FALLBROOK, Calif. — Friends and family were mourning Friday a 16-year-old transgender Fallbrook girl who died last week in an apparent suicide.
Taylor Alesana died April 2. In the months prior to her death, the Fallbrook High School sophomore posted several YouTube videos and she spoke about her transition.
Alesana said in an online biography she was born in North Hollywood and lived in Poway and Escondido before moving to Fallbrook, where she began her transition and “started a new school with a new name and new pronouns.”
In a post from October, Alesana 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 following being bullied online by a fellow student. She said she was suspended for retaliating.
She 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.
Alesana did have many friends at the North County LGBTQ Resource Center, according to a statement from the organization, which described 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.”
The organization hosted a memorial service for Alesana Thursday night.
In a statement, Fallbrook High School said Alesana “tragically passed away during the spring break.”
School officials said they were attempting to honor the family’s request for privacy, and were helping the students and staffers affected by her death. Counseling and other services have been offered, the statement said.
“It is never easy when something like this happens, but we are working to move forward together and stronger than before,” the statement said.