Mom of Trans Teen Pushes for Resources

Mom of Trans Teen Pushes for Resources That Could Have Saved Her Son

Kathie Moehlig, who helped the Prescotts through their darkest hour, has started a new family advocacy organization.

JULY 3, 2015

Katherine Prescott’s transgender son, Kyler, took his own life after being bullied online. Still in mourning since his death in May, Prescott is urging people to get behind a family friend’s effort to bring more resources and support services to trans teens and their families.

“It is my hope that Kathie will have the opportunity to support many trans youth and their families, so that we as a community can better embrace these amazing kids,” Prescott, 47, of San Diego, tells The Advocate.

“Kathie” is Kathie Moehlig, a local advocate for transgender rights and mother of a 13-year-old son named Sam, who is also transgender.

“Since Kyler passed, I have a far deeper sense of urgency to get this out there; this void I think we can fill,” Moehlig tells The Advocate during an interview at her home in San Diego’s Rancho Bernardo neighborhood.

In the wake of Kyler’s death, Moehlig has launched TransFamily Support Services, and she is currently in the process of securing nonprofit status. Already, the group is providing local families with intrafamilial coaching and support and advocacy around educational issues specific to trans youth, in addition to guidance navigating the health care system — for parents and for their trans children — and the myriad legal concerns that come with being or loving someone who is transgender.

Early efforts to launch the group were under way even before Kyler’s death. Moehlig helped the Prescotts deal with the onslaught of media attention that quickly followed their son’s death by suicide. Advocating for the Prescott family crystallized in Moehlig’s mind the need for the organization’s mission, and accelerted the pace at which TransFamily Support Services took shape.

“I’m an ordained minister, so for me to say that I ‘minister to the Prescott family’ is an easy thing to say,” Moehlig says. “I don’t know if they would put it that way. But when Katherine called me and told me what happened, immediately my thought was I have to drop everything and get over there now.

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