Trans man with Asperger’s shot and killed by police in Arizona

Kayden Clarke talks to his followers in a YouTube video posted shortly before his death.

Kayden Clarke talks to his followers in a YouTube video posted shortly before his death. YouTube

Kayden Clarke, a transgender man with Asperger’s from Arizona who gained notoriety on YouTube after posting a video of his service dog, was killed by police responding to a call that he was threatening suicide. Authorities say Clarke lunged at them with a knife.

The 24-year-old’s video went viral last June. It showed Clarke weeping and punching herself in the chest until her dog intervenes, jumps up to block the blows, and comforts him. Clarke said he posted the video to raise awareness about Asperger’s and autism.

Clarke also posted videos documenting his gender transition and talking about his struggles with the mental heath care system. In December he posted a video titled “Fantastic news!”, telling his followers that his insurance company would pay the cost of gender reassignment surgery. But a video posted a month ago expressed frustration with Arizona’s mental health care system and his difficulties finding a therapist who could deal with both his gender identity and Asperger’s issues.

“I’ve never met a bunch of mental health professionals who are completely fucking morons,” Clarke said. “Nobody seems to know what the fuck Asperger’s is, and it’s frustrating. If anyone in Arizona is listening, please guide me.”

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