A transgender teen, whose active campaign against injustice got him local attention, has reportedly taken his own life, leaving the North Carolina community he called home, saddened and stunned.
Blake Brockington, the 18-year-old graduate of East Mecklenburg High School turned activist against racial injustice, died late Monday of suicide, according to Charlotte’s Time Out Youth Center, where he sought help with his transition from female.
He confided in the Charlotte Observer to experiencing years of depression and suicidal thoughts stemming from his struggle with gender identity.
The teen moved in with a foster family before beginning his transition to living as a man while a high school sophmore, according to QNotes.
His family celebrated him as a female, especially with the onset of menstruation, though he always “felt like a boy.”
“My family feels like this is a decision I made,” Brockington told the Observer. “They think, ‘You’re already black, why would you want to draw more attention to yourself?’ But it’s not a decision. It is who I am. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.”
It’s not clear how Brockington, a native of Charleston, died. Calls by the Daily News to the Time Out Youth Center were not immediately returned.
According to a survey by the National Center for Transgender Equality, nearly half of transgender people in the United States have attempted suicide during their lifetimes, making them the most like to take their own life among other sexually oriented groups.
Rest in power, Blake Brockington.
Pictures of the young man can be found on the next few pages.
Photos: Charlotte Observer, Facebook/Blake Brockington