“There are different kinds of fear. When you are terrified to do something out of your comfort zone, that is an indicator of growth.” Famous auctiontainer and LGBTQ advocate, Letitia Frye, discusses her recent tragedy and how it drove her to go outside her comfort zone to dance with One n Ten at their upcoming event. Letitia is dancing in honor of a 17-year-old whose life ended way too soon.
Letitia met her current boyfriend, Mark Holland, in 2017. They are currently happy and in love. Letitia and Mark each have two children, and she talks about their interesting first date and how one of Mark’s initial concerns was her acceptance for his transgender son, Aksel. Letitia knew, at that moment, Mark was the one for her.
By the age of 17, and with the complete support of his family, Aksel had undergone gender transformation and was legally considered a male in the state of California. Letitia explains the joy and passion that Aksel brought to, not only her life, but also to anyone else who was surrounded by him. Letitia says Aksel always wanted to “right the wrongs in the world…he wanted to be a voice to the voiceless”.
Then on April 10th, 2018, tragedy struck Letitia Frye’s new blended family. Aksel, at the tender age of 17, had taken his own life. Letitia talks about the note Aksel left, clearly explaining the demons he had struggled with. Even with the help he had received in the past, and the ongoing support of his family, the daily battles were too much. Aksel’s note expressed his love for his family and that his unhappiness was no one’s fault, but that his life was just too difficult, too painful.
Today, Letitia Frye strives to avoid the tragedy her family experienced with Aksel and is very present in the LGBTQ community. She volunteers with One n Ten, and this year she will be ‘out of her comfort zone’ participating in its ball room dancing event. Letitia will be dancing with another woman, both single moms, and explains this is significant and will be a first for two women. Letitia goes on to say, “we are dancing for Aksel, we are dancing with a primary emphasis on support for transgender youth, but for One n Ten in general.”
She explains that One n Ten is both a support system and leadership development organization designed to help our LGBTQ youth, ages 10 through age 25, through education, mental health and the arts. They have the largest gay camp for youth located right here in Prescott, Arizona. This organization is a base where all youth can come and participate in support groups if they are struggling with, or know someone who is struggling with, figuring out his or her sexuality. One n Ten is about being “celebratory of our similarities”, says Letitia.
Letitia Frye wants people to hear Aksel’s story, to keep hearing his voice for the voiceless, and learn not to judge. She goes on to say, “I think the one thing I’d hope, anyone comes across a child or youth that’s different in any capacity, please don’t judge…if you do know that they are transgender, or perhaps have had a situation where they’ve decided that they have different identity, either sexually or just how they feel as a human being, be in acceptance of that because that key word in there is, ‘human being’…the world needs more Aksels”.