Friday , 20 September 2019

Shock as trans activist found dead

danielle
Danielle Robins (Photo: Dundee Evening Telegraph)

A vocal LGBT activist, who was an outspoken advocate for transgender rights, has been found dead in her flat in Dundee.

Danielle Robins, aged 21, was a computing student and the president of Abertay University’s LGBT Society.

Her body was discovered by friends on Sunday after failing to contact her.

Only last week Danielle had been making headlines after promoting a new way to eradicate prejudice aimed at LGBTI people locally. She aimed “to focus on education to eliminate prejudice and discrimination, both at the university and throughout Dundee”, and to challenge ignorance “to create an environment in which LGBT people feel safe, secure and confident enough to report any cases of discrimination.”

Many have offered tributed to the talented and tireless campaigner. Her mother, Cath Ollenberg, wrote: “You were my son, my daughter, my friend… but most of all you were my baby child.

“I can’t imagine life without you in it… my hope and prayer is that you found your happiness and may you rest in peace.

“My heart hurts so much I am so proud of all you achieved in your short life. Goodnight my sweetpea, you took a piece of my heart with you so we will never be apart.”

Danielle’s father, Keith Robins, added: “My beautiful, beautiful daughter. I love you so much. Sleep peacefully, nothing and no-one can hurt you now xxx.”

James Morton, of the Scottish Transgender Alliance, said: “I have just found out about Danielle’s death.

“This news is incredibly tragic and will affect many people in the trans community in Dundee.

“Danielle was such an inspiring person who has done so much for LGBT equality in the city. Life can be very difficult for young people trying to transition and Danielle was making an incredible difference.”

A spokesman for Abertay University said: “The Abertay community is very sad to hear of the death of computing student Danielle Robins.

“She was an active and popular president of Abertay Students Association’s LGBT society, fully committed to eliminating prejudice and creating a fairer, more tolerant society.

“The university shares these ideals and regards Danielle’s untimely death as a great loss, given the ambitious plans she had recently announced for tackling prejudice and discrimination in Dundee.

“We are ready to provide her friends and colleagues with whatever support and counselling we can at this very sad time.”

LGBT Youth Scotland have today issued the following statement:
“We are deeply saddened by the news of Danielle’s death. Danielle was an active campaigner for LGBT equality, working to eliminate prejudice and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Dundee.”

“Danielle was an inspiring young woman, who’s commitment to campaigning for change had impact far and beyond the city of Dundee, inspiring many people’s lives. Taking part in LGBT Youth Scotland’s TRANSport residential last year, Danielle brought her energy and enthusiasm to this national project, which set out to support transgender young people to engage in sport.”

“LGBT Youth Scotland is committed to championing the issues Danielle spoke out about, and will continue to work to improve life in Scotland for LGBT young people, ensuring trans rights are upheld, and that LGBT young people feel safe, respected and included as full members of the Scottish family.”

“Our thoughts are with Danielle’s family and friends at this time, and we encourage any young people seeking advice and support to get in touch with their local LGBT youth group, or contact Breathing Space if out of hours support is required”

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We can confirm that officers attended at an address in Brown Street, Dundee on Sunday July 26 in relation to the sudden death of a 21-year-old woman.

“As with all sudden deaths a report has been submitted to the procurator fiscal.”

Danielle’s sister, Melanie Ollenberg, plans to keep her memory alive by creating a forum for friends and family to remember her life.

About Andrew Page

Andrew Page
Andrew is KaleidoScot's sports editor and photographer. An experienced blogger, Andrew was raised in the Hebrides and currently lives in Renfrewshire. Andrew became an active equality campaigner at the time of the Section 28 debate, and has particular interests in faith issues and promoting LGBTI equality in sport. Andrew was shortlisted for the Icon Award's 2015 Journalist of the Year.

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10 comments

  1. Jennifer Thompson

    Rest in power Danielle. You will be sorely missed.

  2. It's always a great tragedy when another life is lost. May you be at peace now sweetheart. Xx

  3. God Bless. Rest in Peace…

  4. I am truly heartbroken hearing of this really sad tragedy and it only makes it more important to find the reason for her death and find the responsible individual or individuals. This surely is a hate crime and it has to come to an end. The transgender community has been struggling far to long for this to continue to happen. It is an outrage that such wonderful peoples lives are cut short due to a hateful and cruel society. Why do transgender people have to be targeted like this. There is no excuse for this. Danielle Robins was a role model to her community and was doing what she knew was right in her heart speaking for the silenced voices and now her voice is now silenced tragically. May she be at peace now protected by God and Jesus free from the hate we live with each and every day. Emily

  5. It's sad whenever a LGBT activist is found dead. Hopefully there was no foul play in connection with her death.

  6. Rest in peace Danielle, you need not worry because we will continue the fight for you.

  7. I am so sorry to hear that another sister is gone. My heart and thoughts are with her family and friends!

  8. I'm in the U.S. and unfamiliar with Scottish law. Is it typical that such reports don't indicate whether the death was due to natural causes?

  9. Jean-Pierre Mellor

    My beautiful beautiful friend, you would keep asking me when I would travel back up to Dundee so we could enjoy the nights out we used to. I feel like part of my soul's been ripped out. And for all the years I knew you, I had no idea you were transgendered. It was never as important as who you were – one of the kindest, genuine people that kept me going. I miss you so much already.

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