BALTIMORE — Close to two dozen people gathered at The Ynot Lot in Station North Friday to honor the life of Myliah Monae Mullen, a trans woman who lost her life Sunday.
"I want people to get closer to your family," said Myliah's mother, Renita. "Tomorrow’s not promised. Reach out to your family. Reach out to everyone because you never know what may happen to them."
Family members believe Myliah took her own life, possibly due to depression. It's an issue made more difficult, compounded by the pandemic.
According to researchers at UC San Francisco, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) communities have experienced increased anxiety and depression since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially those who haven’t struggled with these conditions before.
The study of nearly 2,300 LGBTQ+ participants, appearing online on June 17 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine (JGIM), could benefit members of these communities by showing that others in their communities also may be facing greater anxiety and depression, and mental health services are available for care, researchers said.
Myliah's sisters shared their thoughts on resources within the community.
"We all matter and we aren’t being heard enough," said London Justice. "It’s really getting to me that all of our trans sisters are down here dying in the streets."
"It’s sickening to me, it hurts," said Tamar Jones.
Jones works with Baltimore Safe Haven, a non-profit that seeks to provide opportunities for a higher quality of life for LGBTQ members in Baltimore City who are living in survival mode.
"It hurts that a sister of mine is gone," said Jones. "It hurts that the pandemic has so much going on with us. Because of the pandemic we can’t console each other like we want to. We have to keep our 6 feet, wear a mask. We can’t go spend time with our love ones of COVID and that’s a problem and that’s a problem."
Myliah's mother told WMAR 2 News that her daughter was a source of light for people and displayed an openness for everyone. It's unclear what inner battles she was facing.
"She was love, she was loved," she said. "I just don't understand it. Now she's gone."
For more information on resources available for the LGBTQ community in and around the Baltimore area, click any of these links: