News (USA)

Trans flight attendant made famous in United ad dies by suicide

Kayleigh Scott
Kayleigh Scott Photo: United Airlines

A popular and well-known trans flight attendant was found dead at her home on Monday by Denver Police after posting a suicide note to social media.

On Monday morning at 2:28 am, Kayleigh Scott posted to Facebook and Instagram: “As I take my final breaths and exit this living earth, I would like to apologize to everyone I let down. I am so sorry I could not be better.”

Shortly after Scott posted the note, friends on social media alerted authorities.

“I was up all night and out of nowhere I saw a post by Kayleigh Scott with her last goodbyes on this earth. Many of us, just like myself, who couldn’t sleep, jumped on it right away. All night I tried to reach out, called , texted, messaged her family on fb, as so did others. Finally someone was able to send the police for a wellness check, unfortunately it was too late,” one person shared.

Later on Monday, Scott’s sister, Ashley posted: “To all who have commented and those watching this post, Kay has passed. Thank you for your concern and outpouring of love for her. We are going to miss her so much.”

Scott made headlines in 2020 after United Airlines featured her story in a diversity campaign on Trans Day of Visibility in 2020.

“This is a story that I know is so important for me to continue sharing,” Scott says in the video. “Not for me, but for those out there who are still fighting social norms, the boundaries set upon them, fighting themselves. Gay, lesbian, bi, trans, pan, whatever, whoever you identify as, come out to be counted.” 

Scott credited the airline with supporting her transition.

“My life changed for the better when I came to United as a flight attendant. With the support from the company, our business resource group for LGBTQ+ employees, and all of my loving coworkers, I was able to break free from the chains that helped me and to this day, I’m living confidently it’s my true self.”

Scott climbed the ranks at the airline, becoming a supervisor in 2021 and an outspoken advocate for AFA, the union that represents United flight attendants. Instagram reveals Scott was an avid skier and mountain climber; she summited 14 of 58 peaks she’d set as her goal.

But according to friends, depression plagued Scott for years.

In December, she posted: “2022 has been a year packed with upset and difficulty. I saw too much death & loss in my life, I came to realize I work a meaningless job for a company that doesn’t value me as an employee, I had my heart destroyed, I lost my nice little home and had to downsize significantly and start over. I’m really struggling to find happiness and hope. I’m begging 2023 to be better to me. Please.”

In a message posted the same day as her suicide note, Scott wrote: “Life insurance benefits not payable if Flight Attendant used disability benefits before death.”

On Monday evening, Scott’s mother, Andrea Sylvestro, wrote a message to Kayleigh on Facebook: “I now have words, my mind is completely rushed with thoughts of you, and you like a flooded river are just rushing though my heart.”

In her post, Scott’s mom quoted her daughter: “I am who I am and I’ll always be who I am, someday the world will catch up to me.”

Editor’s note: This article mentions suicide. If you need to talk to someone now, call the Trans Lifeline at 1-877-565-8860. It’s staffed by trans people, for trans people. The Trevor Project provides a safe, judgment-free place to talk for LGBTQ youth at 1-866-488-7386. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Don't forget to share:

Support vital LGBTQ+ journalism

Reader contributions help keep LGBTQ Nation free, so that queer people get the news they need, with stories that mainstream media often leaves out. Can you contribute today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated

Parents’ rights activists live in glass houses

Previous article

Disney announces huge LGBTQ+ conference just weeks after Ron DeSantis said he’s their “sheriff”

Next article