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.