Transgender teen struggling with depression, gender identity commits suicide
Officials say Riley Matthew Moscatel, 17, of Croydon, Pa. stepped in front of the oncoming passenger train around 1:30 p.m. Monday afternoon. The train was traveling at nearly 120 miles per hour and it was nearly a mile before it was able to come to a complete stop.
Riley’s mother, Kristine Moscatel, told the Courier County Times that Riley had been battling depression for five years.
“Things were just building up and building up and [he] just couldn’t take it anymore,” she said. “[He] hid behind a mask. [He] had a mask for me, my husband, my son, my parents … everyone [he] had a different face for, but they were all happy (faces).”
[Riley] was transgender, his mother said. [He] identified as being a boy by using the name of Riley Matthew with [his] friends and on social media.
“[He] went from so many different things that [he] didn’t know what [he] was and all of that added on to [his] depression. We were trying to accept it, we were dealing with it as best we could. We supported [him].”
Editor’s Note: Pronouns changed to reflect Riley’s identity.
Riley’s father, Rich Moscatel, told The Trentonian that he believes gender identity played a “large role” in Riley’s suicide, and that he was also struggling with a couple failed relationships, trepidations of starting his senior year and deciding whether to attend college or not.
“[He] did a really good job of masking [his] depression in front of the people that [he] loved,” he said. “We’re still kicking ourselves as to what was the straw that broke the camel’s back. [He] was dealing with a lot of pressures.”
The Moscatels say Riley began identifying as male as early as 3-years-old when he cut off all his hair and said he wanted to be a boy.
“That was our sign, but we didn’t realize it until 10 years later,” Kristine Moscatel said. “It then started to manifest itself seriously.”
A year ago is when he began identifying as Riley.
Editor’s Note: If you or a young person you know is LGBT and thinking about suicide, please call The Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386. For adults over 24, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
GLAAD released this video below in honor of this year’s Spirit Day, a day when millions of people around the world wear purple to stand up for LGBT youth that are bullied everyday. Harold Moss, Creative Director of FlickerLab, created the short animated film which stresses how big of an impact your harmful words can have. Here’s [...]September 29, 2015
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