In 2008, this amazing kid, Aiden Rivera Schaeff, was my best man at my first wedding.
In April 2010, we lost our beloved Aiden to suicide. He was 17 and transgender.
(Below photo from allthingsaiden Tumblr)
That first year after his death, I created bracelets for his family’s initiative, L’il Dude, Big Heart, to raise money for his endowment fund at American University. I failed miserably as a fundraiser. Instead, I ended up just giving them away. It brightened my melancholy heart.
His family also created a place for loved ones to visit and remember Aiden. Please take a moment to get to know him a little better by stopping by his memorial page using the link at the top of this post or by going to the address below:
(Photo of original No More Meanies logo in 2011 and revised logo in 2013)
In 2011, the second year without Aiden, I started the anti-bullying “kindness campaign” called No More Meanies.
In the beginning it was a just a simple heart sticker with a kindness slogan.
But I wanted to always have a trans* friendly message too. I wanted it to honor Aiden and his brave journey.
This same year, I also set up a Twitter and Facebook account to help spread the good word.
(Below from Wikipedia) In 2013, I created a new logo with trans* flair that incorporated the kindness message and the trans* flag as a tribute to Aiden and other trans* kids like him.
I later turned a memorable photo of Aiden into a message of kindness and love.
(Photo of ARS, courtesy of Aiden Rivera Schaeff Estate)
(No More Meanies logo below)
Also in 2013, my partner and I helped my niece and her high school teacher plan the first gay pride event at a school in D.C. (The same school, Wilson High School, where an amazing and brave principal would come out at the following year. Pete Cahall is my personal hero!).
We also donated No More Meanies bracelets to the Wilson HS Gay Straight Alliance club.
In 2014, I decided to raise money to take No More Meanies to Capital Pride in D.C. It was amazing!
We shared Aiden’s story and handed out free anti-bullying stickers and bracelets to students and teachers.
I couldn’t have done it without the support of my friends and family. ❤️
In 2015, I finally came out as trans*. The spirit of Aiden helped me find the courage to create a more authentic me.
I am now rallying everyone to join this kindness campaign to help spread kindness and love to all people. I also hope LGBTQ youth embrace this message and Aiden’s story.
Please spread the good word and join us on Facebook and Twitter.
Post photos of you with kindness messages and tag us.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get involved or if you would like to bring No More Meanies to your school or community.
Don’t forget to check out our Trans* Kindness Gear! If you decide to make a purchase, wait for a Zazzle sale. Items are often significantly discounted. 🙂
Post photos of you with your stickers or Trans* Kindness Gear and tag us.
Be kind. Be brave. Be you.