For years, Benjamin Brownlee of Rockdale, Texas, stuggled with issues of sexual identity. The teenager felt he was a girl trapped in a boy’s body.
In recent years, he had transgendered himself into Tesia Samara, a girl who wore hiphuggers and eyeliner. He was accepted at home, but apparently not among his peers.
“He took a lot of humiliation and degradation at school,” said his mother, Karen Johle. “You know how kids are. They snigger behind your back. Called him names.”
Ben’s younger brother found him hanging Nov. 18 in a garage at his home. He was 15 and did not leave a suicide note. The Austin American-Statesman explores the boy’s life and suicide.