Some members of the Ransom family have created a website to honor Todd's memory.
Todd's sister unequivocally states that Todd suffered from Manic Depression (Bipolar disorder) and that there were other reasons that he committed suicide other than the Church. The website is silent as to what the other reasons are, but a careful read reveals a committed intimate partner that doesn't seem to be part of the current picture. It would be interesting to know what the facts are in regards to that.
And, before you start down this path, no, I do not believe the argument flies that the family interfered with the partner's mention in the obituary or involvement in the funeral was because the family prohibited it. Why? Because the partner's family is prominently mentioned in the obituary. My guess is this person is now a former partner. More will come out on this later I supppose. People with Bipolar disorder are hell on wheels on loved ones and family members.
Go here for more a factsheet containing the following information on bipolar and suicide:
The suicide rate among individuals with bipolar disorder is the highest of any psychiatric illness. Last I heard this was not a "gay disease."
-Bipolar disorder is associated with an increased risk of suicide. -Nearly half of all U.S. suicidal deaths each year are in patients with bipolar disorders. -Their risk for suicide is more than 20 times that of the general population. -Of particular concern is that attempts made by bipolar patients have about a 1-in-5 chance of being lethal, compared to a 1-in-20 chance within the general population.
And to go over plowed ground again-Handgun? Substance Abuse?
Over the weekend, I had a conversation at a party with a couple of guys who at first glance appeared to be gay male partners. As the conversation turned toward sexuality in our little corner, one of the men, now widowed, referenced his successful long term marriage with his deceased wife. As we then discussed the very different character of their partnership, they mentioned they both still "date" women, albeit different types of women and separately as well as maintaining their "partnership."
This was a very pleasant and life affirming conversation as one partner had an LDS background and I felt very comfortable with the discussion because:
1) My religion was never disrespected and my desire to live it was totally affirmed. 2) My own and my child's sexual fluidity was totally understood. 3) There was utter respect paid to the long term Mixed Orientation Marriage of the one partner as well as the previous marital relationship of the other partner. I particularly appreciated the characterization by the widowed partner of that relationship as being a "successful marriage."
It did occur to me though, that these gentlemen are exactly what both the far ends of the the spectrum of thought fear in defining what a "gay lifestyle" is or shouldn't be, in both the gay community's portrayal of the monogamously coupled same sex partners as the new gay ideal and the one man and one woman camp. It seems to me that bisexuals or overtly bisexual behavior is something that even the gay community really doesn't want to acknowledge on a number of fronts, particularly in light of the argument that one cannot choose to be "straight." Then add in an open relationship which crosses orientations and you have something totally mind blowing for most people who raise arguments on either end of the spectrum.
If you missed the gay softball debacle in which a team was disqualified for having too many non-gays, i.e. bisexuals, click here.
And, of course, as a person of the LDS faith their choices are not what I would choose. My DH was busy trying to figure out how to pigeonhole these two into the gay marriage debate. I don't think gay marriage really relevant to them the way they have chosen to be partnered anyway. DH kept saying, but they don't act like married people, so they are not really partners. I kept saying, if they want to call themselves partners, that is their call not yours. How do you provide a marital status that reflects bisexuality and polyamory, well that's part of the long term societal problem, isn't it?
Todd Ransom, I knew ye not. Let's see how the facts actually play out in the next few months. I couldn't find any mainstream news articles on this young man's suicide just a lot of noise in the blogosphere, especially from others who knew him not but had something to say- usually to condemn the Mormon Church. While I find it strangely disconcerting that I agree with anyone from Narcissusville in Pearsondom, Steven Fales has hit the nail on the head in his blog today as he analyzes the reaction to Mr. Ransom's suicide and his rather poetic suicide note.
Once again let me post the link to the Harvard Suicide Means Reduction website. I do not know if Mr. Ransom used a firearm to take his life, but the fact is that 60% of men who commit suicide in Utah do. Overwhelmingly, those firearms are handguns. Add in a little substance abuse with a moment of impulsivity and you've got a suicide attempt. Also, read this interesting peer reviewed medical review article regarding the protective effect of an active LDS lifestyle (i.e. no substance abuse) for Utah Men.
On a day when it's become clear that bloggers with more agenda than facts can rattle the current presidential administration of the United States with a phony reverse racism ploy, I'm waiting for the facts on the Todd Ransom suicide story. Here's a timely Op-ed piece on bloggers run amok.
As to Carolynn Pearson and her tribe, "It sure aint Christian to hate a stranger, but I don't like her" even though today I find myself partially on the same page with Mr. Fales.
So, in celebrating the Kid's life acheivements we were out at his favorite eatery for chicken fried steak, and the topic of Lady GaGa came up. Baby Song solemnly interjected in regards to Ms. GaGa and others that had been discussed, "their doctors should really do a better job of watching over them . . . ."
For many years, I have not hung some of my picture frames with numerous little small photos in them. Years after moving into this home, I'm finally at the place where I'm ready to hang them. One frame contains pictures of Drama Mama and the three little princesses and my sane sister. I debated whether or not I wanted to look at those pictures on a daily basis, particularly due to my very slow processing of my frustration with Drama Mama and the three little princesses. Girl Song thinks I really haven't dealt with my anger and often suggests that its normal and that I really should feel and express more anger than I've expressed thus far.
I've decided those pictures are a part of a past, and even though there is no part of a future I desire with most of the persons whose portraits are in the frame, it is ok to remember them and to memorialize them.
The Kid asked me a long time ago, if I had been a teenager now rather than then would it have affected the expression of my sexuality? Or, to put it more bluntly, would I have made more overtly gay choices? I don't know the answer to that question. It was possible, but probably not probable. The same thing that drove a lot of my choices as a defacto heterosexually identified young woman (this wasn't something I understood until much later, when it became crystal clear to me that I could have lived just as happily with a woman as a man) also would have driven my choices as a heteroflexibly identified young woman had I been aware of it. Basically, it was my testimony.
The funny thing was that even with a strong testimony, I really didn't see a temple marriage or even a standard issue "mormon" young man as part of my future, because I didn't fit the mold. Add to that, the meeting and falling in love with DH early in life. There were a lot of things that just never hit my radar screen back then at all. So, my experience as a person with a testimony has not really followed the acceptable track, partly because I didn't see myself as a person with access to that track to begin with.
So that potential past as something other than a straight woman, really just has no legs and I don't think it ever would have had a future. Similarly, I have a hard time seeing myself no matter how I have turned things over and over, of making any fundamentally different choice in the type of person I chose to settle down with. I know it is fatalistic, but that's how I see it. No other type of past choice probably means no other type of future would have occurred.
I guess that is where I am grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow spiritually as a person whose life hasn't fallen perfectly in line with cultural normative life trajectory we often think of in the Church. Yesterday, to my delight, a divorced, single brother was called into the bishopric in our ward. I would have thought that he had a past without a future for growth in his church service and that the fact that he is not currently married would have barred his service, but, apparently, it does not. I know this person to be a very good man who has trod a path that diverged significantly from that culturally normative life trajectory.
That Past that he had does not have a future, but his new present does because of his current choices. And, that's why I'm going to take the step of acknowledging my past and move forward with my new present and its future by making a choice that is open to a future by hanging those pictures and giving my frustration a rest.