A 16-year-old transgender girl who spoke about being bullied at school in Fallbrook, California, killed herself, a support group said, raising questions about what educators can and should do to support students who change gender identity.
Taylor Alesana described her struggles in one of the many videos she posted to her fans last November, saying; 'I’ve lost tons of friends, tons. And it’s been hell. I go to school every day, and I get my lunch and I sit down alone.'
She took her life on April 2.
'With few adults to turn to, and with no support from her school, her life became too difficult,' the North County LGBTQ Resource Center said.
'Taylor was a beautiful and courageous girl, and all she wanted was acceptance.'
A TAYLOR ALESANA memorial page has been set up on Facebook.
Taylor attended meetings at the center and was very supportive of other transgender teens, said Max Disposti, the group's executive director, even posting a series of online videos describing her daily experiences and struggles.
Taylor had a strong relationship with her counselor at Fallbrook High School, north of San Diego, but school administrators 'didn't take the necessary steps,' said Disposti.
They never contacted his organization, even after a Thursday night vigil at its Oceanside office that was attended by Taylor's parents and about 200 others, he said.
Taylor said in one of her videos last year on YouTube: 'Lately, I've gotten a lot of drama from the school itself.'
Taylor was unusually vocal about the challenges of being a transgender teen.
'She was very outspoken and had incredibly positive energy,' Disposti said.
'She was helping others as she was struggling.'
She told people in one of her final videos; 'My biggest advice to anyone who’s transgender and struggling? You’re becoming yourself.'
This news comes just after President Obama called for an end to conversion therapy for gat and transgender Americans.
The White House released a statement in a response to a petition started after 17-year-old transgender youth LEELAH ALCORN took her life late last year received over 120,000 signatures.
'We share your concern about its potentially devastating effects on the lives of transgender as well as gay, lesbian, bisexual and queer youth,' Valerie Jarrett, President Obama's senior adviser, said in the statement.
'As part of our dedication to protecting America’s youth, this administration supports efforts to ban the use of conversion therapy for minors.'
She later said of Leelah while speaking to the press; 'It was tragic, but I will tell you, unfortunately, she has a lot of company. It’s not the story of one young person. It is the story of countless young people who have been subjected to this.'
Taylor is the seventh transgender youth reported to have committed suicide this year in the United States.