Lena Waithe, Ludacris Among Celebrities Who Helped Ensure Nigel Shelby Received A Proper Homegoing Service
His casket was covered in rainbows, and funeral attendees wore rainbow colors to honor the teenager.
May 01, 2019 at 4:20 pm
Several Black celebrities pitched in to make sure Nigel Shelby had a proper homegoing celebration.
TMZ reports Dwyane Wade, Gabrielle Union, Ludacris and Janelle Monáe donated funds toward the 15-year-old’s funeral.
Shelby committed suicide on April 18, as Blavity previously reported. The donation effort was led by Lena Waithe and Slutty Vegan restaurateur Pinky Cole.
View this post on Instagram
Today I got the opportunity to celebrate the life of Nigel Shelby. . I pray that no other child will ever have to endure what this young baby dealt with. We gotta love on our own! Check on your friends and loved ones. You never know what someone is going through. #ripnigel ????
Shelby was laid to rest on April 27. His casket was covered in rainbows and pictures of his smiling face. Funeral attendees showed up in rainbow colors to honor the teenager.
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) April 30, 2019
The openly gay teen suffered from depression and experienced bullying from his peers.
"Coming out at such a young age, it can be hard," his mother, Camika, said in April. "You never know if you're going to be accepted. He didn't know if I was going to accept it — that's my child I love him."
Blavitize your inbox! Join our daily newsletter for fresh stories and breaking news.
Despite his openness, Nigel struggled with his identity.
"I wish he could have been fully accepted while he was here because it was hard for him. He struggled," Camika told ABC. "He used to ask me sometimes 'Mama, why couldn't I just be normal?' And I'm like, 'Baby, you are normal. Who you choose to love has nothing to do with the person that you are.'"
Ahead of the burial, Camika expressed her wishes for her son’s legacy.
"I don't want him to be remembered as a kid that was bullied for being gay and took his own life," she said. "He was sunshine. He was such a good spirit to have around. It breaks my heart because I feel like he had so much love to give."
Now, check these out: