The rash of young gays and lesbians committing suicide has now struck the country's LGBT capital here in the Bay Area: Aiyisha Hassan, a 20-year-old Marin County native who identified as lesbian, killed herself on October 4. Hassan was a former student at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and the daughter of Makini Hassan, a Marin City non-profit executive director.
According to news reports, Hassan was a part of the university's LGBT student group:
Lauren Morris, 21, a senior at Howard, who lived in the same building as Hassan from 2008-2009, said she introduced Hassan to [the LGBT student group] and added that friends have reported Hassan's suicide was related to her struggles with her sexuality."
''She was having a lot of trouble with a lot of different things,'' Morris says, ''but mainly her sexual identity and just trying to express that.''
Makini was previously the Chief of Career Services at Goodwill Industries of San Francisco, San Mateo, and Marin Counties. In that capacity the division developed a certified retail management training that was supported by an advisory board of top retailers in the city and the national retail federation. The division also expanded the agency's truck driver training to include a truck driving simulator in partnership with City College of San Francisco, and further developed the program to include logistics sector training. The division also partnered with the city's District Attorney's office in implementing Back on Track, a successful nationally recognized program that provides intensive services and support to recent court accused offenders, and the re-entry community.Hassan's memorial is tomorrow in Los Angeles, but her family is planning one on Saturday here in the Bay Area. We'll update with the details on that as soon as we have them.