Blake Brockington, 18, a young Black transgender activist was found dead in his home, QNotes.com reported. He was a freshman at the University of North Carolina – Charlotte.
Brockington gained national attention when he became the first transgender high school prom king in the state of North Carolina last year at East Mecklenburg High School. He also was a fierce activist, speaking out not only for trans issues but also against police brutality, stop-and-frisk and racism.
When crowned prom king, he told the media that he hoped that it would help raise awareness.
“I honestly feel like this is something I have to do…. Nobody should be scared to be themselves, and everybody should have an equal opportunity to have an enjoyable high school experience."
While he was celebrated in so many spheres, Brockington admitted that not everyone was happy for him to come out as trans, including his own family, which resulted in him being placed in foster care.
"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...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."
Brockington’s death, as The Advocate points out, is the sixth reported transgender suicide in the U.S. this year. But it’s also important to point out that suicide among the Black transgender community is a deeper epidemic than one might think.
A 2011 study about transgender Americans conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality and National LGBTQ Taskforce found that nearly 50 percent of the Black respondents reported having attempted suicide at least once in their lives — this rate was higher than that of any other racial group in the survey.
If you are a young transgender or gender non-conforming individual and have been considering suicide, please know that you are not alone. Please call: The Trevor Project Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386; Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for help.
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(Photo: Courtesy of WCNC NBC)