“I’m so exhausted,” Blake Brockington wrote before walking into traffic on Interstate 485 on March 23, 2015.
Blake was a handsome young man. He had been crowned homecoming king and had spoken about his trials and triumphs on the national stage. Blake was also transgender.
“When you’re a kid, parents always tell you sticks and stones may break your bones but names will never hurt you. To me that’s not true. Words hurt, and words turn up to threats and threats turn up to physical violence.” Taylor Alesana, like many transgender teens, was made to feel uncomfortable at school and in society. She spoke about it on her popular YouTube channel before taking her life on April 2, 2015, just days after Blake.
#ArtToEndViolence is a series of paintings, watercolor and mixed media, dedicated to highlighting the violence experienced by Trans, Gay, and Black citizens within the United States. #Blake, available through Orange County Creatives Gallery in Laguna Beach, is acrylic and sharpie on glass. The titular piece to the series recently won an Award of Excellence in Fine Art at The California State Fair. Pieces from the collection have appeared and are available in Los Angeles, Long Beach, Laguna Beach and Sacramento.