We always love stories about good allies. And Reggie Bullock, shooting guard for the Detroit Pistons, is definitely a good ally, though his story is lined with tragedy. Bullock’s sister was Mia Henderson, a trans woman who was murdered in 2014. Her loss led Bullock to be an advocate for the community — and his latest move is a new tattoo commemorating her.
The tattoo says “LGBTQ” above a striped heart, looking like it represents either the rainbow flag or the transgender flag. Over the heart is a banner bearing Mia Henderson’s name, and the heart is flanked by her birth and death dates.
The tattoo isn’t the only way Bullock honors Henderson’s memory. He and the Pistons are working with GLAAD on making the NBA more inclusive.
Though Bullock wasn’t always so accepting — he talked about being worried, before her murder, his teammates would find out his sister was trans. When she was murdered, he originally sent a tweet that misgendered her and used her deadname.
While Bullock may not have been as accepting as he could have been, he’s learned. Two years after that, while unfortunately still misgendering her, he spoke openly about the strength she showed, saying:
A lot of people joke and do all these type of things about those type of people. But me, it touches me, because I had a [sister], I had a person who was that way. So never will I laugh, never will I do any type of those things about people who go through those different ways in life. [She] was just strong. That was pretty much the thing I got from [her]. [She] left me with that and that’s how I go about my life.
That was two years ago, and Bullock has continued to change and grow. Starting out, he wasn’t perfect — but he learned.
What do you think about Reggie Bullock and his new tattoo? Let us know in the comments!
Featured image by John Raoux/Associated Press