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True, Tragic and Unnecessary Gay Youth Suicide Stories
Stories To Wake You Up
It doesn't have to be this way
What can you do?
from Gary Lynn
had for years been the target for hurtful homophobic comments by classmates
without anyone at school ever intervening. As a model student, he never
complained about the situation. Other boys did not consider him masculine
enough, and the talk was that he was a “fag.” One day his class was passing the
school’s swimming pool, so some boys threw him in fully clothed. Everyone
including the teacher had a good laugh. Nicholas was humiliated and distressed,
and the event became the final straw. The next day he killed himself by jumping
from the top of the village’s railway bridge.
After his funeral, a recently hired teacher tried to sensitize the school to the possible relationship between the ostracism inflicted on Nicholas and his suicide. The man’s efforts were met with the firm recommendation that he be silent on the issue, and his teaching contract was not renewed.
This story was told to us by Nicholas’s mother a little less than a year after her son died. He was fifteen years old. (1)
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Jean-Philippe* was an inquisitive adolescent involved with others and a confidant for many of his friends. In so many ways he was the kid that parents dream about having. However, he was deeply troubled by a great secret. After his sister found him hanging from a wooden beam in the family home, the note written just before his final act was discovered:
To all who love me and to the ones who did not love me. I am sick of this shit of a life. Sick, to the point of wanting to puke!!! I am so lonely. So alone with what I am suffering. I'd rather die than go on suffering like this.
PS: By the way, I was gay and I would like to say to the ones who still love me that I will never forget them.
In their attempts to retrace what could have happened to
precipitate Jean-Philippi's crisis, his parents discovered that he had recently
visited many Internet sites with homosexual content. Without doubt the
revelation or the confirmation of his attraction to same-sex individuals caused
him great distress, leading him to anticipate the worst. This is what his
parents believe, but they insist they would have been supportive if their
son had told them of his problems. Unfortunately we will never know
exactly what Jean-Philippe was feeling, just as he will never know that his
parents would have been much more accepting of his nature than he believed.
He was fourteen years old when he died. It happened on a Saturday, the
first time that Jean-Philippe ever failed to deliver the morning
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(1) These true stories were taken from the following book: Dorais, Michel with Simon L. Lajeunesse (translated by Pierre Tremblay) “Dead Boys Can’t Dance”, Montreal, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2004, pages 1 & 2.
* Not real name to protect privacy.
. . . . . . . . . . . . .
Joseph Walker-Hoover was 11-- hardly old enough to
know his sexuality and yet distraught enough to hang himself last week after
school bullies repeatedly called him "gay." The Springfield, Mass., football
player and Boy Scout was ruthlessly teased, despite his mother's pleas to the
New Leadership Charter School to address the problem.
Sirdeaner L. Walker, 43, found Carl hanging by an extension cord on the second floor of the family's home [Monday] April 6, 2009, just minutes before she was going to a meeting to confront school authorities again.
"I am brokenhearted," she told ABCNews.com. "We worry about the economy and about Iraq, but we need to be worried about our schools."
Walker, who works as a director of homeless programs, said Carl -- a slight child who loved his schoolwork -- had endured endless taunts since he started sixth grade in September.
The boy had been active in his church, taking communion on the recent Palm Sunday and playing a wise man in the Christmas play. He helped the needy and a black history program. "That's the type of kid he was," Walker said. "You could rely and count on him."
Walker said her son's 11-year-old tormentors were worse than the breast cancer she had survived four years ago.
In an ironic twist, the boy would have turned 12 on April 17 -- the same day students in thousands of schools across the country will participate in the annual Day of Silence to bring attention to anti-gay harassment in schools.
"There was no reason for the mother to believe he was gay," said Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network [GLSEN] spokesman Daryl Presgraves. "It just happens he was someone his peers targeted, calling him, 'girlie,' 'gay' and 'fag.' According to the mother, it was a daily occurrence."
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Jaheem Herrera woke up on
April 16, 2009 acting strangely. He wasn't hungry and he didn't want to go
to school. Jaheem Herrera's mother thinks he hanged himself because he was
perpetually bullied at school. But the outgoing fifth grader packed his bag and
went to school at Dunaire Elementary School in DeKalb County, Georgia.
He came home much happier than when he left in the morning, smiling as he handed his mother, Masika Bermudez, a glowing report card full of A's and B's. She gave him a high-five and he went upstairs to his room as she prepared dinner. A little later, when his younger sister called him to come down to eat, Jaheem didn't answer. So mother and daughter climbed the stairs to Jaheem's room and opened the door.
Jaheem was hanging by his belt in the closet.
"I always used to see these things on TV, dead people on the news," says Bermudez. "I saw somebody die and to see this dead person is your son, hanging there, a young boy. . . . To hang yourself like that, you've got to really be tired of something." Bermudez says bullies at school pushed Jaheem over the edge. He complained about being called gay, ugly and "the virgin" because he was from the Virgin Islands, she said.
"He used to say Mom they keep telling me
this . . . this gay word, this gay, gay, gay. I'm tired of hearing it, they're
telling me the same thing over and over," she told
CNN, as she
wiped away tears from her face. But while she says her son complained
about the bullying, she had no idea how bad it had gotten.
"He told me, but he just got to the point where he didn't want me to get involved anymore because nothing was done," she said. Bermudez said she complained to the school about bullying seven or eight times, but it wasn't enough to save him. "It [apparently] just got worse and worse and worse until Thursday," she said. "Just to walk up to that room and see your baby hanging there. My daughter saw this, my baby saw this, my kids are traumatized."
She said Jaheem was a shy boy just trying to get a good education and make friends. "He was a nice little boy," Bermudez said through her tears. "He loved to dance. He loved to have fun. He loved to make friends. And all he made [at school] were enemies." Bermudez said she thinks her son felt like nobody wanted to help him, that nobody stood up and stopped the bullies. "Maybe he said 'You know what -- I'm tired of telling my mom, she's been trying so hard, but nobody wants to help me,' " says Bermudez.
After Jaheem's death, the school board expressed condolences, saying the school staff "works diligently to provide a safe and nurturing environment for all students."
Trying desperately to understand what went wrong, Bermudez asked her son's best friend to recount what happened on the day Jaheem killed himself. "He [said he was] tired of complaining, tired of these guys messing with him," Bermudez said, recalling the conversation with Jaheem's best friend. "Tired of talking, I think to his teachers, counselors and nobody is doing anything -- and the best way out is death." ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN)
More Gay Teen Suicide Stories Down Below
What Can You Do?
First of all, make your first, second and
forever reaction to people with different sexual orientations than yourself be
that of love and acceptance. Nobody ever wants to kill themselves when they are loved in
every facet of their lives. Then click on one of the below sites for
information on how you can join the effort to bring respect, dignity and
equality to all students in your nation's schools:
Click Here for The Family Acceptance Project (FAP): The Family Acceptance Project™ is the only research, intervention, education and policy initiative that works to decrease health and related risks for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth, such as suicide, substance abuse, HIV and homelessness – in the context of their families. We use a research-based, culturally grounded approach to help ethnically, socially and religiously diverse families to decrease rejection and increase support for their LGBT children. The Family Acceptance Project™ (FAP) is directed by Caitlin Ryan at the Marian Wright Edelman Institute at San Francisco State University, and was developed by Caitlin Ryan and Rafael Dìaz in 2002. (Oct. 2013)
Click Here for: The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) strives to assure that each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
are student organizations, found in high schools and universities in North American and around the world that are intended to provide a safe and supportive
environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) youth and their straight allies (GLBTA).
Click Here for: Human Rights Campaign (HRC) - The Human Rights Campaign represents a grassroots force of over 750,000 members and supporters nationwide. As the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, HRC envisions an America where LGBT people are ensured of their basic equal rights, and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.
Click Here for: Lambda Legal - Lambda Legal, founded in 1973, is a national leader in the fight for the civil rights of lesbians and gay men, bisexuals, transgender people, and people with HIV. Through groundbreaking litigation, public education, and legal advocacy, Lambda Legal has played a crucial role in combating discrimination around the United States.
Mel White's SoulForce
- freedom for lesbian,
gay, bisexual, and transgender people from religious and political oppression
through the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance. Read
his powerful and courageous autobiography,
Stranger at the
Gate-To Be Gay and Christian in America
Click Here for: Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) - PFLAG's Vision. We, the parents, families and friends of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, celebrate diversity and envision a society that embraces everyone, including those of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities.
Click Here for: The NALT (Not All Like That) Christians Project: The purpose of The NALT Christians Project is to give any and all LGBT-affirming Christians a means of sharing their belief that there is nothing anti-biblical or sinful about being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. How does it work? You make a YouTube video saying that you are both Christian and fully affirming of LGBT-people; you upload your video onto your (free and easily obtainable) YouTube channel; via the Submit form on the NALT Christians website you inform the NALT gang that your video is ready to go; soon thereafter your video is added to the chorus of other videos on the NALT Christians website that are helping to change the world.
Why should I make a NALT Christians video?
1.To refute the widespread belief that Christianity is synonymous with anti-gay bigotry.*
2.To counteract the destructive effects on all young people of the message that God condemns and rejects LGBT people.
3.To support and encourage other LGBT-affirming Christians. (October 2013)
Click Here for: The Trevor Project - The Trevor Project is the leading national organization focused on crisis and suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. The Trevor Project operates the only accredited, nationwide, around-the-clock crisis and suicide prevention helpline for LGBTQ youth. If you or a friend are feeling lost or alone, call The Trevor Helpline. There is hope, there is help. The Trevor Helpline at 866-4-U-TREVOR or 866-488-7386 is a free and confidential service (USA only) that offers hope and someone to talk to, 24/7. The Trevor Helpline's trained counselors will listen and understand without judgment. See box and Image below.
for: The Tyler Clementi Foundation
- The Tyler Clementi Foundation (TCF), guided by the life and story of Tyler
Clementi promotes safe, inclusive and respectful social environments in homes,
schools, campuses, churches and the digital world for vulnerable youth, LGBT
youth and their allies. Through educational partnerships, research, public
dialogue and awareness programs, TCF fosters empathetic, constructive
discussions of respect and dignity for youth and families, at all levels of
We envision a world where human dignity will be exhibited by unconditional love and embraced inclusive of society and regardless of sexual orientation. TCF is focused on creating broad impact in multiple areas. At the root of the organization's reason for existence lies the core component of honoring Tyler Clementi's legacy and story.
Click Here for: Thinkb4youspeak Campaign - Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) teens experience homophobic remarks and harassment throughout the school day, creating an atmosphere where they feel disrespected, unwanted and unsafe. This campaign aims to raise awareness about the prevalence and consequences of anti-LGBT bias and behavior in America’s schools.
Click Here for WeGiveaDamn.org - Giving a damn matters. It’s time to give a damn about the suicide risk of our gay and transgender youth. Not just because all kids deserve to know that someone cares about them, but also because research has shown that giving a damn actually makes a huge difference in the lives of gay and transgender teens. Peer support groups, teacher training, a caring adult — all help lower the suicide risk among gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth. It’s time to give a damn, because growing up should be about making friends, discovering the world and discovering yourself—not about finding a way to end your pain and end your life. Get informed, get involved. Join this site.
Click Here for: YesInstitute - Creating a Safer Word For All Youth - Their Mission is to prevent suicide and ensure the healthy development of all youth through powerful communication and education on gender and orientation.
Youth Guardian Services
Youth Guardian Services is a
youth-run, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides support services on the Internet to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, questioning,
and straight supportive youth.
Click Here for YouthResource (YR) - YouthResource is a Web site created by and for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) young people. YouthResource takes a holistic approach to sexual health and exploring issues of concern to LGBTQ youth, by providing information and offer support on sexual and reproductive health issues through education and advocacy. Through monthly features, message boards, and online peer education, LGBTQ youth receive information on activism, culture, sexual health, and other issues that are important to them.
More Heart-Wrenching Gay Teen Suicide Stories
Portrait of a Bisexual Son's Suicide - Bill Clayton's Story by Gabi Clayton (Bill's mother)
Out: Bill came out to us as bisexual when he was 14. He was afraid to tell us,
because he knew that other kids had told their parents and that their parents
had disowned them or reacted in other ways that were frightening. He had read
the book I had loaned him "Changing Bodies, Changing Lives," and there were
coming out stories in the book. Finally he worked up the courage to tell us and
we assured him that we loved him and accepted him. He was so happy that he
wanted to tell the whole world. We recommended a support group out at the
college which I had just graduated from. Bill went to that group three times and
stopped - he said he really liked it but that he was fine and didn't need to go
any more. But that was not true.
Click Here to continue reading.
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Robbie's Story - How a Fragile 14-year-old Boy Was Crushed In His Struggle To Accept Himself as Gay
During the early morning hours of Thursday, January 2,
walked through his sister Claudia's bedroom and climbed the stairs to
the attic. He had gone into his father's room earlier the same day, where he
found the key to the lock on his father's gun. Before walking away with the weapon and some ammunition, he put the keys back exactly where he had found
Alone with his secret and the loaded gun, Robbie decided once and for all to put an end to the life that caused him so much sadness and confusion. Pulling the trigger, he reasoned, would stop the turmoil he felt inside. He wouldn't have to keep his secret any more. Robbie Kirkland had grown weary of being different. He was gay; and in Robbie Kirkland's mind, death seemed like the easier option. Click Here to continue reading Robbie's Story. Click Here to read more about Robby.
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Bruce's Story - How a 21-Year-Old Boy Put an End To His Life, Because He Couldn't Accept Being Gay
Suicides are often homophobia induced, as it was for
Bruce David Michaels,
a 21-year-old male. Bruce traveled from Florida to the Grand Canyon where, at No Name Point, a
450-feet jump put an end to his life. A short note identified the reason for his death:
Dear Family & Friends, I'm sorry it had to end this way but it was my fate. I couldn't handle life anymore. You see, the reason I ran away before to commit suicide is the same reason I did again. I'm gay. I never wanted to be and I always wished it would change, but it didn't. I wanted to live a normal life but God created me this way for some reason and there was nothing I could do to change it. I was born this way, believe me I would not choose this way of life for I know how hard and unaccepted it is.
I'm painfully sorry you all had to deal with this but I couldn't deal with it. This way I could live a peaceful afterlife instead of a life of fear, agony, and manic depressiveness. Please realize I did not want to hurt anyone I just wanted to end my own pain. I love you all dearly and will someday see you all again hopefully with your understanding hearts and souls. I just hope God will bring me to heaven. Love always & eternally, Bruce. Click Here to continue to read Bruce's story in the words of his Mother, Roz.
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Jacob's Story - "To me taking Clubs from us is like putting a gun in our hands and waiting for . . . . ."
On September 3, 1997, only eight days after classes began, Jacob Lawrence Orosco hanged himself at his mother's home. He was 17, a senior in high school, incoming President of the East High School Gay/Straight Student Alliance Club at East High School - part of the Salt Lake City School District, except that the Alliance had been prohibited from meeting as a student group and had been effectively prevented from meeting as a non-student group due to the imposition of a ridiculously high rental fee (including $1 million in liability insurance coverage). This time last year, Jacob Orosco's life was fuller than it had ever been.
Jacob was a very fun, hyper, and cool individual. He loved so many people and so many people loved him. He was out of the closet, not just to friends and family but to the entire community. He has given so many people happiness and a smile when they needed one. He has also helped other people get courage and strength to show who they are. He had helped found a gay club at his high school, a move that had prompted the Salt Lake City School Board to shut down all extracurricular activities rather than accept the club's existence, and the state legislature talking about giving up all federal education aid rather than accept the club's existence.
Click Here to continue to read Jacob's story. Click Here to read more about Jacob.
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Marcus' Story - Marcus' step-father said, "It didn't matter if Marcus was gay or straight. As long as he was safe and happy. You never know what you have until you lose it."
Marcus Wayman Memorial Campaign - Marcus Wayman was eighteen years old and a high school senior in 1997 when he committed suicide after police found condoms in his friend's pocket and concluded they were gay. Marcus and a 17 year-old friend were coming from a high school football party in April 17, 1997 when they pulled into an abandoned parking lot near the Beer City beverage distributor in Minersville, where the police stopped them. The small town police threatened to out him to the community and family members. Marcus, hours later, took a revolver and shot himself in the head. In November 2001 a jury in Allentown acquitted the police from any wrongdoing. It was later overturned on appeal. Click Here to read more. Click Here to read more about Marcus.
More Recent Gay Teen Suicides
July 9, 2010 -
Justin Aaberg, age 15, Minnesota
According to his mother, Justin hanged himself because he couldn't put up with the anti-gay bullying anymore at his high school. Click Here or on the title to read what led Justin to give up on life and what his mom is doing to try to make things better for lgbtq teens now so that they will have many more reasons to live than Justin did. The article "One Town's War on Gay Teens" is from the February 16, 2012 issue of Rolling Stone. Facebook
September 9, 2010 - Billy Lucas, age 15, Indiana
According to his friends, many kids bullied and made fun of him at his high school and he couldn't take it anymore. They called him "gay" and told him that he should go kill himself. Unfortunately, he did.
September 19, 2010 -
Seth Walsh, age 13, California
Seth Walsh, a 13-year-old California openly gay middle school student, died in the hospital, 9 days after he attempted to take his own life after reportedly enduring relentless bullying at his school. Seth, a student at Jacobsen Middle School in Tehachapi, Calif., was found unconscious and not breathing on Sept. 19 after he apparently tried to hang himself from a tree in his backyard.
Investigation: Tehachapi district's response to bullying inadequate
Moving YouTube Video by Seth's Mother, Wendy Walsh, as she reads Seth's Suicide Note and explains what Seth's life was like after he came out of the closet in the Sixth Grade. His life after coming out was like Hell on earth for Seth - he was ridiculed, made fun of, pushed into the lockers, tripped and pushed to the ground. It's all in the video.
September 23, 2010 -
Brown, age 13, Texas
The eighth-grader killed himself by shooting himself in the head after enduring what his mother and stepfather say was constant harassment from four other students at Hamilton Middle School in the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District.
Brown, his family said, was "bullied to death" — picked on for his small size, his religion and because he did not wear designer clothes and shoes. Kids also accused him of being gay, some of them performing mock gay acts on him in his physical education class, his mother and stepfather said.
September 29, 2010 - Raymond Chase, age 19, Rhode Island
Raymond Chase was
an outgoing, popular and openly gay teenager who suddenly decided to kill
himself and nobody is sure why. On Wednesday afternoon, Chase, 19 years old,
wrote a note to his loved ones—filled with praise and deep affection for them,
but no explanation for his actions—and proceeded to hang himself in his dorm
room at Johnson & Wales University. There is no indication that Chase suffered
at the hands of bullies or anything but his own demons. His family and friends
are still reeling from the shock.
Chase, as a sophomore and a culinary arts major, did not seem to struggle with his gay identity—he was out to his friends and family, and to a much larger and accepting social circle. He is described by a close friend as the life of the party, loved by many and hated by none; Straight guys fist-bumped him. Everyone just wanted to be around him. His friend also said that he was never, ever bullied, at least at college, and nobody was ever mean to him.
There is speculation that he might have been deeply upset over a crush he had on a straight boy, a good friend, to whom Chase confessed his affection this summer. Though any romantic feelings were unrequited, the crush treated Chase with utter dignity and respect, before and after the admission. Still, Chase seemed haunted by his feelings. Click here to read more of this story in The Daily Beast. Based on an article by Claire Howorth in The Daily Beast.
September 30, 2010 - Tyler Clementi, age 18, New Jersey
Tyler Clementi, 18, an accomplished violinist
and a freshman at Rudgers
University in New Jersey, jumped to his death from a bridge after discovering
his sexual encounter with another man had been streamed live to
other students by his roommate by way of a webcam in the room.
He was said to be distraught before plunging from the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River in New York. He left a post on his Facebook page saying 'jumping off the gw bridge sorry'.
Click Here to read "Letters to My Brother" as Tyler's older brother James, reclaims his memory from the headlines and pays tribute to his abbreviated life. (Tyler [left] and James Clementi / Photo courtesy James Clementi - Out Magazine)
Click Here for The Story of a Suicide - Two college roommates, a webcam, and a tragedy - By Ian Parker in The New Yorker
Dharun Ravi found guilty in Rutgers webcam spying trial
Dharun Ravi Trial: NJ Spycam Case Stirs Debate Over Hate Crime Laws
After Gay Son’s Suicide, Mother Finds Blame in Herself and in Her Church
Tyler Clementi's Parents Leave Grace Church In Ridgewood, N.J., Over Anti-Gay Teachings
Parents of Rutgers student who Committed Suicide Change View of Homosexuality
A Brother's Pledge: Standing Up for Love by James Clementi
November 5, 2010 - Brandon Bitner, age 14, Pennsylvania
According to his suicide note, Brandon could no longer live with the constant bullying from other kids at his high school, who called him "fag" and "sissy". So Brandon, a very good violinist, walked out in front of a tractor trailer on a busy highway early in the morning. Click Here for the website set up by his family and friends in his honor. Facebook
September 18, 2011 - James "Jamey" Rodemeyer, age 14, New York
Jamey Rodemeyer, a 14-year-old high school freshman at Williamsville North High School in Buffalo, N.Y., was bullied. A lot. After years of being called gay slurs at school and being told by anonymous people online that he should die, he did in fact kill himself. Jamey was found dead outside his home of an apparent suicide by his sister on the morning of Sunday, September 18th.
Jamey’s mother, Tracy, told the
Buffalo News that her son had
questioned his sexuality and that his classmates began to tease and bully him.
His parents were supportive of their son, and Jamey was seeing a social worker
and a therapist. But that didn’t stop the bullying, and it didn’t ease Jamey’s
pain, which spilled onto his Tumblr account.
“No one in my school cares about preventing suicide, while you’re the ones calling me [gay slur] and tearing me down,” he wrote on Sept. 8. He said the next day: “I always say how bullied I am, but no one listens. ... What do I have to do so people will listen to me?” Click Here to read more of Jamey's tragic story. Facebook
October 14, 2011 - James (Jamie) Hubley, age 15, Ottawa, Canada
The father of an openly gay Ottawa teen who committed suicide Saturday told CBC News his son was constantly bullied throughout elementary school and into high school. Allan Hubley, an Ottawa city councillor who represents Kanata South Ward, also spoke Tuesday about his 15-year-old son Jamie's depression over the bullying and his desperate desire for acceptance.
Hubley said the bullying began when Jamie was in Grade 7 and teens tried to stuff batteries down his throat on the school bus because he was a figure skater. "[Jamie] was the kind of boy that loved everybody," said Hubley, "He couldn't understand why everyone would be so cruel to him about something as simple as skating. He just wanted someone to love him. That's all. And what's wrong with that?
Jamie kept a blog called "You Can't Break... When You're Already Broken", he wrote openly of his struggles with depression and the challenges of being an openly gay teenager. “I wish I could be happy, I try, I try, I try ... I just want to feel special to someone,” he wrote. Click Here to read more of this tragic story.
May, 2010 - Dominic Crouch, age 15, Gloucestershire, Great Britain
Nov. 28, 2011 - Roger Crouch, age 55, Gloucestershire, Great Britain
Hero Dad Died of a Broken Heart after His Son's Suicide
Roger Crouch, who won an award for his anti-bullying work, found hanging 18 months after his son's suicide
An award-winning campaigner against anti-gay bullying, Roger Crouch, was found
hanging in his garage, 18
after his teenage son committed suicide, an inquest heard. Crouch, 55, was
discovered by his wife, Paola, at their home in Gloucestershire, UK on 28
His death came a matter of a few weeks after he was named
Hero of the Year by
leading British gay campaign organization, Stonewall, at a ceremony in London.
Mr Crouch's anti-bullying work began after his 15-year-old son, Dominic, jumped to his death from a six-storey building near his school in May last year. The teenager left a note saying he was the victim of homophobic bullying at his school following a game in which he accepted a dare to kiss another boy. Widow Paola has said her husband died of a 'broken heart', having never recovered from their son's death. Click Here to read more of this heart-breaking story. Based on an article by Nick Rutherford in gaystarnews.
December 7, 2011 - Jacob Rogers, age 18, Tennesee
Tuesday night, December 6th, 18 year old Jacob Rogers posted this on his
Facebook page, "I LOVE YOU ALL, and I'm very sorry. This is me, signing off."
The next day, Jacob shot and killed himself after being bullied for years. Those
closest to him say he was kind, loving, and had a great sense of humor, and he
was also gay.
Jacob had been bullied at Cheatham County Central High School for the past four years, but at the start of his senior year, it had become so bad he dropped out of school. “He started coming home his senior year saying ‘I don’t want to go back. Everyone is so mean. They call me a faggot, they call me gay, a queer.’”
"He just always had a smile on his face," grandmother Norma Rogers said of her grandson who lived with her. Jacob's family says behind that smile, the 18-year-old was hiding more pain than anyone could imagine. "The comments just kept getting worse and worse and worse about him. All just because he was homosexual," cousin Harley Jackson said. "People made fun of him because of the way he dressed, or he dyed his hair, or that he talked different," says Jacob's friend Joney Williams. Click here and here to read more.
January 1, 2012 - Jeffrey Fehr, age 18, California
In the early hours
of New Year's Day, Jeffrey Fehr, hanged himself in the front entrance to his
family's home in a tony Granite Bay neighborhood. He was 18 years old.
Since that day, his parents have searched their hearts and minds for answers. Though Jeffrey, who was gay, had recently ended a relationship and had been treated for depression, they believe something more insidious put him on the path toward suicide. They are convinced that a lifetime of taunts and bullying contributed to his decision to take his own life.
"We will second-guess ourselves forever," his father said. "But we do know that for years and years, people knocked him down for being different. It damaged him. It wore on him. He could never fully believe how wonderful he was, and how many people loved him."
At a reception for almost 1,000 people that followed his funeral, many spoke of a gifted young athlete who was funny, kind and compassionate. They called Jeffrey an inspiration and a mentor. For Jeffrey's parents, Pati and Steve Fehr, the scene was stunning. "So many people gained strength from Jeff," his father said, looking out at the crowd. "The unfortunate part is that Jeff didn't realize it." Click Here to read more. Facebook
January 11, 2012 - Eric James Borges, age 19, California
Just one month
after filming an "It
Gets Better" video in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)
youth, a Visalia, California-based gay teen filmmaker has taken his own life.
to Watch his short film, "Invisible Creatures" on YouTube.
Nineteen-year-old Eric James Borges, who went by EricJames among friends, worked as an intern with The Trevor Project, and as a supplemental instructor at the College of the Sequoias, according to Queer Landia blogger Jim Reeves. "A brief introduction left me with the impression of a fine young man, and I regret that I did not get to know him better," Reeves writes of his experience with Borges.
Borges spoke frankly of being tormented throughout his adolescence and young adulthood in his video. "I was physically, mentally, emotionally and verbally assaulted on a day-to-day basis for my perceived sexual orientation," he said. "My name was not Eric, but 'Faggot.'" In high school, he said he reached his breaking point when he said he was assaulted in a full classroom with a teacher present. He dropped out, graduated through independent studies and went to college.
He also described a traumatic coming out experience in an "extremist Christian household." His parents did not accept his sexuality and he said he was kicked out of his home around the end of September. "My mother knew I was gay and performed an exorcism on me in an attempt to cure me," Borges said. "My anxiety, depression, self-loathing and suicidal thoughts spiked. I had nowhere safe to go, either at home or school." Click Here to read more. Facebook. Above article from Huffington Post and ABC News.
January 20, 2012 - Phillip Parker, age 14, Tennessee
Phillip Parker, Gay Tennessee Teen, Commits Suicide After Enduring Bullying
A Tennessee teen's
parents claim that constant anti-gay bullying led their son to take his own life.
As WSMV is reporting, parents and grandparents found 14-year-old Phillip Parker's body last Friday, along with a handwritten note in his trash can reading, "Please help me mom." Family members say they had previously reported concerns about their son's treatment to Gordonsville High School but to no avail. It just got worse.
"I should have knew something was wrong, but he seemed happy," Philip's mother Gena Parker told News Channel 5. "After he did what he did, we found out a lot that we didn't know and there is a lot of bullying that goes on at the school."
His grandmother, Ruby Harris, indicated that young Phillip felt like he "had a rock on his chest," and he wanted to take it off so he could breathe. Click Here to read more of this tragic story.
January 29, 2012 - Rafael Morelos, age 14, Washington
Gay Washington Teen, Commits Suicide After Reportedly Enduring Anti-Gay Bullying, Cyberbullying
Family members and
friends are distraught over the death of a Washington teen who reportedly killed
himself because he was bullied by his classmates for being gay.
As The Wentachee World is reporting, 14-year-old Rafael Morelos hanged himself Jan. 29 after friends say he was subjected to bullying at Cashmere Middle School, where he had enrolled last fall.
"He told me he got shoved and punched in the face in P.E. in the locker room at Cashmere," one friend said. Added another: "He was tired of people saying that his little brothers would follow in his footsteps and be gay, too." In addition, friends say one bully even created a fake Facebook page so that he or she could taunt Rafael, who was openly gay, online.
Morelos' mother, Malinda, told local Fox affilate Q13 she wasn't aware of what her son was going through. "He did not tell me he was being bullied. He had a dark side inside him that he never told me his feelings anymore," she said. "I thought it was just him being a teenager, and I just didn’t know why." Click Here to read more.
April 15, 2012 - Kenneth James Weishuhn Jr., age 14, Iowa
Iowa Teen Commits Suicide; Family Says He was Bullied because he was Gay
A gay Iowa teen has
taken his own life after friends and family say that classmates sent him death
threats on his cell phone and made him the subject of a Facebook hate group.
As KTIV is reporting, 14-year-old Kenneth Weishuhn Jr. began to be teased and bullied by classmates at South O'Brien High School after he came out earlier this year. "People that were originally his friends, they kind of turned on him," sister Kayla Weishuhn, a sophomore, is quoted as saying. "A lot of people, they either joined in or they were too scared to say anything."
The anti-gay teasing reportedly also continued online, where classmates created a hate group against gays and added Kenneth's friends as members, and got even worse when the freshman started receiving death threats from students on his phone.
Weishuhn’s mother Jeannie Chambers said her son told her, "Mom, you don’t know how it feels to be hated."
Details on Weishuhn's death are otherwise scarce, but a Facebook group has already been started in the teen's memory. "Unfortunately, the culture most of us have been raised in has been the mindset that you get 'picked on' in school and that's just part of growing up," one user writes. "Bullying is like most other crimes, the only way it's going to stop is if the offenders get caught and are prosecuted."
Adds another: "I hate to think of what he must have gone through to decide suicide was his only option. I hope and pray all of these bullies feel responsible for what happened." Some of Kenneth's friends have put together a homemade video on YouTube in loving memory. A Pinterest page with Kenneth James Weishuhn’s name says, “ I love Louis Tomlinson, A lot.” (Tomlinson is a member of the boy band One Direction) One section, titled, “When I get married. (:” has several photos of same-sex couples. Click Here and Here to read more. Obituary Facebook
April 22, 2012 - Jack Denton Reese, age 17, Utah
Friends and family are mourning the death of Jack Reese, a gay Mountain Green,
Utah teen who took his own life after allegedly being subjected to anti-gay bullying
Though details of the 17-year-old Reese's suicide are scarce, his boyfriend Alex Smith spoke frankly about the repeated bullying the teen had experienced at school. Smith, 18, reportedly recalled the incidents at a packed community event earlier this week at which the anti-bullying film, Bullied, was being screened. What no one in the room yet knew, including Alex, was that Jack had already taken his own life.
An obituary describes the teen as having been "very good with computers and loved to play his X-Box games."
"Jack loved animals and will miss his cat, Cat," the obit continues. "He was also very good with kids and loved taking care of them. Jack was learning to speak Japanese and loved anything to do with Japan. He was also very good at drawing and photography."
A Facebook group in memory of the teen has been established, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jack-Reese/395728883793416. "His suicide has impacted so many people," one user wrote. "I HONESTLY hope things will change because of this, but I also wish that it didn't have to come down to this for awareness to actually be seen in others who decide to bully others for their sexuality." Click Here and Here to read more.
May 6, 2012 - Jay 'Corey' Jones, age 17, Minnesota
Bullying because of his sexual orientation played a big part in the suicide of
a 17-year-old Century High School student on Sunday in Rochester, according to the boy's
Jay 'Corey' Jones knew he was gay from a young age and was bullied for a number of years because of it, suffering depression as a result, said to his father, JayBocka Strader of Rochester. "He said all of his life they always picked on him," Strader said. "He'd still try to keep his head up at school, but then he'd come home and be really sad about it."
Jones, a member of Century's gay-straight alliance, had an image on his Facebook page that said, "Gay & Proud." "He was open about his sexuality and occasionally wore tight, colorful tank tops and short-shorts to school," Strader said.
"He just got really depressed about it because the guys weren't accepting him," Strader said. Jones jumped from a pedestrian bridge near the same Century High School on Sunday, May 6, according to police. Click Here to read more.
June 2, 2012 - Brandon Elizares, age 16, Texas
Gay El Paso Teenager Tormented To Death By School Bullies
El Paso, Texas – A 16-year-old gay boy took his life in response to two years of relentless bullying at school in El Paso. Saturday, his mother left Brandon Elizares at home for a short while to run errands, only to find him dead upon their return, according to KFOX14 TV. Elizares, who could not bear to live in the closet any longer, had come out to family and friends. The response from his own family was mixed. Most family members supported Brandon, but some made it clear to him that they did not approve of his “lifestyle.” At Andress High School, the 2,000 student senior high school he attended on the northeast side of El Paso, however, the response to his sexual orientation was brutal, unrelenting bullying. His mother, Zachalyn Elizares, says that the torment her son received from schoolmates pushed him to suicide. “He got bullied simply for being gay,” Elizares said to KFOX. “He’s been threatened to be stabbed. He’s been threatened to be set on fire.”
Brandon’s mother said that officials at Andress High School had worked aggressively to stem the bullying, but in the case of her son, it was not enough. “They’ve reprimanded several kids and they did everything that they could,” she said. Brandon’s friends told Elizares that he had been insulted for being gay just before the weekend, and that at least one of his tormentors had threatened to fight him when they saw each other on the following Monday, according to the Dallas Voice. Elizares believes the threat of physical violence was what drove her son to take his own life.
This is what
Brandon wrote in the note he left behind. "My name is Brandon Joseph Elizares
and I couldn't make it. I love you guys with all of my heart." ”My son had every
right to live his live the way that he wanted to, without having to fear that
people would call him names or threaten to beat him up,” his mother said sadly. Click
to read more.
November 27, 2012 - Josh Pacheco, age 17, Michigan
Parents blame bullying for son's suicide; Linden High School junior remembered
for love of theater
FENTON, MI – Linden High School junior Josh Pacheco had a heart for theater and an infectious smile, but above all else he cared for others, his family said. “My son was very funny and exceptionally sensitive and loving to other people’s feelings,” said Pacheco’s mother, Lynnette Capehart.
Pacheco was part of the Fenton-based Kidz Theatre Kompany, worked at Tim Hortons, loved his advanced placement politics class and called his four siblings his best friends, Capehart said. Pacheco also was gay, which led to him being bullied both inside and outside of school, said his mother. He told his mother he was gay just two months ago, but Capehart said she wasn't surprised and she said it made no difference to her. She loved her son just the same.
Pacheco was always smiling and entertaining friends and family -- and he loved a random mix of music from The Beatles to One Direction. "A young man with an old soul," even as a child he was always comfortable talking with adults, especially about plays, history and politics, Capehart said.
Although he never got into sports -- "it just wasn't in him to be aggressive," said his mother -- he loved to go out on the boat, go tubing and swimming. As the middle child, his siblings - Alicia, 20, Tiffani, 19, Grant, 14, and Haylee, 12 - were his best friends, Lynnette Capehart said.
Lynnette and stepfather Michael Capehart said they didn't know until recently that Pacheco was bullied. Capehart said her first indication that there was a problem came after the homecoming dance on Oct. 6. She was out of town, so she called to see how the dance was. It was the only one he attended this fall. Pacheco was upset and crying, but wouldn’t tell her why, Capehart said.
After his death, she found out from students that her son had been pushed into lockers and teased at school. It wasn’t surprising that he didn’t tell many people about it, Lynnette Capehart said, because Pacheco never wanted to make anyone else upset. “He was having problems with bullying. He didn’t really want to tell us very much,” she said. “It was very disheartening to me.”
The weekend after Thanksgiving, Pacheco talked to his sisters, questioning life and his future -- comments that worried his parents. His mother talked to him that Sunday and on Monday, Nov. 26, set up an appointment for him to see a counselor on Wednesday -- even though he seemed back to his normal, "quirky" self.
Around lunch time on Nov. 27, Michael Capehart saw Josh's Facebook status, quoting a line from Bilbo Baggins, a character in the "Lord of the Rings" movies: "I regret to announce that this is the end. I'm going now, I bid you all a very fond farewell. Goodbye." It immediately worried Michael Capehart. Pacheco was home sick that day, so Capehart called his neighbor to check on Pacheco. He was found unresponsive in his truck, which had been running in the closed-up garage. He left a note in the truck: "I'm sorry I wasn't able to be strong enough."
After news of Pacheco’s death had spread around the school, Lynnette and Michael Capehart said they received calls from friends and parents saying Pacheco had been bullied. “We had just lost one of the gentlest spirits God had ever created,” Lynnette Capehart said. Click Here to read the rest of this sad article on mlive.com. Article by Sarah Schuch.
February 3, 2013 - Jadin Bell - 15 - Oregon
Gay Oregon Teen Who Hanged Himself Dies After Being Taken Off Life Support
The 15-year-old gay
Oregon boy who had been
put on life support after hanging himself from school playground equipment
An Oregon Health and Science University spokesman confirmed that Jadin Bell died early Feb. 3 at the Portland hospital, according to the Associated Press.
The teen, who was said to have been a victim of bullying because he was gay, had attempted to hang himself Jan. 19 at an elementary school playground in La Grande. He was rushed to an area hospital before being airlifted to Portland, and was eventually taken off of life support on or around Jan. 29, according to reports.
Family friend Bud Hill, who said he considered Bell his nephew, told the Komo news station and KTVB that the high school sophomore had been the victim of intense bullying both in person and on the Internet because he was gay.
"He was different, and they tend to pick on the different ones," Hill said at the time. "If someone was down and out he would walk into a room and say a couple quick words and everybody would just forget about their problems and smile. He just had a gift." Click Here to continue reading on the Huffington Post.
Jadin Bell's Father, Joe Bell, Killed While Walking Cross Country For Tribute To Dead Gay Teen
March 14, 2013 -
Ayden Keenan-Olson - 14 - England
Borough of Colchester in Essex. According to The Guardian, Ayden Keenan-Olson, 14, was found dead in his bed by his father, Tim Olson, at the family home in Colchester, Essex, England at 7.20am on March 14. He had taken an overdose of prescription drugs and left two suicide notes outlining the homophobic and racist bullying he had experienced at Philip Morant school, an inquest in Chelmsford heard.
Ayden's mother, Shy Keenan, an author and prominent child abuse campaigner, said he had been "bullied to death". A police investigation found that in the month leading up to his death Ayden had bypassed settings on his computer to research suicide methods on the internet. Keenan told the inquest: "My job is to protect kids online but I could not keep my own son safe."
The Essex coroner, Caroline Beasley-Murray,
recorded that Ayden's death was the result of suicide. The inquest heard that
Ayden had attempted to take his own life six months earlier. The family believe
he took prescription drugs from home and hid them at school.
Referring to suicide websites, the coroner said: "The court regrets the
influence that such sites have on young people. He clearly was much loved and
had so much going for him and I hope you can look back on the happy memories
that you have of him."
The school's head teacher said Ayden had reported up to 20 incidents of bullying since joining the school. Beasley-Murray said it was not her job to attribute blame and she made no finding regarding bullying or the school's conduct.
Keenan told the hearing that her son had been bullied for several years and attempted to take his life in October last year. Breaking down in tears during her evidence, she said her son had been targeted with violence, abuse and malicious allegations because fellow pupils believed he was gay and because he had part-Japanese ethnicity.
Shortly before Christmas he had told his family he thought he was gay. Keenan said: "He said he was gay and had found somebody he thought he loved but it was not reciprocated. We didn't care, we just loved him whatever. After Christmas it was like talking to a different boy – since he was able to say out loud to people that he was gay." She described Ayden as a sensitive child who had planned to start his own anti-bullying campaign. He was a keen musician and idolised the television presenter Gok Wan. "People would call him Gok as a compliment," she said. "He tried very hard to look like him."
The school's acting headteacher, Robert James, defended its policies for dealing with bullying. "As a school, our first priority is to make sure our students are safe," he said. To read more about the suicide of Ayden Keenan-Olson in the Mail-Online Click Here
July 16, 2013 -
Carlos Vigil - Age 17 - New Mexico
Gay New Mexico Teen Commits Suicide After Reportedly Being Bullied By Classmates
Tragedy has struck the senior class at Los Lunas High School in New Mexico this week, as bullying reportedly resulted in one 17-year-old's suicide. The messages he left on Twitter before his death have given those who knew Carlos Vigil insight into just how much pain he was in before he decided to take his own life this weekend. Here is a segment of that message:
"I'm sorry to those I offended over the years. I'm blind to see that I, as a human being, suck. I'm an individual who is doing an injustice to the world and it's time for me to leave," read a post on Vigil's Twitter account, continuing: "The kids in school are right, I am a loser, a freak, and a fag and in no way is that acceptable for people to deal with. I'm sorry for not being a person that would make people proud. I'm free now. Xoxo - Carlos"
"We found out three
years ago that he was going through this stuff and we've been trying to help him
every day since," said Vigil's father. "We realize he's been going through it
every day since he was in the third grade, that's a long time for a child to
hold that within himself."
Vigil's father, Ray Vigil, said that he came home as soon as he saw the post that his son had made on Twitter. Unfortunately, by that point in time it was too late for anything to be done. His family took Carlos off of life support late Sunday evening. So far they are using this tragedy as an opportunity to spread Carlos' message. To read more click Here, Here and/or Here.
July 29, 2013 - Alexander “AJ” Betts Jr. - Age 16 - Iowa
Iowa teen Alexander “AJ” Betts committed
suicide over the weekend. The 16-year-old Pleasant Hill native is the fifth
student at Southeast Polk High School to take their own life in as many years.
“We had no indication that anything was wrong. He is the happiest kid I’ve ever met. Everybody who meets him says that,” AJ’s mom, Sheryl Moore, told KCCI-TV News 8. But Moore admits "It must have been really horrible, if my son got to the point where he would hurt my husband, my daughters and I to take his own life," Moore said. Still, she added, "Several people who are gay or lesbian teens told us that AJ saved them from committing suicide when they were feeling desperate, and I really hope, for AJ's sake, that we can stop it, so that maybe, even if we can save one more life from bullying, that would be a success."
The teen kept a tough exterior and a smile on his face despite what his mother is learning from his friends as they pay their respects. "About a year and a half ago, AJ was involuntarily outed as gay at Southeast Polk High School. Everyone got a long with my son very well until they found out he was gay," said Moore.
The teen's friends said Betts was constantly ridiculed not only for being gay, but also because he was half African-American and was born with a cleft lip. "He's different. He doesn’t add up to what they're used to," said the teen's best friend, Noah Lahmann.
But his mother
knows Alexander Betts Jr.’s story won’t end there. The Pleasant Hill boy who
spent his whole life helping others will help once more — his organs will be
donated to dozens of people. Click
Here to read more.
"There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning." - Louis L'Amour
There are roughly hundreds of thousands if not millions of stories of gay youth suicides like the above that have occurred over the centuries due to homophobia, but only a few have been put down in writing, and only one to my knowledge was based on intricate diaries like Bobby Griffith kept and that was published in book form in "Prayers for Bobby." That book, published in 1996, was made into a Lifetime TV movie staring Sigourney Weaver. Since the broadcast of the movie Bobby Griffith has become the unofficial poster boy for the reality of gay youth suicide. Click on the image or title to go to my page devoted solely to his tragic story.
Prayers for Bobby
A mother's coming to terms with the suicide of her gay son
Religious Bigotries Against Gays Exposed For What They Are!
The religious right points to the suicide rate among gay teenagers — which this same religious right works so hard to drive up — as evidence that the gay lifestyle is destructive. It's like intentionally running someone down with your car and then claiming that it isn't safe to walk the streets.
I encourage readers to click here to read more of Dan Savage's thoughtful article written in response to the SL Letter of the Day: "Almost Sorry" on SLOG from which the above commentary is based on - dated Oct. 1, 2010.
It Gets Better Project
After the death of above listed Billy Lucas, this same columnist and author Dan
Savage, decided enough was enough and launched the
It Gets Better Project,
a YouTube channel of messages of encouragement and survival aimed at gay and
lesbian youth. As he explained in his "Savage
Love" column, "Gay adults aren't allowed to talk to these kids. Schools and
churches don't bring us in to talk to teenagers who are being bullied. Many of
these kids have homophobic parents who believe that they can prevent their gay
children from growing up to be gay -- or from ever coming out -- by depriving
them of information, resources, and positive role models. Why are we waiting for
permission to talk to these kids? We have the ability to talk directly to them
right now. We don't have to wait for permission to let them know that it gets
better. We can reach these kids."
The YouTube channel, which should be required viewing in every middle and high school in America, has, in a just one week, become crammed with hundreds of videos from both gay and straight adults, from celebrities and regular folks, offering light at the end of tunnel of hell that can be adolescence. (1)
. . . . . . . . . . . . .
(1) Based on Mary Elizabeth Williams' article in Salon, Why Are So Many Gay Teens Dying?
If you would like to communicate with me, my e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
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A Gay Teen Short Story ♂♂
Church is so confusing for Zack. His new pastor preaches nothing but hate and condemnation of gays and lesbians, but no matter how carefully he reads his Bible, he can’t find where it says God hates him. Will things change when Zach's boyfriend Billy suggests that they all go to his church instead? Click Here or on the icon to read the story.
Proof that Homosexuality is Not a
Choice - Try the Test On Yourself!!
So Click Here to see what the test involves and also see the scientific and medical evidence that confirms that homosexuality is not a choice. Homosexuality: Nature or Nurture? (Part 1 of 5). Also On The Same Page "Realizing That You're Different From Others, What a Gay or Lesbian Teen Goes Through"
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The Anti-Gay Religious Right's Really Cruel and Idiotic Argument
Their Message to a Gay Person is: Be alone. Live alone. Die alone.
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