Man Dating Trans Woman Kills Himself After Relentless Bullying
A 20-year-old man who was dating a transgender woman has taken his own life after being bullied relentlessly about his relationship.
Maurice Willoughby, aka Reese, was open about his relationship and admitted to dating a transgender woman in a Facebook Live video which is said to have gained over 15,000 views.
However, the video received backlash and Reese’s openness led to him being bullied.
One viral video showed a group of men hurling abuse at the 20-year-old on the street:
Reese, from Philadelphia, was in a relationship with a trans woman named Faith. It’s unclear how long the couple had been together but the young man had his girlfriend’s name tattooed on his forehead.
Those close to Reese reportedly told Aazios he was dealing with mental health issues as well as depression and the kind of kind of bullying evident in the video only served to make his life more difficult.
One source told the publication:
He was getting picked on and joked on all the time. Where we are from, if you like [a] trans woman and you [are] black, the streets will talk about you, fight you, even try to kill you. He was dealing with a lot.
In a Facebook post written before he died, the 20-year-old defended his relationship:
Y’all can say whatever about Faith I really don’t care if she not passable I don’t care if she wasn’t born a woman she is a woman to me & I love her flaws that’s what makes her faith if you heard her story it’s motivating….. I’m happy you should be happy for me.
Civil rights activist Ashlee Marie Preston shared the footage of Reese being bullied on Twitter after the young man took his own life, explaining how this kind of abuse is, tragically, not unusual.
When a man is confident & secure enough to openly love a trans woman; this is the bullying and harassment he gets.
Transgender women of colour often face violence and abuse – in fact they have an average life expectancy of just 35 years. Ashlee pointed out some of the violence stems from men who, like Reese, are attracted to trans women, however rather than being open and loving who they want to love, they react with fear.
The 35-year-old continued:
When trans attracted men kill us; it’s out of fear that this will happen to them if they are outed. Reese didn’t kill his girlfriend; he killed himself instead.
In a comment to UNILAD, Ashlee said:
The violence trans women of color face is often exacerbated by a hostile social climate that heavily discourages the acknowledgement of our womanhood and basic humanity. Therefore when trans amorous men find themselves standing on the other side of that expectation; they subject themselves to mental torture.
However, in most cases trans women end up bearing the greater brunt of the consequence for their internal conflict. They somehow come to the conclusion that if we didn’t exist; neither would their attraction.
Tributes have been pouring in for Reese on social media, with many drawing attention to the tragedy of him being treated so horribly just for loving someone.
Transgender activist Munroe Bergdorf wrote:
I’m heartbroken, for Faith, Reese and their loved ones. I’m heartbroken for the black community, the trans community and ultimately humanity.
Reese, a black cisgender male has taken his own life after being bullied by other black cisgender men for coming out as in a relationship with Faith, a black transgender woman on social media…
But before you state your disgust at those men who pushed Reese to take his own life. Ask yourself, what would YOU feel if you found out your father, your brother, your ex, your lover or your son brought home a black transgender woman.
Our thoughts are with Reese’s friends and family, and all those who have to deal with this kind of abusive behaviour every day.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence contact Mindline Trans+ on 0300 330 5468. The line is open Mondays and Fridays, 8 pm to midnight and is run by trans volunteers.
CreditsAazios and 1 other
Ashlee Marie Preston/Twitter