Friends of a transgender man who took his own life earlier this month are making sure he is remembered and receives a proper burial.
Daine Grey, 22, a student at City College of San Francisco committed suicide on July 2, and for more than a week, no one claimed his body, not even his parents.
A close friend of Grey's at the Queer Resource Center started a GoFundMe campaign and raised more than $19,000 in less than two days. The campaign had raised nearly $22,000 as of Wednesday evening.
Friends, classmates and the LGBTQ community are sickened over Grey's suicide, and they believe the tragedy could have been prevented with more care and resources.
"It’s tragic that it had to take the death of Daine for people to start to think, 'Oh, there might be a problem after all?" said Lady Katerina of the Queer Resources Center. "Even though it’s been shouted and screamed for years!"
Inside the small center on the CCSF campus, Lady Katerina, a counselor, talks about Grey as a man who had just come out as transgender and what it represents.
"He went from being this very recluse, very shy, wouldn’t talk to anybody to really building upon friendships, especially in this last semester, to opening up, to talking," Katerina said.
But Katerina says the source of family and support was pulled away when the center closed for the summer, leaving Grey with nowhere to go.
Classmates were stunned at the news of Grey's death.
"It was heartbreaking, honestly," student Jeffrey Reyes Infante said. "Like, it was really heartbreaking. Because I have family, I have an uncle who is gay, I have someone who identifies as a woman."
Student Nadia Nehme added: "I’m very surprised because we have a really supportive community, and it’s really sad that suicides are going up, with the situation out here right now."
CCSF says it has a new administration focused on addressing issues of prejudice. The school released a statement on Facebook, saying in part: "It is with heavy hearts that we share the news that a member of our student community, Daine Grey, has passed."
The message encouraged people to contribute to the GoFundMe page.
Katerina started the campaign after contacting the medical examiner’s office on Monday, asking if Grey’s parents had claimed his body.
"They said, ‘No.’ It’s been nine days since they started contacting (his parents)," Katerina said. "And what I was originally told by them is that his parents wanted nothing to do with the body, wanted nothing to do with the funeral, wanted nothing to do with anything."
That has since changed, Katerina said. She spoke with Grey’s mother by text, and his mom now plans on being a part of the funeral, along with her side of the family.
In the wake of the suicide, extended counseling services were made available for students on the CCSF campus.
Details of the funeral were not provided.