A 16-year-old transgender girl from Fallbrook, who took her own life during her spring break, had turned to social media in the months prior to her death to talk about bullying that she said she endured from her peers.
In the months prior to Taylor Alesana’s April 2 death, the Fallbrook High School sophomore posted several YouTube videos and spoke about her transition.
Taylor said in an online biography that she was born in North Hollywood and lived in Poway and Escondido before moving to Fallbrook, where she “started a new school with a new name and new pronouns.”
In a post from October, the teen detailed how the bullying against her started in middle school after she came out as bisexual and began wearing makeup.
“I feel for anyone who’s just a little bit different — they know what bullying is like,” she said.
She chronicled her troubles making friends at her new school, and being kicked out of various groups after they found out she was different.
In a post from December, she said she was forced to “go back in the closet” for her own protection after being bullied online by a fellow student. She said she was suspended for retaliating.
The teen said that hurtful words could lead to threats, which can lead to physical violence.
“If anyone is getting teased like I did, go to the school, go to the police and do whatever you can do to protect yourself,” she said.
Taylor had many friends at the North County LGBTQ Resource Center, according to a statement from the organization, which hosted a memorial service on Thursday night. The center issued a statement describing her as a beautiful and courageous girl looking for acceptance.
“But the support she received was not enough to counter the very difficult time she had at Fallbrook High School,” the statement said. “As a transgender teen, she was constantly picked upon, bullied and attack by her peers. With few adults to turn to, and with no support from her school, her life became too difficult.”
Fallbrook Union High School District Superintendent Hugo Pedroza issued a statement saying the district was “attempting to honor the family’s request for privacy while also helping our students and staff who have been impacted by this sad event.”
“The district has had counselors on site to support our school community,” his statement said. “Fallbrook High has a continuum of appropriate services (social, emotional, academic) to ensure every student is supported and successful at Fallbrook High School. It is never easy when something like this happens, but we are working to move forward together and stronger than before.”
The district would not comment on whether Taylor was offered or accepted school services.
—City News Service
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