Asher GarciaAge 14 (born 3 Apr 2008)
21 Apr 2022
Frazee, Minnesota (USA)
Asher died by suicide.
FRAZEE – At 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 21, one heart stopped, and many others broke.
[deadname] “Asher” Garcia ended [his] life at age 14.
Increasing responsibilities and expectations are heavy weights for any teen to lift, but the Frazee High School eighth grade student was also reportedly dealing with the added weights of past abuse and a transgender identity that made [him] a target of bullying.
Garcia suffered sexual and physical abuse as a child, [his] parents said, and those repressed memories had been digging their way to the surface. At first, [he] thought it (the abuse) was from a bad dream,” Dutton recalled, adding that when her [son] came forward about what had happened, the reality hit the [boy] hard: “[He] really started to decline; withdraw.”
When Dutton learned that the abuse came at the hands of someone close to her [son], she sought therapy for [him]. Garcia was scheduled to work with a child psychologist at Sanford in Detroit Lakes.
While trying to grapple with dark memories that returned in the form of daytime terrors, Garcia was also dealing with a growing feeling in [his] heart that [his] self-image was more akin to a boy. [He] chose what [his] name would be as a male — Asher — and asked those close to [him] to use it.
Coming to terms with being transgender caused a cascade of unkind commentary from peers — at least that is what Dutton has heard from other parents in recent weeks.
Garcia's aunt, Susan Hobbs, noted that her [netthew] was beautifully unique. [He] was also a typical pre-teen in some ways, Hobbs said, and had a competitive streak and a 'lead foot' when driving a go-cart.
“[He] was also a person who, when [he] cared, [he] cared deeply,” she added. “[He] always looked out for the people [he] loved.”
Outwardly, Garcia appeared to be handling [his] trials, her mom said; but [he] must have been internalizing [his] pain.
“[He] was a happy [boy] who cared about others,” said Dutton, adding with a quiver in her voice that, “I guess [he] didn’t want to worry others with [his] troubles.”
Garcia's family is left with a wound that will never fully heal, and with questions that will never be answered.
“It’s so hard. It’s so hard to go through," Dutton said.
She added that the family is appreciative of the “love and support” they have received from the community.
“It has helped us a lot,” she said. “We need prayers and the chance to experience healing; everyone is hurting.”