Destinee LaShaee, the first transgender person to appear on My 600-Lb. Life, has died. LaShaee's brother, Wayne Compton, confirmed the sad news on Facebook Tuesday. No official cause of death has been revealed.
"I'm sorry bro, I accept you for who you are, I accept every flaw that comes with you, I'm sorry you felt alone, I'm sorry you felt you had nobody else to turn to, I'm sorry you felt you had no other option," Compton wrote on Facebook Tuesday.
LaShaee, born Matthew Ventress, was open about battling depression on the episode they appeared on in 2019 during season seven. At the time, she weighed 668 pounds. "I just lay here all day and wait for food. I don't see any of my family and friends, unless they come to see me," she said. "I feel like all I'm constantly doing is trying to escape my depression and pain at this point. Food is the only thing I can turn to to do that. I can feel it killing me."
In the days before LaShaee's death, she shared several concerning messages on Facebook. "If I was surrounded by all my tears I'd be floating in the ocean," she wrote on Friday. On Saturday, she shared a message with her supporters. "Living my life with so much pain for so long I've come to realize that God makes no mistakes," LaShaee wrote. "I'm grateful for my journey and all I've been through. I don't regret a single moment. Love you all."
TLC viewers were introduced to LaShaee during the 2019 season of My 600-Lb. Life. When the episode was filmed, LaShaee was 27 years old. She joined several other My 600-Lb. Life subjects in a 2020 lawsuit, in which they accused series producer Megalomedia of negligence, fraud, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
LaShaee accused the show's producers of taking advantage of her and demanding she shave her face on camera. "The filming of her shaving was so painful that it was not made part of the show," the lawsuit read. "The stress led Plaintiff to have a breakdown in which she kicked the producers out of her home and threatened to kill them and herself." She also accused the producers of refusing to pay for mental health counseling as promised.
After appearing on My 600-Lb. Life, LaShaee continued chronicling her weight loss journey on Instagram. She lost over 500 pounds after the show. In July 2021, she told fans on Instagram she now weighed 207 pounds.
"I told the show I was gonna be one of the biggest success stories they ever seen tho that experience messed me up mentally n with everything else I was dealing with I kept pushing I'm still pushing," LaShaee wrote at the time. "Somebody wants to Give up Today Please don't definitely take breaks there important but please never give up you are strong and you are beautiful at any size and any gender be your true self walk your truth n watch how strong n powerful you'll be."0comments
My 600 lb. Life has been among the most controversial reality shows over the past decade. In each episode, Houston surgeon Younan Nowzaradan works with a patient to help them lose weight. A dozen patients who have appeared on the show have died after their episode aired, including three in 2021. Ashley Randall, who appeared on the first season in 2012, died in October 2021 at age 40.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.