On Monday, August 18, a transgender teen from the Bucks County, Pennsylvania area apparently committed suicide by stepping in front of a fast-moving train. The Daily Mail reports that 17-year-old Riley Matthew Moscatel, who decided to drop his birth name 'Jessica' in favor of 'Riley' in the spring, explained in a lengthy letter on Instagram that he was "a prisoner of my own body."
Surveillance cameras recorded the high school senior stepping in front of an Amtrak train near his home in Croydon, PA. He was killed.
"My mirror reflects Jessica, my heart and mind say Riley," he posted in an Instagram picture with a backdrop of train tracks, just before ending his life. "You see me as the happiest person in school, I'm a prisoner of my own body."
In the lengthy message, Riley apologized to his parents for not being the daughter they wanted, saying, "I just let go of the balloon I've been holding for so long called 'hope.' With that being said, I love you. I'm sorry I'm not the daughter you wanted."
His mother, Kristine Moscatel, told the Trentonian they were 100 percent supportive of their child's struggle, but sometimes slipped up on the pronouns. They said that they had bought him a breast binder, and researched hormone treatments to begin when he turned 18.
"We knew that it was important to her," said father Rich Moscatel. "If it was important to her, it was important to us whether we understood it or not."
"We went from her thinking she was a lesbian, to bisexual, to finally transgender," said mother Kristine Moscatel. "She didn't know what she wanted to try and fit into." The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that although Riley's fellow students at Bucks Country Technical High School were happy to call him by his chosen name, friends knew that he was "super-frustrated with his body... and more and more frustrated every single day," said Carley Foss.
Although friend Kate Cimono said, "Everyone loved Riley. He was everyone's best friend," she also noted that he "still really wasn't a guy physically. Even though everyone showed support and called him Riley, it didn't match up to what he felt of himself."