Last year, Blake Brockington, a senior at East Mecklenburg High in Charlotte, NC, was on top of the world.
The 18-year-old was the first openly transgender teenager ever to be crowned homecoming king in the city of Charlotte in February 2014.
Now, one year later, friends and community members are mourning the loss of Brockington after he committed suicide earlier this week.
Brockington’s death was confirmed on Tuesday morning by Time Out Youth Center, a local LGBT advocacy group which the young man was connected to. The exact details surrounding his death have not been made public.
Brockington came out as trans his sophomore year of high school, moving in with a foster family shortly thereafter. Since being crowned homecoming king, he spoke at last year’s Transgender Day of Remembrance event and helped organize public rallies and other grassroots campaigns to raise awareness around issues like police brutality and violence.
According to a National Center for Transgender Equality survey, almost half of transgender youth and adults in the United States have attempted suicide at some point during their lives. Bullying and discrimination are often cited as reasons for the high rate of suicides, experts say.
Brockington’s death is the second suicide committed by a trans person in the Charlotte area in less than a month. Ash Haffner, another Charlotte teen who struggled with gender identity, died last month after walking into the path of a moving car.
No memorial service for Brockington has been announced.
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May he rest in peace, so sad
Breaks my heart. Another one lost. R.I.P.
Beyond sad. RIP.
I can’t wait to see some insensitive comments from the anti-trans trolls…
This is a tragedy. And lets learn to respect others a bit more.
So unfortunate. May he rest in peace.
Just beyond terrible ; (
Rest in peace my fellow brother.
I hope you find peace my precious soul.
This hurts my heart ):
May he or she rest in peace.
Why man 🙁 You had so much to look forward to. Hope you’re at peace wherever you are now.
Triumph to tragedy in such a short time. It shows how difficult and painful life can be for a transgender teen and how important it is to show them love and support.
My heart aches.
I think this story in that it points out, that although, as Queerty said,
“”Last year, Blake Brockington, a senior at East Mecklenburg High in Charlotte, NC, was on top of the world.””
Just having a few good moments didn’t change all of the difficulties faced by this young man. Even with a family and a school who gave him a level of acceptance, there are still difficulties.
It’s so sad, this kid was brave enough to come out at a young age, I wonder what he could have accomplished if he was able to grow up and grow old.
@Cam: People often forget too that things like bullying, heartache, and trickery aren’t always seen by others to be reported either.
Personally I went through hell all through school and I mean grade school all the way till high school graduation. There were times when it seemed like I was on top of the world to others and had tons of people to talk to but I really didn’t.
No one really knows what an individual is going through even if they think they do. And just because it seems like someone has friends it doesn’t mean they really do at all.
When I was in high school a kid was voted prom king(or something similar…) by kids just so they could laugh at him behind his back. We’ll never really know what happened and it always falls on the person who felt they had no way out while the people torturing the person get away clean… at least until judgement day.
Str8 people in a str8 peoples world pushing children off the edge. Seem what str8 people do best. So sad yet the tip of the iceberg.
Abolish high school! See the April issue of Harper’s magazine (they have a high paywall but it’s well worth checking out!):
“Rebecca Solnit did not attend high school, a fact that she calls, in this month’s Easy Chair, ‘one of my proudest accomplishments and one of my greatest escapes.’ After a traumatic year of middle school, Solnit skipped the eighth grade and spent the next two years at an alternative junior high…. At the age of fifteen, she passed the G.E.D. test and enrolled at a local community college. ‘High school is often considered a definitive American experience,’ Solnit writes, ‘one that can define who you are, for better or worse, for the rest of your life.’ But she wonders whether it is in fact necessary—especially given how painful those four years can be. ‘Eight percent of high school students have attempted to kill themselves,’ she notes. ‘That’s a lot of people crying out for something to change.'”
@onthemark: That’s a good point.
But perhaps some reform could be necessary for high school. High school was a shitty time for me. I was a horrible student. I managed a 2.1 GPA. I failed a few classes. They told me I wouldn’t be able to get into university.
I applied for university even with those grades and did get in. For undergraduate I had a 3.5 and for graduate school a 3.75 GPA.
High school really… just a shit experience.
@Giancarlo85: Mine was horrible too. I will never set foot in that building if I don’t have to. I can only imagine how many students stayed closeted because of how badly they saw I was treated.
@polarisfashion: I actually stayed closeted because of how a kid who was out was being bullied in high school.
Ironically that same kid made fun of me for having a crush on a guy and having one of those awkward speechless moments in front of him. Even though I later found out the real reason was he had a crush on me and was pissed that I didn’t return it when I didn’t really know he existed beyond seeing him get picked on…
High School is basically like swimming with a bunch of crazed piranha with insane hormones.
Add in teachers who aren’t paid enough, don’t like their jobs, and are majorly unhappy and you’ve got student hell. People also forget that some teachers can be bullies and others can even sexually harass students both male and female.
There’s so much that goes on and so much that people can get away with because there are too many students under one roof. Some kids will easily slip through the cracks for various reasons and have their lives severely impacted.
RIP Blake Brockington, and let’s do all we can to support other LGBTQ people, especially our young and elderly LGBTQs. They really need our love and support.
“It shows how difficult and painful life can be for a transgender teen and how important it is to show them love and support.”
“…let’s do all we can to support other LGBTQ people, especially our young and elderly LGBTQs. They really need our love and support.”
Two very very important comments.
I don’t know why commenters are yapping about bullying. There is nothing in the above article to suggest that Brockington was bullied. On the contrary, he had a huge number of friends and supporters who voted him Homecoming King, which showed not only that they liked him, but that they supported his gender identity. You guys need to see bullying in the story because it is the only narrative you understand.
@Jacob23: You’re demented. Do you have any sense or respect of others? There is a huge possibility HE was being bullied. You don’t understand anything. The whole story about homecoming king could have made him a target of bullies not from within his school, since it did go viral. Don’t you realize that? Blockhead.
@Giancarlo85: Demented people make things up. Like you are doing now. There’s no mention of any bullying. There are quotes from people who knew him and they easily could have mentioned bullying. They didn’t. And you conclude from this total absence of any mention of bullying that there is a “huge possibility” that he was bullied and that the bullying, which no one has mentioned, was the cause of the suicide. Doesn’t sound like you have any respect for this kid nor do you care about what actually happened.
@Jacob23: You are the one making shit up. You don’t know what you’re talking about. You are the one doing the assuming. You think there wasn’t any bullying. Grow up you stupid ass. You don’t know everything. I have more respect for this kid then you do… you self centered transphobic coward! And fuck you for questioning my motives!
@Jacob23: And after the story went viral, the possibility of online bullying is very high. You need to pay more attention to reality, and not that demented fucked up world view you have.
But possibilities and probabilities don’t matter because there’s no evidence of any bullying in this case. Brockington’s friends are being interviewed now, long after the homecoming king story went viral, and if bullying had occurred, they would mention it. They aren’t. So you are making this up about a dead trans kid, hijacking his death to suit your narrative. Show some respect for trans people for once in your life.
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