A promising young filmmaker and author, Vanessa Libertad Garcia’s untimely death is just coming to light for many in the entertainment industry. She took her life on August 17, and in what seems a growing trend posted her suicide note online, saying goodbye to her family and friends on her personal website. Citing a lifetime struggle with depression and self-hate, her heartbreaking final letter suggests other factors that drove her to take her life such as body image, family relations, sexuality, substance abuse, and pressure to succeed.
The daughter of Cuban immigrants, Garcia was born and raised in Los Angeles. She was an out lesbian, and her queer Latina identity inspired much of her work. Already she had amassed an impressive portfolio, including being an associate producer for the award-winning PBS series “Maid in America” about women domestic workers and self-publishing a book of poems and short-stories titled ”The Voting Booth After Dark: Despicable, Embarrassing, Repulsive.”
There has been an outpouring of condolences and support from friends and colleagues over the past week. Garcia left a number of projects behind, including an upcoming book of poetry called “Bloody Fucking Hell“ and the film “Good Mourning Lucille” set for screening in January 2014, as well as a script for a new project titled “Dear Dios.” Garcia’s tragically short life speaks to the experiences of many young queer people and immigrants, who so often struggle with identity and mental health.