Kayleigh Scott, Transgender Flight Attendant and Activist Found Dead, Was a 'Bright Light,' Mom Says

"She loved and showed compassion for everyone that reached out to her," Andrea Sylvestro tells PEOPLE of her daughter, who died earlier this month. "She was so very special"

The mother of Kayleigh Scott, a transgender activist who died after sharing an emotional message on social media last week, is remembering her daughter as someone who "loved and showed compassion" to everyone.

Scott, a flight attendant from Colorado, starred in a video for United Airlines in 2020, where she spoke candidly about her experience transitioning and how she felt it was important to tell her story.

On March 23, Scott's post on social media alluded to challenges she had been facing. A short time later, family members later confirmed she had died.

"It's hard to see the pain in your child's eyes, and you wish you could take that away," Scott's mother, Andrea Sylvestro, tells PEOPLE.

"She was this bright light that just loved and embraced everyone," she continues. "She loved and showed compassion for everyone that reached out to her. She was so very special."

Scott previously opened up about her journey through social media posts and appearances on podcasts, such as Something's Coming Up, where she spoke about her childhood and how she came to understand herself.

"Growing up, living as a boy early on in my life, I started to figure out things were different... these clothes don't feel right, these toys don't feel right," she recalled on the podcast in 2020. "I was about 9 when I started to realize that... I don't think I'm a boy."

But in her teens, Scott said bullying affected her mental health to the point where she considered taking her own life.

"The bullying, hiding who I was, not addressing it, it all built up," she said, "and it got to a point where I couldn't hold on any longer."

If you or someone you know needs mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.

Since Scott's death, Sylvestro says she has been the target of "cruel" online messages from strangers.

"There are just some very mean and cruel people in this world, I have been harassed by hundreds of people sending messages of hate saying this was my fault," she tells PEOPLE. "[Kayleigh] doesn't deserve that."

Sylvestro previously posted a heartbreaking tribute to Scott on social media, which promised she would "honor her name" and "everything she stood for."

"She was loved," Sylvestro tells PEOPLE of her daughter, "and we just are missing her so very much right now."

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 or go to 988lifeline.org.

Related Articles