US: Teen trans activist dies
Last year Blake Brockington, a young trans teen from Charlotte North Carolina made headlines when he was announced the homecoming King at his school, East Mecklenburg High. Now the teen who became an ardent activist for LGBTI youth has died by suicide.
The 18-year-old University of Carolina student received a lot of public attention after making headlines as his high school’s homecoming King, some of it good and some of it bad.
At the time he reflected on his rise to fame as a trans advocate, telling North Carolina LGBT paper Q Notes: “That was single-handedly the hardest part of my trans journey. Really hateful things were said on the Internet. It was hard. I saw how narrow-minded the world really is."
Still Brockingon insisted he felt like it was something he had to do and shortly after began taking on the role of mentor to a number of trans youth and assisting in campaigning for greater support and resources for trans youth.
"Nobody should be scared to be themselves, and everybody should have an equal opportunity to have an enjoyable high school experience,” he said.
"I've had a hard time coming out to my family, I had a hard time coming out to my friends at school, but I did it," Brockington said in a video interview with the Charlotte Observer.
"I've lost a lot of friends ... [But] I want other trans youth to understand that they're not alone, and that this is a large community."
Last year Brockington spoke at the Transgender Day of Remembrance and assisted in raising funds for other trans causes. He was recently photographed by the To Speak No Evil Collective for their #BlackLivesMatter campaign and organised a street protest to raise awareness of brutality and violence against the LGBTI community.
Brockington’s death is the sixth reported suicide of a trans youth in the US in 2015.
Watch this video where Brockington talks about being transgender