Katherine Von-Roeder, best known in Dota 2 as jerleminara, was found in Hollywood, Calif., from an apparent suicide, a representative of the Los Angeles County Coroner office confirmed to the Daily Dot.
In a Facebook post made before her death, Von-Roeder, 27, describes living with depression and struggling with her transition, a term used in the transgender community when a person begins changing their presentation to match their gender identity, a process that may include hormone therapy and/or surgery.
“I shouldn’t have done it,” Von-Roeder wrote on Facebook. “Not because I’m not trans, but because I didn’t have a fraction of the personal strength to succeed at it, unlike some of the amazing trans people I’ve been privileged to know.”
Von-Roeder also discussed purchasing a shotgun in the post. She apologized to her friends and Twitter followers for “suffering my vortex of negativity.”
“I’m scared but I’m excited,” she added. “There’s tears, but under them there’s this… giddiness, a spring in my step that I’ve never had before. All the hurt and the pain and the constant need to compare myself to all the normal people I meet.. That’s all *done*.”
Von-Roeder was a technical analyst for Riot Games from September 2012 to September 2013. She was also a commentator for the competitive video game Dota 2.
Thousands of people on Reddit’s r/leagueoflegends and r/dota2 forums paid their respects to Von-Roeder after news of her death reached the site earlier today. Some are telling stories of their own struggles living as transgender people, as well as sharing thoughts on depression. Twitter also lit up with messages of condolence.
My condolences to the friends and family of JerleMinara (Kate von Roeder). Life can be a hard road. Please, please, never give up.
— Jonny (@UndeadManWalkin) October 2, 2014
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH), “an estimated 16 million adults aged 18 or older in the U.S. had at least one major depressive episode” in 2012.
Photo by Liz Tasa/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)