National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Call 1-800-273-8255
Call for acceptance: “Remember how loving and passionate an activist Jai was…. Together we can make this world safer and softer for youth like Jai by treating everyone we meet with dignity and respect no matter how different they may appear.”
After Bakersfield police confirmed that search crews found the body of missing transgender teen, Jai Bornstein, 19, Saturday, near Hart Park in Bakersfield, California, the grieving family issued a moving statement reflecting on the complexity of Jai’s life, both as a Jewish and trans person, and also appealing to the community to keep Jai’s memory alive while working to ease the struggle for others.
The moving and important statement can be read below:
We want to thank all of you who have aided in our search for Jai and all of the love and support the community has given us. This week through our efforts to find Jai, we have shown what is possible when we all come together and respond as a community. Now, our family appeals to our friends, neighbors, and fellow community members to not allow Jai’s death to be the end of the story.
Please think of Jai every time a family member or friend comes out as LGBTQ and/or gender non-conforming, when you hear the topic on the news, or when there is a ballot initiative about bathrooms. During conversations at the office or at the dinner table, remember that activism starts with dialogue. Remember how loving and passionate an activist Jai was. Remember how hard she worked to encourage people to hear the stories and needs of trans people. We can honor Jai by creating space for the LGBTQ and gender non-conforming youth in our lives, in our schools, in our homes and in our hearts.
Additionally, we want to recognize the complexity of Jai’s person and her struggle as a Jew living in a place where where the majority of people belong to a different faith. To be different in a world where difference is often not embraced is a challenge that many of us may never truly understand, and all we can do is work to ease that struggle for others. Together we can make this world safer and softer for youth like Jai by treating everyone we meet with dignity and respect no matter how different they may appear.
With love and solidarity,
The Bornstein family
If you, or someone you know is suicidal, depressed or suffers from anxiety, Kern County Behavioral Health and Recovery services has a 24-7 hotline. The number is 1-800-991-5272. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Call 1-800-273-8255