A man who was filmed being bullied for dating a trans woman in a video that went viral has died by suicide.
Maurice Willoughby, 20, took his own life after splitting from his girlfriend Faith Palmer after a long battle with drug addiction.
Maurice – known online as ‘Reese Him Daddie’ – was harassed on social media and bullied in the street after he openly spoke about his relationship with Faith.
A video posted to Twitter shows the aspiring rapper being verbally attacked by a group of men who hurl abuse, saying: ‘You f*** what?’ and telling him ‘that’s not thorough’ – street slang for masculine or manly.
Reese, of Philadelphia, US, celebrated his relationship with Faith, a trans woman, and announced he was dating her in a Facebook Live video that quickly gained over 15,000 views.
Friends say that Reese was attacked by trolls online and bullied in person after his live video.
Before his death, Reece wrote on Facebook: ‘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.’
In a statement, black trans rights group the Marsha P. Johnson Institute confirmed Reese took his own life on Monday shortly after splitting with his girlfriend and said he had previously been a heavy drug user.
The Institute added: ‘Our deepest condolences to Faith and also to Reese’s family.’
A friend, who has not been named, said Reece suffered mental health problems before his death, including depression.
They told Aazios: ‘He was getting picked on and joked on all the time.
‘Where we are from, if you like trans women and you black, the streets will talk about you, fight you, even try to kill you. He was dealing with a lot.’
Reece’s girlfriend Faith yesterday posted about her boyfriend on Facebook, saying: ‘I’m goin’ make sure your story is told and the right way.’
She added: ‘All he wanted was for us to win as we battled all his mental demons.
‘He wasn’t scared of anyone so he fought back for us.’
Janet Mock, producer of Pose, a US TV series which focuses on New York’s African-American and Latino LGBTQ underground ballroom scene, shared a clip of the homophobic attack, saying: ‘My 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.’
Trans US entertainment presenter Ashlee Marie Preston tweeted: ‘When 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’s out of fear that this will happen to them if they are outed.
‘Reese didn’t kill his girlfriend; he killed himself instead.’
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