Gabrielle Union, her husband Dwyane Wade and other celebs have donated to the family of Nigel Shelby, a 15-year-old who recently killed himself after being bullied for being gay.
According to TMZ, sources told them that the couple along with Lena Waithe, Ludacris and Janelle Monae, helped donate to Shelby’s mother, Camika Shelby, who put her son to rest in a beautiful ceremony on Saturday (April 27). The family also raised over $40,000 from a separate GoFundMe campaign.
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Today I got the opportunity to celebrate the life of Nigel Shelby. . I pray that no other child will ever have to endure what this young baby dealt with. We gotta love on our own! Check on your friends and loved ones. You never know what someone is going through. #ripnigel 😞
Last month, Nigel sadly made headlines when he took his life after battling depression and being bullied for his sexual orientation by students at Huntsville High School. Apparently, Nigel came out two years ago.
The Alabama teen’s mother told ABC News that her son was a “a vibrant, outgoing and fun-loving child who would do anything he could to make others smile.”
“Nigel was a sweetheart. He loved everybody, he would help anybody. He was an angel,” Shelby said. “I just wish people could’ve seen how special he was while he was still here.”
Camika also shared that her son was seeking counseling and was close to being medicated for his mental health issues. But he still struggled with the fact that he was gay.
“I wish he could have been fully accepted while he was here because it was hard for him. He struggled,” she said.
“He used to ask me sometimes ‘Mama, why couldn’t I just be normal?’ And I’m like, ‘Baby, you are normal. Who you choose to love has nothing to do with the person that you are.'”
“I’m truly blessed that I got to spend 15 years with this child, but it also makes me so sad to know that he’s no longer with me. He was my motivation to keep going. He always kept me lifted up, so to not have that anymore is heartbreaking,” she said.
Even with a loving and accepting parent, Nigel still took his life, which is why it’s so incredibly important that as a community we hold up and love our Black LGBT children. Every single last one of us.
A2016 report released by the Center for American Progress found that Black LGBTQ folks experience higher rates of homelessness during youth than their peers; have higher rates of unemployment or underemployment; and face overall lower rates of pay and higher rates of poverty.
Another report conducted by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network found that nearly half of Black/African-American LGBTQ students felt unsafe due to their sexual orientation; over a third felt unsafe because of their gender expression and nearly 40 percent of Black/ African-American students were more likely to experience in-school discipline.
So it’s clear that our children need us now more than ever. All Black lives matter.
Rest in power Nigel.