15-Year-Old Cameron Langrell Found Dead of Suicide Mere Days After Coming Out as Trans

Facebook photo.

Facebook photo.

The Advocate, as well as other news sites, are reporting that just days after coming out on Facebook as transgender, 15-year old Cameron Langrell of Racine, Wisconsin was found dead of suicide on May 1, 2015.

Cameron’s mother, Jamie Olender, explained to The Journal Times that Cameron had “always bullied for being feminine.” Despite this mistreatment, Cameron bravely came out as transgender to friends and peers on social media, which included changing her gender female on her Facebook profile. Friends and family of Cameron are now speaking out about bullying in school, calling on officials to do more by actively speaking out against it and discussing the issues in classrooms.

As much as I’m glad to hear that Cameron’s community is now talking about how horrible she was treated by others, I am once again feeling personally frustrated that a trans youth has been bullied to death because of TRANSPHOBIA and HOMOPHOBIA. Yet, here we are again seeing a community dismissing that under the broad blanket of “bullying”.

It’s not that simple and clear. I strongly believe that unless we address the core issues that motivate acts of discrimination, intimidation, stigmatization and violence then we will never truly be able to effectively reduce oppressive behaviors in any environment. Bullies target others for many complex, personal reasons and more often than not I believe that the forms bullying takes stem from larger social problems of racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, etc. It’s time to stop focusing on broad behaviors and start zeroing in on the ingrained beliefs that motivate them.

RIP, Cameron. My sincere condolences to all affected by this tragic loss.

If you or someone that you know is exhibiting warning signs of suicide please contact the Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860 (in the US) or 877-330-6366 (in Canada).

Nillin Dennison

Nillin is the owner and operator of Derby Frontier, a blog focused on the culture, community, and gender politics of flat track roller derby; which recently won 2nd Place in the LGBT category and 3rd Place in the Sports & Recreation category of the 2014 Canadian Weblog Awards.
Outside of blogging, Nillin is passionately involved with trans activism across southern Saskatchewan, Canada. They are currently residing in Moose Jaw where they serve as Gender Diversity Representative on the board of directors for Moose Jaw Pride, chairperson of the Moose Jaw Trans Awareness Committee, and they regularly provide gender and sexual diversity presentations to the community.

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