Activist Imara Jones questions what's at the heart of the rampant violence that's killing Black transgender women and finds Black men and cis Black women as part of the answer that's fueling a weakness in our culture.. Unsplash)

This week a Philadelphia man who was mercilessly harassed in a viral video for defending his relationship with a transgender woman has died by suicide.

According to the Aazios, in a widely viewed Facebook post, Maurice Willoughby, also know as “Reese Him Daddie,” was filmed being confronted on the street by a group of men as he defended his relationship with his girlfriend, Faith.

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“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,” the 20-year-old wrote online despite the backlash.

But as the clip grew in popularity and started to spread on social media, friends of Willoughby say he slipped into a deep depression.

“That was my friend and everyone who took part in bulling him need to be in jail,” his friend Amethyst Jade Lee wrote in a Facebook post.

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“He was getting picked on and joked on all the time,” explains another friend who chose to remain anonymous. “Where we are from, if you like trans woman, and you Black, the streets will talk about you, fight you, even try to kill you.”

“He was dealing with a lot,” the friend concluded.

Since the story broke trans activists have spoken up about the young man’s death, citing that his ordeal is exactly why so many refuse to come forward when dating someone from the trans community.

“My heart breaks for Reese, for his girlfriend, and their loved ones,” wrote writer and advocate Janet Mock. “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.”

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