After a trans woman posted her suicide note to Facebook, a pro-Trump troll army descended to mock herand her family was helpless to stop them.”>
Before the abuse from the strangers began, Amanda Waite made arrangements at her sons school for counselors to be around when she broke the news.
This time she hurt herself too much and she died, Amanda told her and her partners 5-year-old son, John, on Wednesday afternoon.
Amandas partner of nine years, Lizzy Waite, had committed suicide hours before in a Pierre, South Dakota home. Amanda found out when she saw Lizzys Facebook note, scheduled to post hours after anyone could help.
I called police to do a safety check, said Amanda. (Due to South Dakotas Marsys Law, the Pierre Police Department declined to comment.)
When they opened the door, she was already gone. She knew exactly what she was doing when she set it for the time she did, so someone could save her cat.
Amanda called her own mom, then Lizzys mom. She went to the funeral home. The police gave her Lizzys cat.
Then she went home to take a screenshot of Lizzys suicide note, so she could keep her words.
Im so sorry to all the people I hurt by killing myself. I truly am. Ive been hurting so bad and I cant form words to communicate it to you, Lizzy starts. Im so lonely.
Amanda started writing a Facebook comment back to her. She called it a last letter.
I was writing my last letter to her because I felt like I needed to talk to her again, she said. Then I noticed comments rolling in.
Lol good riddance, wrote a user with the fake name Oi McVeigh. The users profile picture was a shot of Donald Trump pointing and laughing.
At first I thought maybe it was just a friend of a friend, said Amanda. I replied back telling them theyre assholes, because theyre assholes.
But the abuse didnt stop.
I am glad he is gone, wrote a user named Jaroslav Tipek, who had already changed his profile picture to a Photoshop of Lizzys face.
A Photoshop of the MGM logo popped up, with Donald Trumps face replacing the lion. All of the words were replaced with the word Haha over and over again. Twenty-nine likes.
Then this, from the user Donny J Trump: #TRANSLIVESDONTMATTER.
It was spiraling out of control really fast, Amanda said. We had to do something.
Its the day before Thanksgiving. Its evening. I understand, she said. They need proof she was dead, but all I had was a picture I had taken of her at the funeral home.
So Amanda started trying to guess Lizzys passwords, which shed changed since they lived in different houses. None of them were working.
By now, people were mocking Amanda and Lizzys son.
We called our son Tatoe because, in the ultrasound, he looked like a little roasted potato, she said. They were making fun our childs nickname. Its absolutely horrible.
That was one of the tip-offs that this attack was seemingly being coordinated from a specific anti-transgender hate site that had been taunting Lizzy over the past several years. The message board had a thread mocking, incorrectly, that Lizzy had a son named Potato.