The date was July 16, 2014. That’s the day someone murdered Mia Henderson in Baltimore — just for being transgender.

Henderson’s brother, Reggie Bullock, told of the gut-wrenching emotional toll Henderson’s death took on his family. That’s why Bullock has become a strong advocate for LBGTQ rights, fighting for the acceptance that never came his sister’s way.

“I support the LGBTQ because, obviously, of what happened to my sister, Mia Henderson,” Bullock said. “She was pretty much one of the backbones in my family and it was very important for me to use my platform to be able to stand up for her rights.”

A suspect was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in Henderson’s death. But that suspect was acquitted in January of 2017, angering Bullock’s family.

In shining a light on what his sister experienced, Bullock has volunteered to train transgender and gay youths as they navigate their way through the dark times while trying to live their life the way they want to. He also — while a member of the New York Knicks — rode on the LGBTQ NBA float during the New York City LGBTQ Pride March.

More than anything, in retrospect, Bullock spends some of his idle time trying to understand what was going on in his sister’s life before she became transgender and was killed at age 26.

“I really didn’t know what was going through her life to make her change over that way,” he said. “Now that she’s gone, it’s very important for me and the platform that I have to be able to stand up for her rights and understand that those things are going on in the world and it’s people like myself who could possibly slow down that roll.

“And that is my platform — to bring awareness to it. It’s all about awareness, and it’s important for my family, too.”

It’s also immensely important for Bullock to stand in the gap and be the connector when he talked to those gay and transgender youths, and to offer unwavering support. He knew some of those youths were probably experiencing untold stress, and he wanted to be a comforting sounding board in their time of need.

“I went up to a school in New York when I was playing there, and it was pretty much a school where a lot of these people that’s maybe in the closet that don’t know how to come out (of the closet) to their parents,” Bullock said. “So just seeing (an NBA) player like myself come in there and be super relevant with them, they understood that I’m a human being, things like this happened to me, so just be yourself and stand up for what you believe in.”

Bullock acknowledged that’s the way his sister lived her life. Henderson wore her emotions on her sleeves, with Bullock saying he admired “just her strength that she had. She always wanted to be herself.

“She always had that same mindset, too, as myself – it is what it is type of mindset. She was loving, she was caring and she was a dancer too, and I definitely loved all that about her.”

Now a forward with the Dallas Mavericks, Bullock is active in the charity – NBA Voices for LGBTQ Youth and Allies. He also has been honored during the GLAAD Media Awards.

“That (GLAAD Media Awards) was very big,” Bullock said. “It was big for my family just being able to be pretty much one of the players on the forefront of the LGBTQ community.”

GLAAD is an advocacy group that champions LGBTQ causes.

As far as the NBA Voices for LGBT Youth and Allies is concerned, Bullock noted that: “The NBA has been my biggest help with helping me brand out what I wanted to do to help my sister out and keep her name alive. That’s what I’m out here doing and just trying to continue to do it.”

But just as Bullock was healing from the death of his sister, on Oct. 29, 2019, his other sister – Keiosha Moore – was also murdered in Baltimore. That incident brought unprecedented trauma to Bullock’s family.

“We’re still actually fighting that case right now, so hopefully things will work out in my family’s favor for that,” he said. “But it’s about just trying to get justice and trying to keep my sister’s name alive.”

Losing two sisters to senseless violence in a five-year span was a grief-stricken journey Bullock doesn’t wish on anybody. The pain has been unspeakable.

“It was definitely very difficult for me and my family to go through,” Bullock said. “But once my sister passed and my grandmother passed, I became the backbone of the family, so I had to show strength.

“My family really just looks at me for strength, and I can’t be weak. I know that my sisters wouldn’t want me to be weak for my family right now, so I have to just continue to heal and grow and continue to learn.”

On the one-year anniversary of Moore’s death, Bullock took to social media to write: “I never felt so BROKEN in my life! My 2 queens, my 2 that go super HARD FOR ME! . . .I failed as a brother to protect you from the harm of these streets. I FAILED TWICE, to be the TRUE BROTHERS KEEPER. . .I’LL DO MY BEST TO KEEP THIS FAMILY TOGETHER. . .”

Asked about the post, Bullock said: “I just felt like I let them down. I just felt like I couldn’t be there when it was happening.”

A God-fearing man, Bullock now has a set of young twin boys. And he’s doing his best to fill them up with unconditional love.

But he knows the sheer pain of losing his two sisters will forever be something that’s challenging to overcome.

“I think that’s probably one of the main reasons why God blessed me back with twins,” the 30-year old Bullock said. “He saw how much of a help I’ve been to my family and how much of a help I’ve been to everyone around me.

“Twins run in my family, but right now in life I didn’t expect that I would be having twins. For that to happen that way I felt like it was a true calling from God – pretty much replacing back what I lost back with strength from my two boys, so it’s good.”

And with that strength from his twins, Bullock plans to continue fighting the fight and getting involved with LGBTQ rights during his tenure with the Mavs. He figures he’ll get the blessings from Mavs owner Mark Cuban.

“I will definitely be doing everything with LGBTQ here in Dallas,” Bullock said. “Mark is definitely going to be a person that also help me out, and obviously the team.

“They know the different types of things I want to do in the community and how I want my voice to be heard and standing up for those rights. So I’m just here to do whatever I can to improve the community.”

Twitter: @DwainPrice

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