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Wis. Trans Student Commits Suicide at 16

Thursday Oct 1, 2015

A transgender boy from Wisconsin took his own life Monday after battling depression. He was 16.

Skylar Lee was a junior at Madison West High School in Madison, Wis., and was a local LGBT rights activist. He was a member of the city's gay-straight alliance and LGBT theater group. He was also an advanced ballroom dancer, according to his obituary (via Gay Star News).

"He loved the world and the people inside it, trying to fix it every day of his life," Lee's obituary reads.

Lee, who was active on Tumblr, scheduled a post for Monday morning, the day of his death. In his note, he said he did not take his life because he was trans, saying he did not want his life to be turned into a "sob story."

"I am a depressed teen like many others. However, what I am not, is a sob story," he wrote, according to Gay Star News. "Don't turn my name into a hash tag. Don't treat this like glory suicide-fest. I am not killing myself because I am trans and queer.

"However what I do know, is that when trans and queer kids complete suicide, that there is a chain reaction. This is only heightened by the media portrayal of us being sob stories. I am not a sob story, do not turn me into one," Lee reportedly wrote.

Adam Lodestone, an LGBT counselor and educator, took to Facebook Monday to share the news of Lee's death, the Advocate reports.

"It is with a heavy heart that I offer Safe Passage to [Lee] who took his own life. An active and powerful rising voice in the LGBTQ community, his light will be dearly missed," he wrote.

The Gay Straight Alliance for Safe Schools in Madison also made a post to its Facebook about Lee, calling him "an influential youth leader at GSAFE." The post also said Lee was understanding complicated issues "Why racial justice and LGBTQ just need to be a part of the same conversation to truly be successful."

Lee is the 17th reported transgender person to have taken his life this year, according to the Planet Transgender blog.


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