The Adi Staub Transgender Leadership Fund

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By Lon Staub

This week, Chris and I lost Adi, our dear transgender daughter. And our son Drew lost his cherished sister. Adi did not choose to be transgender and only aspired to live honestly and authentically. As an empathetic person, it pained her to witness transgender friends not be welcomed by sections of society. Worse, some of these good people are not even accepted by their family.

Adi found purpose in advocating for others, so we’d like to honor her by sharing her story and continuing her efforts to promote a world of kindness and acceptance. We will fill Adi’s void in part by supporting Basic Rights Oregon, which works to end discrimination for our most vulnerable community members. Tragically, more than 40 percent of our transgender loved ones will attempt suicide.

Those who would like to donate to Basic Rights Oregon in Adi’s memory can do so here.

Adi’s Story:

Adi was born 18 years ago, as our second and youngest child.  The world observed her as a boy, but she often chose girls as her primary playmates. However, with pressure to conform to a more traditionally male role, she sought out friendships with boys and participated in sports, scouting, and camping. But with a new friend group at a new school, she also enjoyed a more genuine set of interests, including Dungeons and Dragons, making movies, and a lifelong love of reading and creative writing. 

In raising Adi, we felt grateful to have such a kind-hearted child who excelled at school, was easy to coach, and strived to please her parents. Her equally kind male friends also shared these qualities, but Adi allowed glimpses of so many more richly feminine qualities. She showed a level of sensitivity, vulnerability, empathy, and compassion that was uncommon for a boy of her age.  At age 13, how many boys so frequently and fully embrace and cuddle their father and older brother in the presence of teen friends?  She was, in fact, Daddy’s little girl and a doting sister to her older brother. 

After graduating from middle school, Adi broke with her Catholic school classmates and attended Grant High School.  After a health class video profiled a transgender teen, Adi understood for the first time the conflict she’d experienced since birth.  It explained her lifelong-but-always-denied fantasy of living as a woman and gave her newfound hope, excitement, and optimism for living a more authentic life.  Adi inspired us in showing the courage to quickly “come out” to classmates, standing in class and asking that others accept her as “Aditi or Adi,” a transgender woman.  (In Sanskrit, her self-chosen female name means “free and limitless”). 

In the 2 years since her transition, Adi blossomed, then struggled.  She believed that her transition would have no adverse consequence, but found otherwise. She experienced a profound loss of friendships, failed in school after being a straight-A student, and suffered from depression and acute body dysphoria. However, she also found new friends and enjoyed the unconditional love of extended family and lifelong friends.  Always, she was the beneficiary of unwavering love from an incredible mother and shared frequent laughter with an adoring brother who saw her happiness as his life mission. 

With this supportive community, Adi experienced moments of genuine acceptance, joy, and optimism.  But on our recent saddest day, Adi made the decision to leave this life.  As we struggle with inconsolable pain, we resolve to accept and respect her decision and wish her peaceful rest after an exhausting fight to be accepted by others and by herself.  But we will never stop loving her for the beautiful girl that she always was and for the lovely woman that she could have been. 

With love, Lon, Christine, and Drew Staub

Lon and Christine Staub are members of Basic Rights Oregon Fierce Family Group, which seeks to engage family members in creating safe and affirming communities for transgender individuals in every corner of our state. In Adi’s honor, the Staub family is asking community members to consider a donation to Basic Rights Oregon to a new dedicated fund: The Adi Staub Transgender Leadership Fund. Your donation will support scholarships for transgender youth to our Statewide Leadership Summit, our transgender justice education work and our Transgender Justice Leadership Program.

To contribute to The Adi Staub Transgender Leadership Fund, click here.

2017-10-13T14:11:44+00:00 July 30th, 2017|Featured, News, Uncategorized|25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. The Myers Family July 31, 2017 at 6:47 am - Reply

    Dear Chris, Lon and Drew,

    We are heartbroken about your loss of Adi. Her story is one of amazing grace, courage and love. Although Adi has left, she has taught, and continues to teach through her example of gentle strength. She is beautiful, and will always be remembered.

    With great love,

    Shannon, Paul, Patrick and Ryan

  2. Barb Macon July 31, 2017 at 11:59 am - Reply

    Thank you for sharing your story and I’m sorry for your loss. As a health teacher, I will continue to educate youth about transgender people as simply people who want to live a free and limitless life.

  3. Atenyi Chris Thurston July 31, 2017 at 1:52 pm - Reply

    To Chris, Lon and Drew,
    My heart opens to you as I read your sharing about the loss of your extraordinary daughter. As a mother of a trans son, I wish you peace.
    We are working to make the world a more loving place for everyone.
    ❤️ Atenyi

  4. Carol Sturgeon July 31, 2017 at 1:54 pm - Reply

    So sorry for the loss of such an amazing child. So touched by your love and support for her and for our transgender brothers and sisters.. May peace and love surround you.

  5. Tracy Sax July 31, 2017 at 1:59 pm - Reply

    Dear Kris, Lon and Drew
    We are so sorry to hear this news. Emma in particular was very upset. She fondly remembers playdates with her 2nd grade school friend Jack. At that time they played freely without concern about gender conformity. We send you love from The Sax Family

  6. Lorrie Baunach July 31, 2017 at 2:14 pm - Reply

    I know it hurts to know that the love and acceptance of family was not enough. I also want to protect my trans child from discrimination, and exclusion brought on by people who do not understand that our soul is sometimes placed in an unmatching body. Why are some people so blind to the beauty that is within all of us. It takes courage and determination to be true to ourselves. Sometimes it takes more than we have the strength to keep up. Love and heart healing to you all.

  7. Connie Greeman July 31, 2017 at 3:18 pm - Reply

    I feel her loss without knowing her. Sending love.

  8. Julie Heironimus July 31, 2017 at 5:16 pm - Reply

    What a beautiful tribute to your daughter Adi. My prayers are not only for you and your family but for a better world, full of respect and love for all people.

  9. Annette Magner July 31, 2017 at 9:33 pm - Reply

    Dear Lon, Chris and Drew,
    I have been feeling stunned since first reading this sad news this afternoon. We are so sorry.I am feeling at a total loss of words to respond.
    With love and peace,
    Annette, Padraig, Sean and Aine.

  10. Jean Trygstad July 31, 2017 at 10:44 pm - Reply

    Adi leaves a legacy of love and courage. The love you shared is forever.

  11. Kelly Gould August 1, 2017 at 10:31 am - Reply

    Heartbroken …..may diversity be the norm someday so the beautiful Adis of the world will choose to exist. Much Love.

  12. Markus Grompe August 1, 2017 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    So sorry for your loss.

  13. Libbi Pinkley August 1, 2017 at 5:37 pm - Reply

    Dear Lon, Chris, and Drew,
    Words are inadequate right now. But please know how so very sorry we are for your devastating loss of Adi. Your tribute to her is beautiful. With our love and deepest sympathy — Barry & Libbi

  14. Robin Prive August 2, 2017 at 1:46 am - Reply

    Dear Adi’s loving family and friends,
    Thank you for being so supportive and accepting of diversity.
    Thank you goes out to the family for always allowing a space at their home so the kids could feel they belonged somewhere as just be kids.
    I know Adi saved my daughter a few times.
    My life and opinion is forever changed and by all this and hope to bring more awareness so their lives can someone be easier.
    Adi has left a legacy and we will help educate others of this fromhete on out.
    Thank you and much love to all you loved her so dearly

  15. Mara Glubka August 2, 2017 at 8:15 pm - Reply

    I am transgender. I transitioned at 58 and am now 64. I’m so sorry for your loss, but I understand her pain. The way we’re treated by society is very, very hurtful and to add insult to injury, our despair, which often leads to checking out, is used against us. That is beyond cruel. Adi, like all of us, deserves so much better and I am fighting for that. I will keep her in my heart. Much love.

  16. patricia August 3, 2017 at 1:55 am - Reply

    I am very sorry for your loss! Diversity and uniqueness is what makes us special.

    For Adi,
    “Adi, I am certain, you will do great things in heaven! Shine, Adi, Shine, for ever, for the eternity!
    Sending you all our love!

  17. Marolyn wagoner August 3, 2017 at 7:27 pm - Reply

    I am so sorry for your loss. I too lost my transgender son less than 2 weeks ago. Reading your story is like reading the story of my Adrian. God bless and keep you.

  18. Karen Davis August 4, 2017 at 8:03 am - Reply

    Dear Staub Family…Your story has forever changed my heart. Ever since my son told me of your loss Adi has been in my thoughts. I too have a similar story but my youngest boy is Gay. I am fortunate that he is still with us today and we were as accepting as you were with Adi. Life is tough enough for kids without having to go through unacceptance and pain. What you are going through was always my fear. I am so, so sorry for your loss and pain. Know that you were everything to your baby girl and you did everything you could for her. Thank you for sharing your story.

  19. Andra Carrick August 4, 2017 at 4:37 pm - Reply

    I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. There are no right words to say to communicate the tenderness, friendship, and affection I want to send to you.
    I am inspired by your generosity – in sharing your authentic and honest expression of love, your family’s story, and Adi’s journey. I send you my deep caring and my strength. In this most difficult time, I believe you will find your way. Sharing your story helps all of us find ours.
    What a beautiful honor to Adi that you continue to clearly and steadfastly live your heart.

  20. Patty and Jeff Nelson August 4, 2017 at 8:04 pm - Reply

    Chris, Lon and Drew,

    We are saddened to hear of your loss. There are no words that are adequate for such a loss. Thank you for sharing her story. Adi was clearly an amazing daughter and so fortunate to have such a loving and supportive family through her journey. Sending healing prayers your way❤️

  21. Barb Verlanic August 15, 2017 at 4:57 pm - Reply

    Chrissy and family, my heart brakes for you all. My thoughts are with you . Keep fighting the fight hon! Barb verlanic

  22. Marilyn Boese August 16, 2017 at 8:52 am - Reply

    ..

    HOME FREE
    TO ADI

    .WELCOME HOME YOU’RE FREE AT LAST,
    YOUR STRUGGLE IS AT AN END.
    ONLY PEACE AND ACCEPTANCE DWELL HERE,
    NOW THE LOVE PROMISED CAN BEGIN.

    GOD DIDN’T COME FOR JUST A FEW,
    HIS LOVE INCLUDED ALL.
    YOU LEFT DEEP SEEDS IMPLANTED,
    FOR YOUR LOVED ONES TO RECALL.

    THERE IS NO BIGOTRY IN HEAVEN
    AND NO ONE’S LOOKED DOWN UPON.
    WELCOME SIGNS ARE EVERYWHERE,
    FROM THE PEARLY GATES AND FAR BEYOND

    PAST HURTS AND PAINS WILL NOT INVADE
    THIS SPACE YOUR HOMETO BE.
    YOU DID YOUR BEST AND EARNED YOUR REST
    . WELCOME ADI NOW YOU’RE HOME FREE.!

    Marilyn Boese

  23. Michelle Rodarte August 17, 2017 at 10:34 am - Reply

    Dear Lon, Chris and Drew,

    We are so sorry to hear of your devastating loss.
    Such a beautiful tribute to a beautiful young lady. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
    With love,
    The Rodarte Family

  24. April September 26, 2017 at 9:29 am - Reply

    So much love to you all. My family is suffering a loss to suicide as well. It is so complicated, so hard. We will keep her in our prayers as well now, we’ll add another candle. Keep picturing her in the brightest light. She is everywhere, she is free and she is feeling your love ❤️

  25. Stephen Kirby & Jennifer Young November 20, 2017 at 8:45 pm - Reply

    Lon, Chris, and Drew,
    We only recently learned of your loss and were deeply saddened by the news. While we never had the opportunity to get to know Adi your beautiful tribute makes us realize what a great loss we all have suffered. Please know you are in our thoughts and our hearts go out to you.

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