A 16-year-old transgender boy from North Carolina has taken his life after enduring years of bullying.
Ash Haffner stepped into oncoming traffic near his home in Indian Trail on Thursday (26 February) night.
His mother, April Quick, found the body. She said the suicide was a result of years of bullying, which became worse when he decided to transition and asked to be referred to as ‘he.’
Quick said she supported her son’s decision but continued to use the pronoun ‘she.’
‘Ash had been so strong for years,’ she told WSOC-TV. ‘Ash started enduring the most bullying when she cut her hair short.’
Haffner killed himself in the same way as trans girl Leelah Alcorn, the Ohio teen who pleaded in an online suicide note: ‘Fix society.’
Haffner also left a note on his iPad that read:
‘Please be WHO YOU ARE… Do it for yourself. Do it for your happiness. That’s what matters in YOUR life. You don’t need approval on who you are. Don’t let people or society change who you are just because they’re not satisfied with your image.’
A memorial was held Friday night outside Porter Ridge High School, where Haffner was a student.
He is the fourth transgender teen to commit suicide in the US this year.
UPDATE: April Quick has reached out to GSN to say she was Ash’s ‘biggest supporter’ and would have supported her child no matter what gender identity Ash ended up being. She shared with us Ash’s own journal entries which clearly show how the teenager struggled with gender identity and was not necessarily ready to be considered any particular gender. Gay Star News is happy to note this evidence and is sorry for the limitations of our original report.