Multiple news sites are reporting the tragic death of 14-year-old Emmett Castle as San Diego’s 4th trans death by suicide for 2015. Earlier this year, during the spring months, saw the deaths of a gender nonconforming youth named Sage David, a 16-year-old transgender girl named Taylor Alesana, and a 14-year-old transgender boy named Kyler Prescott.
Emmett’s family have since spoken to a few reporters about their son’s long struggles with severe depression, and prior suicide attempts.
His mother, Sarah, told KGTV San Diego that Emmett was often misgendered at school so badly that he would call his parents to come pick him up from school. According to Seventeen.com, some of this misgendering specifically came from classmates who would intentionally refer to Emmett as “she” and “her”, knowing full and well how much it upset him.
[For more on how hurtful and disrespectful misgendering is, check out this great article from Dane Edidi: “Pronouns Matter: Misgendering Transgender Persons“]
Emmett’s aunt, alongside a close family friend, have since set up the Emmett Castle Memorial Fund, where they hope to raise enough money to cover funeral costs and donate all remaining funds to the San Diego LGBTQ Community Centre.
My sincere condolences to the Castle family, as well as all of those who knew and loved Emmett.
From my own efforts at watching news sites, and keeping an eye out on social media platforms, as well as blogs, I have learned of the reported deaths by suicide of 19 people so far this year. They are:
- January 5, 2015 – Eylul Cansin (23)
- February 11, 2015 – Melonie Rose (19)
- February 15, 2015 – Zander Mahaffey (15)
- February 24, 2015 – Aubrey Mariko Shine (22)
- February 26, 2015 – Ash Haffner (16)
- March 2, 2015 – Sage David (??) [Need age confirmation]
- March 15, 2015 – Taylor Wells (18)
- March 23, 2015 – Blake Brockington (18)
- March 28, 2015 – Ezra Page (15)
- April 2, 2015 – Taylor Alesana (16)
- April 9, 2015 – Sam Taub (15)
- April 28, 2015 – Rachel Bryk (23)
- May 1, 2015 – Cameron Langrell (15)
- May 18, 2015 – Kyler Prescott (14)
- June 24, 2015 – Jess Ships (31)
- June 26, 2015 – Sam Ehly (21)
- September 28, 2015 – Skylar Marcus Lee (16)
- September 28, 2015 – Ryley Courchene (30)
- October 7, 2015 – Emmett Castle (14)
If there are absolutely any names missing from this list, of if you can confirm any incomplete information above, PLEASE contact me at any time via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To speak with counselors who have experience in dealing with a wide range of transgender issues, please contact the Trans Lifeline at (877) 565-8860, in the U.S., or (877) 330-6366, in Canada.