Friends and family mourn the passing by suicide of Ashley Hallstrom, a 26-year-old transgender woman in Logan, Utah.
"Ashley was a beautiful person inside and out. That is a true fact. I wish she could have seen it herself," said her close friend, Dawn Blakely, to The Herald Journal. "Being lesbian myself, I knew that she felt uncomfortable, so I befriended her. We became super good friends from that moment on." Blakely also praised Hallstrom's singing abilities and emphasized that she was happy to move forward with her gender transition.
A candlelight vigil will be held Saturday evening at her family's home. Family members have not yet come forward to be publicly identified by name.
Hallstrom was a dedicated member of the online Reddit community. She recently consoled another trans person on Reddit who was contemplating taking their life.
"I know we all hurt after learning about Ashley. Whatever your opinion on the reason why she did what she did, the fact remains that we have lost one of our own," said a Redditer with the username drewiepoodlein a post yesterday.
Hallstrom posted a note on Facebook before her passing that discussed her lifelong female identification, her struggle with depression, and the difficulties she faced with societal transphobia after she began to transition at the age of 20.
Since then, thousands have shared her post on Facebook and supporters have honored her on Twitter with caring tweets using the hashtag #hernamewasashley. Hallstrom's post closed with the following words:
"Please share my final words. I believe my last words can help make the change that society needs to make so that one day there will be no others like me. Please help make this change because trans people are everywhere. You may never know who you're hurting until it's too late. Please help fix society."