Blake Brockington never had it easy. The 18-year-old was disowned by his friends and family after coming out as trans male, forcing him to be placed in a foster home and bringing him a lot of hardship while he was a student at Charlotte’s East Mecklenburg High School. But such obstacles never stopped the teen from wanting to change things and make a difference. Unfortunately, while he went out of his way to fight for trans teens in general, Brockington’s own struggles weighed very heavily on him to the point where the beloved student took his own life earlier this week.
According to Qnotes, Brockington committed suicide on Monday. His death was confirmed by Time Out Youth Center, the Charlotte LGBT youth service agency where he found a great deal of support. The agency is now trying to provide counseling for the many young people Brockington touched.
The teen made national news when he became the first out trans teen to win homecoming king in a North Carolina high school. Brockington won after he raised the most money out of 12 other contestants, which was donated to charity. It was a feat that brought Brockington a platform to tell his story in order to motivate other transgender teens, but it also brought about a lot of hate from people both in and outside of Charlotte. As he told the Charlotte Observer, “That was single-handedly the hardest part of my trans journey. Really hateful things were said on the Internet. It was hard. I saw how narrow-minded the world really is.”
But Brockington also told Qnotes that stepping forward and choosing to take part in homecoming nominations was something he knew he needed to do, because winning could help many others.
“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.”
Brockington did a great deal of activist work, not only for LGBT rights, but in efforts to raise awareness about police brutality through the #BlackLivesMatter movement. The teen was also the subject of a documentary that started filming last year called Brockington. Those behind it mourned his loss on YouTube this week:
“We dedicate this film in loving memory of Blake Brockington who took his life. He was an inspiration for humankind. Blake was the most passionate, giving, and loving person we have ever met. May his soul live on and we hope that his message affects you all as much it did for us.”
Brockington, a freshman at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, made quite the impact in a very short amount of time. Despite the attacks he faced from people in his community and even from his family, he made a lot of sacrifices so that others wouldn’t feel as left out in the cold as he did.
“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. I don’t talk to a lot of my family anymore. [But] I want other trans youth to understand that they’re not alone, and that this is a large community.”