Caitlyn Jenner: Suicide of metro Detroit transgender teen 'haunts me'
Caitlyn Jenner said she was haunted by the tragic suicide of a metro Detroit teenager.
She used her acceptance speech at last night's ESPY awards to reach out to transgender people all over the country.
Jenner hoped sharing her story will help save lives and let young people know they're not alone.
During her ESPYs speech, she said:
"I also want to tell you about Sam Taub, a 15-year-old transgender young man from Bloomfield, Michigan," Caitlin Jenner said at the ESPY awards Wednesday. "In early April, Sam took his own life. Sam's story haunts me because his death came just a few days before ABC aired my interview with Diane Sawyer."
Sam Taub's family is opening up about their experience and Sam's legacy.
It was the moment the father of 15-year-old Sam Taub says he realized the massive impact his son, a transgender boy, had - and is still having on others.
"It made me happy," said Geoffrey Taub, his father. "My reaction was happy. Because I feel that Caitlin Jenner was really doing what Samantha was doing - looking for others out there who need help."
"Every time something like this happens," Jenner said. "People wonder, could it have been different if spotlighting this issue with more attention, could have changed the way things happened. We'll never know."
"It was quite emotional for me," Taub said. "To hear Caitlin's emotion in feeling that ... if only sooner."
Taub says Sam, who was born a girl, came out to him last Christmas. And since then, Sam, overcame his struggle with Anorexia and proudly joined the Darlings of Destruction junior roller derby league.
Things seemed okay.
"My son always says the more we hurt, the less we show it," Taub said. "Although we were best friends and I told her that, I reminded her of that, in case she was ever hurting. And Sam would say 'You're still my dad.'"
Taub recalls that tragic day on April 9, 2015.
"I was volunteering that day and when I came back home, she had taken her life," Taub said. "Sometime during the night."
After police investigated, Taub says he learned Sam had been contemplating suicide for months. And even advocated for others, going through what he was.
"There's no point in your life where you expect to lose a child," he said.
Since Sam's death, music he loved, from Elvis, the Beatles and My Chemical Romance bring memories of Taub's son flooding back.
Along with watching others using the hash tag "Do it for 57," Sam's derby number. Taub says he hopes someone out there hearing of Sam's struggle, can relieve some of their pain.
"I would like to tell them I am there for them," Taub said. "There are people like me that support their children no matter what. They're out there."