Chloe’s Legacy

From Humboldt County’s North Coast Journal:


By Ryan Burns

Mourning parents hope to educate through the suicide of their teenage transgender daughter

On the Friday before Labor Day weekend, Karin Fresnel was on her weekly shopping trip at the Eureka Co-op when she noticed that she was being watched — first while standing in the beer aisle, then again at the meat counter. Finally, the petite, blond-haired woman who’d been following her through the store stepped forward and said, “Can I ask you a personal question?”

“My first thought was, ‘I’ve been clocked,’” Fresnel told the Journal last week. As a transgender woman, such confrontations are common. Not three days earlier a stranger on the street had called her “an abomination in the eyes of God.” So, fearing the worst, Fresnel drew herself up to her full height (six-three in heels) and answered, “Yes, you may, and yes, I’m trans.”

But the woman wasn’t looking to insult. “Her response was, ‘Oh, thank God. Do you know of any resources up here? My son … daughter … is transitioning.” This woman was Allison Murphy of Clovis, a rodeo-loving suburb six miles northeast of Fresno. She was in town visiting her 18-year-old daughter, Chloe, who until last year was known only as Justin. Murphy, the portrait of a concerned mom, had unknowingly stumbled across an ideal resource. Not only is Fresnel a trans woman, she’s also involved in numerous organizations that fight discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and sexually ambiguous persons, including Humboldt Pride, which she co-chairs.

Fresnel and Murphy talked for nearly an hour in the aisles of the Co-op, and three days later they met up again — this time with Chloe. “She asked lots of questions,” Fresnel said. Chloe had been suffering from severe depression and crippling anxiety for years, but on this day, in the company of her mom and someone who could finally answer her questions, she seemed hopeful, even happy, Fresnel said. “The expression ‘bright as a penny’ came to mind when I met her.”

On Sept. 24, 18 days after this meeting, Chloe committed suicide. She was 10 days shy of her 19th birthday.

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2 Responses to “Chloe’s Legacy”

  1. Michelle Says:

    Thanks for posting. Transgenocide must end!

    • Suzan Says:

      I was a hippie. We didn’t call ourselves hippies. We call ourselves “freaks” because we didn’t want to conform to some sort of rigid definition. There is so much more hatred now than there wa then of people who are different. The whole idea of gender is based on conformity to a specified role.

      There is so much meanness towards not only LGBT/TQA etc people but towards the poor, people of color, the old, the disabled.

      It is like your life only has value if you are some snotty assed rich white cunt/prick who is part of some sort of right wing chosen elite.

      I was lucky as a kid I had places like Greenwich Village and the Haight to run away to now you have to be really rich to live in places like that.
      Ghettos of like minded people serve as sanctuaries for kids who are different. all the constant stream of hate and bullying takes its toll.

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