On December 16, 2022 Hanan (Henry) Spilman Berg-Brousseau died in his Arlington, Virginia home. He was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky and advocated for transgender rights through the Fairness Campaign. While a student at Louisville Collegiate School, he advocated and protested against gay conversion therapy and participated in other local and national LGBTQ+ causes. Berg also spoke to Kentucky Senate Education Committee, and his speech to the committee was featured on John Oliver Tonight.
Throughout his life Berg was recognized for his fight for transgender rights. He was awarded Collegiate’s Outstanding High School senior in 2016 and the Butterfly Award in 2015 by the Women’s Center at the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Graduating George Washington University in 2021 with honors and founding Delta Lambda Phi, an LGBTQ+ fraternity, he later served as Deputy Press Secretary for the Human Rights Campaign in Washington, DC.
Berg is survived by his mother Kentucky (D) Karen Berg. His mother confirmed her son’s death in a Democratic lawmaker statement released the following Tuesday. “Last Friday morning my son Henry died by suicide. He was a beloved son, brother, nephew, dog parent and friend.” she added. “The depth of his loss is yet to be absorbed.” Senator Berg also remarked that part of her son’s job was to deal with “hateful and vile anti-trans messaging being circulated around this country on a daily basis. The vitriol against trans people is not happening in a vacuum,” she said. “It has real-world implications for how transgender people view their place in the world and how they are treated as they just try to live their lives.”