Why NBA Player Reggie Bullock Got A Tattoo In Support Of Trans Rights

“It’s something that was close to home to me.”

Photo by Out Sports

Reggie Bullock of the Detroit Pistons is committed to creating change for the LGBTQ community, specifically Black trans women, since the death of his sister Mia Henderson. His 26-year-old transgender sister, Mia, was killed in Baltimore in 2014.

“It’s something that was close to home to me,” Bullock told The Advocate. “I just want to bring equality within all lives.” But being an ally for LGBTQ equality hasn’t always been a part of Bullock’s life. In fact, he struggled with allowing space for his sister in his life when she was alive and admitted that she never got a chance to watch him play college basketball because he didn’t want her at the games.

“It hurt me, when I think about it now,” Bullock says in a video released by the Pistons on Transgender Day of Remembrance this year. “That was probably like one of the stupidest things. But I just didn’t know so much about it, and I wasn’t as comfortable about it.”

Mia Henderson. Photo by Facebook

Since the tragic death of his sister Mia, Bullock has taken it upon himself to find support and education through GLAAD and Athlete Ally. He is the first to admit that being an ally to the cause is a process but he’s committed to standing up “for the community as a straight guy,” to share his sisters story and to save lives. He has since taken a strong stance on LGBTQ inclusive policies within the NCAA including adopting trans and nonbinary inclusive bathrooms at all stadiums.

His ultimate goal is to ensure that trans athletes can play on the teams that align with their gender identity. “If they’re just as good or can compete at the same level as I can, let the person compete,” he told The Advocate. And he would like for it to happen in rainbow-colored jerseys.

However, his latest commitment to Mia’s memory and carrying on her legacy has been a tattoo on his leg. Bullock had “LGBTQ” and his sister’s name tattooed on his leg. He did so to have a constant reminder to be more involved in supporting the LGBTQ community than he was when she was alive. “If he could give Henderson a message today, he would tell her, ‘I’m sorry for not being informed’ or ‘being educated enough’ about LGBT issues and her own experience as a transgender woman,” writes The Advocate.

Photo by Pistons Transgender Day of Remembrance Video

Tomorrow, Bullock will speak at the GLAAD Media Awards in New York City on Mia’s story and why he’s committed to creating change.