North Carolina mom believes bullying led to transgender teen’s suicide

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Keisling said her group is working on anti-violence programs, as well as services to help train local law enforcement and policies to end harmful conversion therapies.

Most important, Keisling said, is that people speak up and support each other.

“I think people, trans or not, queer or not, need to be there for each other, need to stand up for each other,” she said.

Keisling added, “I am so broken hearted over this. Ash’s mom, April, from the news reports clearly loved and supported Ash. I can’t imagine what she’s going through and can’t imagine what Ash was going through. A lot of people around the country have broken hearts over this.”

News of the youth’s passing comes as the city of Charlotte engages in a tense debate over LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination ordinances.

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Leaders aren’t linking the two incidents together, calling them an “unfortunate coincidence.”

“We don’t know what was going through his mind,” Tucker said.

Tucker hopes that youth in need will reach out for support. TOY, he said, provides free therapy, support specifically for transgender youth and safe-space drop-in center.

“We can get them the help they need,” he said.

Ash’s mother has asked that donations be made in memory of Ash to Time Out Youth. Condolences can be left online.

A report from WSOC-TV is here

Editor’s Note: If you or a young person you know is LGBT and thinking about suicide, please call The Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386. For adults over 24, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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