Black celebrities came together in a show of solidarity and support for Nigel Shelby — the 15-year-old Black gay teen who committed suicide two weeks ago in Alabama after constantly being bullied and battling depression. The incident also ended with a despicable sheriff mocking young Nigel’s death on social media. Various celebrities donated undisclosed amounts of money to a GoFundMe account which his grieving mother, Camika Quintay, created to cover a memorial and funeral expenses. The account raised $39,773 of its $26,000 goal.
Rapper-and-actor Ludacris, Gabrielle Union and husband Dwyane Wade, and singer Janelle Monae each donated undisclosed amounts of money towards Nigel Shelby’s fund. Lena Waithe also donated $5,000. Black celebrities, Union and Wade, recently supported their own son who recently came out of the closet at Miami Pride. Gabrielle Union even accompanied him to the weekend event which highlighted the city’s LGBT community.
Quintay disclosed to social media followers that Nigel had full-coverage health insurance but no life insurance.
She needed help and but wasn’t too sure about creating a crowdfunding page because she has “never been into handouts or asking anyone for anything.”
Nigel’s homegoing celebration elicited love and support from around the country. His mother shared footage of the funeral on Saturday. She rode atop a horse-drawn carriage which pulled Shelby’s coffin. Funeral goers participated in a balloon and butterfly release ceremony. It was reminiscent of funerary rituals in New Orleans.
“My love and I took our last ride together in a horse & carriage all the way down the parkway and to his final resting place,” Quintay captioned the clip.
The sad part about all of this is if Nigel Shelby would have had this much support and love in the first place; there would have been no need for a funeral.