Transgender teen takes life one year after being crowned homecoming king

A transgender teenager has taken his life a year after he became the first trans student to be crowned high school homecoming king in his city.

Blake Brockington, who advocated for the rights of sexual minorities after coming out as transgender in his sophomore year, passed away on Monday night, LGBT publication QNotes reported.

The 18-year-old had been nominated and later crowned homecoming king of East Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte, North Carolina last year before he graduated.

It is believed to be the first time an openly transgender student has been given the title in Charlotte, according to QNotes.

‘I honestly feel like this is something I have to do,’ Brockington told the publication.

He won the title after collecting the most money for the school’s chosen charity, Mothering Across Continents, and said he hoped his success would give younger transgender children, including a nine-year-old boy he mentored, strength and encouragement.

‘I don’t want him to ever have to be scared,’ Brockington said. ‘I feel like if I do this, that’s one red flag for everybody to say, “Nobody should be scared to be themselves and everybody should have an equal opportunity to have an enjoyable high school experience”.’

But speaking to the Charlotte Observer in January, Brockington revealed how tough the homecoming king process had been.

‘That was single-handedly the hardest part of my trans journey,’ he said. ‘Really hateful things were said on the Internet. It was hard. I saw how narrow-minded the world really is.’

He also revealed the struggles he had faced growing up as transgender and how bad things got at home after he went to his father and stepmother and told them he was a boy.

‘My family feels like this is a decision I made,’ he said. ‘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.’

He moved in with a foster family and received counseling as he transitioned to Blake – a name he chose after it came to him in a dream – and began receiving hormone treatment.

Following his homecoming king win, he became an advocate for LGBT issues and spoke at last year’s Transgender Day of Remembrance event. He also took part in rallies against police brutality.

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