Popular gay YouTuber and LGBTQ influencer Tai Couture has passed away from suicide.
Couture, whose real name was Tyree Williams, was primarily known for his work as a hairstylist and makeup artist, but he had also been vocal about his battle with depression. His death was reported on Friday of last week.
When 15-year-old ninth-grader Nigel Shelby took his own life earlier this year after being bullied for being gay, an emotional Couture shared a Facebook post discussing an earlier suicide attempt of his own.
He wrote, “My heart mourns for the pain, torment, and loneliness this baby felt preceding his suicide. My suicide attempt was only a little over a year ago when I cut my wrist with a knife and was hospitalized.”
“Although bullying wasn’t my trigger I know firsthand how it feels to be desperate for the hurt to end. I pray for Nigel’s family, friends, and the LGBTQ community. May the world continue to spread more unconditional love and not hate.”
In 2016, Couture said in a video he posted that he was in a near-fatal car crash that may have caused his depression. He also talked about how he made it through that difficult period in his life.
After hearing of his death, fans and followers have gone on social media to share their disbelief and sorrow.
One poster on Instagram said, “Here you have a man who seemed to have it all from love, success, and beauty.Who shared a lot of himself publicly with us. Yet, he suffered in silence enough so that his only resolve was to take his own life.”
The poster, who goes by the name @celestialhandsatl, went on to add that Couture “was a man that many of us in the LGBTQ community held in high regard” before adding that he “showed us what he wanted us to see. I, like many of us will never understand why he decided to end his life. Only him and God knows that now.”
The Williams’ family has set up a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs of his funeral. It has raised over $5,500, so far.