In 2014, Detroit Pistons star Reggie Bullock lost his sister Mia Henderson to violence. Henderson, a transgender woman, was murdered and found dead in an alley in northeast Baltimore, having suffered severe trauma to her body.
Since her death, Bullock has vowed to use his platform to speak out about the violence facing the transgender community.
Appearing at the 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, where he was introduced by Star‘s Amiyah Scott and Pose actress Angelica Ross, Bullock opened up about his family’s initial reaction when his sister came out as transgender and the regret he felt for not educating himself sooner about the issues transgender women face.
“For so long I didn’t understand my sister. I loved her and I was happy to see her living her truth, but I wasn’t educated about what she was going through,” Bullock said. “She never even saw me play college basketball in person because I was worried what my teammates would think, what people would think, and I really regret that.”
Bullock admits that his family made a lot of mistakes, but ultimately accepted Mia after she came out. Now, the Detroit Pistons player is using his platform to help transgender women like his sister.
“I want the world to know what acceptance looks like,” Bullock told attendees, adding that he has his sister’s name tattooed on his leg. “I was looking for an organization to help share my story and GLAAD is right on the money.”
Bullock added that through GLAAD he learned how to open up and use the platform he has to spread a message of acceptance and he hopes to one day be able to wear a rainbow jersey on the basketball court.
“I will always stand for the lives of women like Mia and LGBTQ people everywhere.”