In 2014, Detroit Pistons forward Reggie Bullock’s sister Mia Henderson was found dead in an alleyway with severe trauma to her body, which was barely recognizable. In a recent interview, Bullock opened up about his sister, who was transgender, and how much she inspired him.
“He lived as himself, he taught me how to be [myself], he taught me how to take care of the family,” Bullock told The Herd. “Just be yourself. He was happy with being who he was, he wasn’t worried about how others felt about him.”
Bullock still uses masculine pronouns when talking about Mia, who was born Kevin Long (for those who are curious, one Deadspin commenter perfectly explained why that may be.)
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The Human Rights Campaign reports that transgender people face higher chances of harassment and violence throughout their lives having to deal with transphobia on a regular basis, anti-transgender violence, and systemic violence and prejudice. Chances of violence and abuse are exponentially higher for transgender people of color.
Bullock went on to add that his sister was one of the strongest people he knew, saying, “A person that can isolate the whole world out and not care about other people’s feelings is a strong person, to me. I think that was one of the biggest things that I got from him.”