Philadelphia Man Bullied For Dating Transgender Woman Dies By Suicide
UPDATE: According to the Marsha P. Institute, Maurice Willoughby's death was the result of an overdose after his girlfriend Faith left him out of fear for her own life. Initially, it was reported that he had died by suicide because of the bullying and harassment he suffered after discussing their relationship online.
"Reese's suicide is not the time to discuss cis men who date trans women," the organization wrote. "Faith went on Instagram Live to clarify that Reese actually died of an overdose after she left him. A heavy drug user, Reese threatened to take his life and Faith's. She ran away to safety, and it was then that he committed suicide."
"Our deepest condolences to Faith and also to Reese's family," the statement continued. "This is a time to mourn for a lost life and support Faith during this difficult time in her life. She is a survivor of abuse and as stated on her Instagram page, a woman who lost her lover. Black women are always mourning and caring for the world while trying to keep ourselves alive. Our love and support to Faith."
Read the original story below.
Maurice Willoughby was only 20.
A Philadelphia man who was open about his relationship with a transgender woman has died by suicide.
Maurice Willoughby, a 20-year-old black man who went by "Reese Him Daddie" on social media, had defended his girlfriend Faith in a Facebook post prior to his death according to The Advocate, writing:
"Y'all can say whatever about faith I really don’t care if she not passable. I don't care if she wasn't born a woman she is a woman to me & I love her flaws that's what makes her faith if you heard her story it's motivating.....I'm happy you should be happy for me."
A video then surfaced on social media of Willoughby defending his relationship with Faith after being confronted by a group of individuals about it in public.
"He was getting picked on and joked on all the time," a friend of Willoughby's (who asked to remain anonymous) told Aazios. "Where we are from, if you like trans woman, and you black, the streets will talk about you, fight you, even try to kill you. He was dealing with a lot."
The anonymous friend also said that the judgment the 20-year-old faced contributed to his death.
Since then, a number of people have written tributes to Willoughby while also criticizing those who bullied and harassed him for being with Faith.
"When a man is confident & secure enough to openly love a trans woman; this is the bullying and harassment he gets," activist Ashlee Marie Preston tweeted. "When trans attracted men kill us; it’s out of fear that this will happen to them if they are outed. Reese didn’t kill his girlfriend; he killed himself instead."
\u201cWhen a man is confident & secure enough to openly love a trans woman; this is the bullying and harassment he gets. When trans attracted men kill us; it\u2019s out of fear that this will happen to them if they are outed. Reese didn\u2019t kill his girlfriend; he killed himself instead. #RIP\u201d— Ashlee Marie Preston (@Ashlee Marie Preston) 1566326698
"My heart breaks for Reese, for his girlfriend, and their loved ones," Pose director and prodcuer Janet Mock tweeted. "These men screaming at him are beyond fragile, standing on a shaky altar of masculinity, too insecure to do what Reese did: Unapologetically love a woman who everyone says is unworthy of love."
\u201cMy heart breaks for Reese, for his girlfriend, and their loved ones. These men screaming at him are beyond fragile, standing on a shaky altar of masculinity, too insecure to do what Reese did: Unapologetically love a woman who everyone says is unworthy of love.\u201d— Janet Mock (@Janet Mock) 1566350062