A third transgender teen has committed suicide in San Diego in less than three months.
Kyler Prescott, 14, locked himself in the bathroom and took his life on 18 May.
He came out to his supportive family a few years ago but sank into depression when puberty hit.
‘It was agony for him to undress and shower. He was trapped in the wrong body,’ his mother Katharine Prescott told 10News.
‘He started cutting himself.’
His family sought out support groups, counseling and hormone blockers, and for the last year, Kyler stopped cutting himself.
But on Easter Sunday, he self-harmed again after he was harassed on the social media site Kik.
‘He said, "Mom, they said horrible, sexual things and told me I shouldn’t be alive,"’ Katharine said.
Family friend Kathie Moehlig said Kyler was overwhelmed by gender dysphoria.
‘Your body doesn’t match the image of what you feel it should match,’ she told the San Diego Gay & Lesbian News. ‘And that becomes difficult on your mental health.
‘He just couldn’t continue anymore. Mom was educated in suicide prevention, support people were around. Everything that could have been done was done. It just was too hard.’
Moehlig remembers Kyler as ‘a very outspoken activist for marriage equality – and since pre-school age, a huge animal activist.’
‘The family has a small little zoo, and Kyler really connected to animals,’ she said.
‘He did amazing art, sketching. He was also a very talented pianist and he loved to write stories and poems.’
Prescott is the third transgender youth to commit suicide in the greater San Diego area since March and the 11th reported in the US this year.
Taylor Alesana, a bullied 16-year-old transgender girl, took her life 2 April, and gender-nonconforming teenager Sage committed suicide in early March.
A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to help with funeral expenses.