“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.”
Those are the final words of Ash Haffner, left behind on his iPad. The 16-year-old trans boy from North Carolina jumped into oncoming traffic near his home in Indian Trail on Thursday, February 26th.
His mother, April Quick, found the body, and attributes her child’s suicide to years of bullying by Ash’s peers. She says it got even worse when Ash recently decided to begin transitioning, cut his hair short, and asked to go by “he.”
Speaking to WSOC-TV, April showed support for Ash, but still used “she” to refer to him.
“Ash had been so strong for years,” said Quick. “Ash started enduring the most bullying when she cut her hair short.”
Ash’s death is heartbreakingly reminiscent of Leela Alcorn’s, the Ohio trans teen who also jumped into traffic. Part of her suicide note read, “The life I would’ve lived isn’t worth living in… because I’m transgender.”
Ash is the fourth transgender teen to commit suicide in the US in 2015.
A 15-year-old trans boy from Georgia, Zander Mahaffey, and Melonie Rose, 19, a Maryland trans girl, also killed themselves last month.