Trigger warning: This story contains sensitive content regarding suicide.
Season two of 13 Reasons Why begins with Clay heading into a tattoo parlor with the intention of getting a semicolon design, a marking that holds special significance to those who wear it. “A semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life," explained the late Amy Bleuel, founder of Project Semicolon, an organization dedicated to the prevention of suicide.
The message is a hopeful one to the countless people affected by depression, mental illness, and self harm — and it's one the 13 Reasons Why cast have aimed to spread off-screen as well. Selena Gomez, Alisha Boe, Tommy Dorfman, and Brandon Flynn are among the thousands of people who wear semicolon tattoos all over the world.
We talked to three women about why they inked the design for themselves and what it means to them now. Read their stories, ahead.