Transgender rights activist Henry Berg-Brousseau has died due to an apparent suicide, her mother has confirmed.
Berg-Brousseau, 24 years old, was a favorite among LGBTQ activists after testifying against the transgender bathroom bill in Kentucky in 2016.
The trans activist spoke about being forced to use the girl’s bathroom despite identifying as a man.
Berg-Brousseau became “a leading LGBTQ+ rights organization’ in the wake of “anti-trans bills being proliferating across the country,” the Guardian noted.
She later became the deputy press secretary for politics for the Human Rights Campaign.
Berg-Brousseau’s mother, Karen Berg, who is a Kentucky state senator and Democrat, said her daughter died of suicide because she “long struggled with mental illness” due to not being accepted as her chosen male identity
“The vitriol against trans people is not happening in a vacuum,” Berg said in a statement.
“It is not just a way of scoring political points by exacerbating the culture wars. It has real world implications.”
“On a daily basis at his job, Henry would be aware of the hateful and vile anti-trans messaging being circulated around this country and focused at his workplace,” added Berg, referring to her daughter with masculine pronouns.
“This hate building across the country weighed on him. In one of our last conversations, he wondered if he was safe walking down the street.”
Human Rights Campaign Kelley Robinson praised Henry as a “fighter and an advocate.’
“Henry was first and foremost a fighter and an advocate. He was fighting for transgender rights as a teenager in Kentucky, far earlier than he should have had to,” said Robinson.
“As part of his job at HRC, he faced down anti-transgender vitriol every single day, and no one was more aware of the harm that anti-transgender rhetoric, messaging, and legislation could have on his community.”