A 20-year-old black man took his life after being the target of relentless bullying because of his relationship with a trans woman.
On Wednesday (August 21) #RipReese trended on Twitter after a video of Maurice Willoughby, better known as Reese, was seen being harassed by others in his neighborhood.
“Y’all can say whatever you want about Faith. I really don’t care if she’s not passable. I don’t care if she wasn’t born a woman. She’s a woman to me and 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,” Reese wrote on Facebook prior to his death.
It’s unclear how long Reese and Faith were together, but the young man had her name tattooed on his forehead.
Reportedly the Philadelphia resident battled depression and other mental health issues, which were only exasperated his illness. Reese took to Facebook Live about his relationship and merited 15,000 views, as well as many transphobic comments.
Following the news of Reese’s suicide, many took to social media to denounce the harassment he endured by many in the neighborhood.
My condolences to Marcus "Reese" Willoughby of Philadelphia,PA. It is reported he committed suicide for being bullied for openly loving a trans woman. Also reported he was battling mentally health issues social media bullying/harassment took it overboard. pic.twitter.com/nBHkXTeX59
— TS Candii (@TS_Candii) August 20, 2019
Real niggas don’t even be worrying about what the next man doing..I was always taught to mind the business that pays me, Bullying & shaming a man into suicide because he had a preference is trash and so are y’all #ripreese
— Toxic Tonio (@Jus4Lafs) August 21, 2019
Dont turn a blind eye to the violence that our black trans sisters are facing
Protect those that love them for their love is questioned and ridiculed even in today's age
I'm sorry reese…may you rest in power and may his girlfriend and family find comfort #ripreese
— rayne 💙's jjong 🌙 + mim 🐻 (@little_starglow) August 21, 2019
Transphobia kills. Literally. Trans women are always at the tipping point of violence, it’s where we exist, the men that love us are either in the cross hairs of that violence or internalize it and enact it themselves. Kill your transphobia before it kills us. #ripreese
— Jade Phoenix Martinez (@_Jade_Phoenix_) August 21, 2019
Funeral arrangements for Reese have not been announced at this time.