Heartbreaking news of transgender teen activist's tragic death

Mar 25, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. ET

The transgender community is mourning the loss of beloved activist and teen Blake Brockington. Eighteen-year-old Brockington has reportedly lost his life to suicide.

In 2014, Brockington was in the news as the first transgender Homecoming King at his North Carolina high school, a victory he received after raising over $2,000 for charity.

"They can be themselves, regardless of what anybody else says," he told WCNC about what the win meant for transgender individuals. "Even though you go through some things, and have some negative encounters in your life, anything is possible. You can do anything you set your heart to."

He then graduated and went to college, where he was a vocal activist.

My heart is breaking for Brockington's family and friends. He was clearly a beautiful soul who will be missed by many.

It is also yet another wake-up call to the rest of us. A staggering 41 percent of transgender individuals attempt suicide — compared to 4.1 percent of the general population. Globally, transgender people have a life expectancy of 30-32 years. These lives matter. It is time we give them the love, legislation and support they need.

If you suspect someone might be considering suicide, or you have struggled with those thoughts yourself, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Transgender individuals who are experiencing a crisis should also know there is a dedicated Trans Lifeline that can be reached at 877-565-8860.

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