Updated: Sep 7, 2022
In 2019, Maurice Willoughby died by suicide after a video went viral of him defending his
relationship with his transexual girlfriend. The story indicates that twenty-year-old Maurice intentionally overdosed after his girlfriend left him out of fear for her safety. The article suggested that Maurice’s death was not a direct result of the harassment he encountered. Despite which account is accurate, neither situation is okay, which reiterates that strong but honest conversations regarding mental health needs to be had.
In the video, Maurice can be seen leaving a corner store when he encountered several young men who began making homophobic comments while capturing the incident with their cell phones.
Maurice stood in his truth by defending what he previously stated on his social media, that he dates a trans woman. Clearly Maurice was understandably angered by the gang up, but we would soon learn just how negatively affected he truly was.
I watched the video several times, and I can honestly say that I respect Maurice for standing up for himself and living in his truth. Whether he was scared, embarrassed, or unnerved, he showed an astronomical amount of courage as he stood to defend himself against simultaneous verbal attacks.
I don’t think people stop to consider how many gay men may feel, knowing what they feel internally is deemed unacceptable in a society that is so brutal, judgmental, and unforgiving.
Personally, I don’t see what Maurice did wrong. Who he chose to love was hurting no one. Had
he pretended to be heterosexual but secretly slept with men while continuing to sleep with women, would that have made it any better? People are so quick to dismiss what they don't understand, and honestly his decisions weren't for anyone to understand as long as he wasn't hurting anyone. Which he was not.
People claim to want honesty, but when people speak their truth, the results aren’t always favorable. Living life based on what society believes, and exacerbated by social media is a different kind of animal. Once his post went viral; having to see then defend the ill-mannered thoughts and opinions of all sorts of people would undoubtedly take a toll on most peoples' psyche. And unfortunately, Maurice succumbed to that pressure.
People did not have to agree with his lifestyle, but it’s what Maurice chose to do, so why be so
upset and taunt him about it? It was his life; his choices did not directly affect anyone else, so what was the point? I truly empathize with Maurice because as someone who has had direct interactions with suicidal thoughts, I can relate to how dark the mind becomes when it believes there are no other alternatives.
We don’t always have to agree with the decisions that others make, especially if it has no
bearings on your life. My heart became heavy with sadness knowing that Maurice felt so
pressured that he saw no other way out, but to take his own life. That said- let’s begin to
consciously make an effort to support, encourage and uplift one another because you never truly
know what someone may be going through.
RIP... Maurice Willoughby...
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