Until his transgender sister, Mia Henderson, was stabbed to death in 2014, Reggie Bullock of the Detroit Pistons was pretty ignorant of trans issues.
In the immediate aftermath of her death, Bullock would still refer to Mia with male pronouns and had Mia’s birth name tattooed on his arm. It was a learning experience for Bullock and one that he has embraced to become a staunch advocate for transgender people.
Last year, he hosted Pride Night with the Detroit Pistons, spoke at the GLAAD media awards and marched in the New York LGBT Pride Parade in June. He also continues to speak out on various media platforms to talk about Mia and trans issues.
In an interview Thursday for the new YouTube series “Kikis with Louie,” produced by Advocates for Youth, Bullock talks with host Louie Ortiz-Fonseca about how something simple as a tattoo became part of his education into trans issues.
“I ended up getting [Mia’s birth name] Kevin tatted on my hand right after she passed away not knowing, because I wasn’t educated enough, that was dead-naming her,” Bullock said. “This was the person I thought I knew and the life she lived when it actually wasn’t.
“She wanted to be recognized as Mia Henderson, which was her street name that she picked up, and that was the real life that she was living. I got this tat and I’m going to keep it here since that was the person closest to me I knew at a younger age ... and I got Mia Henderson tatted on my leg.”
Bullock regularly speaks out on trans issues, such as his tweet this week against a proposed bill in South Dakota that would force trans athletes to compete according to the sex assigned to them at birth.
Bullock, whose Pistons will have their 2019 Pride Night on March 28, said it was important for cisgender people to talk with transgender people and educate themselves. “I feel I’m learning her life through a lot of other people,” he said.
The episode is now live: