon cartoon on her headstone. Something she loved, something that honored her in a small way. I will never forget everything she provided me and the friendship we shared over the course of the three years I got the pleasure of having her in my life. 

Rest easy Ange. To those of you reading this, it is never too late. Not ever. You have many years ahead and there are people who will love you no matter who you are. 

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