I don’t cry easily. At least, not since I started Testosterone… but when I did this research I was sitting in a coffee shop with tears streaming down my face.
Please be aware that what follows may be triggering.
…but also be aware that it’s very real, very recent, and…there’s not really a word for how fucked up it is. If we genuinely want to change things, the first step is to acknowledge [and spread the word] that it’s actually happening. Still happening. It’s not over. Not by a long shot.
“I always knew that I was gay. I also remember seeing heterosexual couples and knowing that I wasn’t like them. I would get very depressed about not being like other kids. Many times I would take a kitchen knife and press it against my chest, wondering if I should push it all the way in,”
-Alex, age 14
“[Asher 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.
The 13-year-old’s parents said they had complained about the bullying to Hamilton Middle School officials during the past 18 months, but claimed their concerns fell on deaf ears.
David and Amy Truong said they made several visits to the school to complain about the harassment, and Amy Truong said she made numerous phone calls to the school that were never returned.”
Asher may not have been gay, but was nevertheless attacked with homophobia.
Here are some just a few faces of the of queer men & boys who took their own lives or were murdered for trying to be themselves–
“Sirdeaner Walker…is ferociously protective of her four children. So when her 11-year-old son Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover complained to her last September of being bullied by students at the New Leadership Charter School in Springfield, Massachusetts, for ‘acting gay,’ she did something about it. She spoke to his principal, teachers and guidance counselor and became more active in the Parent Teachers Organization. But the teasing and threats continued and Carl started acting out in school, becoming increasingly fearful and felt even more alienated.
On Monday, April 6, everyone learned just how serious the situation had become. Walker found her little boy with an extension cord wrapped around his neck, hanging from the third floor rafter of their home.”
“June 5, 2012, a black 14-year-old boy, was attacked in the cafeteria of Roy Mann Junior High School by another group of boys. He was called anti-gay slurs and sustained damage to the cornea of one of his eyes, leaving him blinded.”
“Man kills three-year-old son in attempt
to keep him from being ‘gay'”
“…Seth’s grandparents insist their grandson knew from an early age that he was gay. “Wendy did everything humanly possible to help him understand his world and to support him,” Jim Walsh, a retired school principal, told TIME. “And so did his brothers and sister.” But it was something young Seth had trouble accepting. “Initially he wanted to have a girlfriend,” says grandmother Judy Walsh, a retired schoolteacher. “He wasn’t happy with his orientation. He read the Bible a lot. This was not the way he wanted to live his life, but that’s what he was dealt with.”
Even before he came out, he was teased enough, his grandparents say, that he was homeschooled on two separate occasions. His best friend, Jamie Phillips, says Seth, who told friends he was gay last year, was harassed long before: “Since it was a rumor that went around, everyone thought he was gay.” “He started getting teased by the fourth and fifth grade,” says Judy Walsh. ‘By sixth grade, the kids were starting to get mean. By the seventh grade, he was afraid to walk home from school because he was afraid he would get harassed. As he was walking by a classroom, a kid yelled out, Queer. Stuff like that.’
…On Sept. 19, his single mother Wendy found him unconscious; he had tried to hang himself from a tree in his backyard after another apparent bullying incident.”
Segment from boy’s suicide note. Thankfully, he survived. I haven’t made any alterations:
“I am scared.and I am tiredand I cant take any more. Yesterday in the locker room some assholes said steven is such a pussy and faggot. He is an ugnly stupid faggotand we should kill him. And they knew that I could hear them. Idont know what to fucking thing now. Is it better that they kill me or I kill myselfi don’t fucking know. Ijust want to die and that is all so I don’t have to put up with this fucking shit.
…I love many people mom and dad I love you and you didn’t do anything bad I hat e life and this is why I have to die I am scared and iam tired of being laughted at made fun of beaten up and threatened and shit and and feeling like shit. Fuckfuckfuckfuck I just need to die. Don’t be mad. Be happy that allt he bad shit I feel is goint fo be over finaly forever. God will understand,and I know that. Maybe jesus was gay. How do we know anyting. Maybe god is gay. I am gay and I should not be fucked over because of that. So fucking what. People are just too stupid. I am like evey fuckin otgher person just I am gay so fucking whant. Assholes. I should paint asshole on everyones locker before I die. Ijust font care anyhmore I need to go.i am so scared now. I now I need to die but I will be fine after I am dead.”
This is all too common. Death seems like a GOOD option compared to the shit so many kids (queer or not) are dealing with daily.
More from the same letter, talking to his parents:
“Don’t be sad. You wont have a faggot son anymore. So you will be happy. No more burden for you.
…Now I cnat stop cryuing I ma so fucked up my head is so fucked up mom and dad I am sorry. I need to die just undertand. Please understand and neverstop loving me. It is not your.and don’t be sadplease never be sad. Ifeel so sick not ikind of feel happy to because I know know it will be over soon.”
“Kenneth Weishuhn…age 14, was a teen who is known for his suicide which raised the national profile on gay bullying and LGBT youth suicides. Weishuhn, then 14 years old, was allegedly bullied in person, death threats were sent to his mobile phone, and he was the subject of a facebook hate group. He was targeted for being gay, having come out one month before his suicide. Weishuhn told his mother Jeannie Chambers ‘Mom, you don’t know how it feels to be hated.’ Weishuhn took his own life in April 2012.”
I’ve also done more recent research, which I will add to this page as soon as I get the chance.