SPRINGFIELD — Alex McCray, who has been working as an activist since his teens, died last week.
The State Journal-Register of Springfield reported on Monday that the 22-year-old had been majoring in social work at Fontbonne University in St. Louis. The newspaper said the transgender man had been at the forefront of a bathroom access battle at Williamsville High School several years ago.
Fontbonne spokeswoman Denise Bentele told the newspaper that the school’s administration broke the news on Friday. She didn’t tell them the nature of his death.
According to the Journal-Register, McCray filed a complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights in October 2015 over equal access to the bathroom and locker rooms at Williamsville High. With the help of the American Civil Liberties Union in Chicago, he reached a settlement with the school allowing him and other students to use facilities that match their gender.
He won the ACLU’s John R. Hammell Award for his contribution to fight for equal rights for LGBTQ Americans in 2017, the newspaper reported. The Illinois Safe Schools Alliance named him activist of the year in 2016.
He was also a member of the Phoenix Center Youth Group in Springfield.