Celebrities are coming together to help the mother of 15-year-old Nigel Shelby, a gay Alabama teen who took his life earlier this month after being bullied.
As details surrounding Shelby’s death were revealed, his story caught the attention of the many celebs on social media. Now, according to TMZ, Dwyane Wade, Gabrielle Union, Ludacris, and Janelle Monae are among the group of celebs donating money to help cover funeral costs.
The efforts were initiated by Pinky Cole, owner of Slutty Vegan restaurant in Atlanta and “Master of None” actress Lena Waithe, who encouraged their famous friends to pitch in for Shelby’s homegoing.
Sources haven’t revealed how much these celebrities have raised, but sources say that the money was enough to donate to Shelby’s family, as well as cover the cost of Shelby’s tombstone and service.
Shelby’s mother Camika shared that her son suffered from depression and identity issues after coming out. He was a freshman in a local high school where the alleged bullying occurred.
“I wish he could have been fully accepted while he was here because it was hard for him. He struggled,” Camika Shelby said. “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.'”
Shelby was laid to rest over the weekend at Rock Family Worship Center in Huntsville, Alabama. TMZ added that the service featured a “colorful casket wrapped in rainbows and butterflies.”