Another dead kid, thanks to hate.
Asher Brown, left, was just 13-years-old. A few days ago he took a pistol to his head and killed himself. He was the unrelenting victim of anti-gay bullies. He attended Hamilton Middles School, in Cypress, Texas, just outside of Houston.
When Asher's step-father, David Truong, returned home from work he found the boy. "I thought he was laying there reading a book or something. My son put a gun to his head because he couldn't take what he was hearing and the constant teasing." Shortly after the boy's mother, Amy, returned home to find the police and discover that her boy was dead.
Fox News reports: "The Truongs say over this past summer, Brown [Asher] confided in them that he was gay. The paper says: "Facebook is now full of condolences for the 13-year-old student. An outpouring of love from his peers over his death. Love he obviously did not feel in life."
Asher, according to Houston Chronicle, regularly "had been called names and endured harassment from other students." Because of this he "stuck with a small group of friends who suffered similar harassment from other students."
Reports say that boys grabbed Asher in gym class and forced him to pretend that he was having sex with them. In an incident that took place the day before his death, Asher was walking down the stairs at school when a boy purposely tripped him. Asher fell down the stairs to the next landing. His books were scattered on the landing. The other boy then came down and kicked the books down the next flight of stairs. He did the same to Asher as well.
Kelli Durham, a spokeswoman for the school district, simultaneously claimed that this incident was investigated but also claimed the school had no idea the boy was being bullied. The Chronicle reports: "Durham said that incident was investigated, but turned up no witnesses or video footage to corroborate the couple's claims." Elsewhere, the same article reports she said, "no students, school employees or the boy's parents ever reported that he was being bullied." So, if no one reported the bullying then exactly how were they able to "investigate" an incident they didn't know about?
Amy Truong couldn't believe the claims: "That's absolutely inaccurate—it's completely false. I did not hallucinate phone calls to counselors and assistant principals. We have no reason to make this up... It's like they're calling us liars." The Chronicle reported that students and parents left messages at the Fox News site stating "that the boy had been bullied by classmates for several years and claimed Cy-Fair ISD [Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District] does nothing to stop such harassment."
The boy's mother said: "It has to stop. I don't want any other family to have to go make funeral arrangements like I did for my son. He wasn't supposed to die at 13."
Yes, it has to stop. But it won't. At least it won't until every anti-gay bigot out there knows that their view are "not okay." I am not saying ban their speech, I am saying we have to condemn it. I don't give a flying-fuck if you think that you are channeling Jehovah, Jesus or Allah, when you express your hatred for gay people. You can take your holy book and shove it, for all I care. Kids are dying, damn it. Can't you get it through your thick skull that your religion is teaching your kids to hate other kids. And that those other kids go home and kill themselves.
In just the last few weeks I had to report on Seth Walsh, (left) 14, of Tehachapi, CA, who hanged himself from a tree in his family's yard. Seth was harassed for being gay. UPDATE: Sadly I must report that Seth died yesterday. Billy Lucas, (left) 15, of Greensburg, Indiana, went into the family's barn, to be with his horse. It was there he hanged himself. He was bullied and attacked for supposedly being gay. Justin Aaberg (right), 15, of Anoka, Minnesota, was gay, he was bullied, and he too, is now dead because of it. Three other students in his school district, according to various sources, recently killed themselves as well, because of anti-gay harassment.
Yet, during the mourning period for Justin the Catholic Church mailed out over 1 million anti-gay DVDs to their members, to fight gay couples being give equality of rights. As if that corrupt, vile institution has any moral standing any more. When priests rape kids they cover it up, when two adults of the same gender love one another however, they are deeply offended.
An example of the sort of hatred that gay teens face comes from Justin's own school district. Two teachers Diane Cleveland and Walter Filson "are accused of repeatedly harassing one of their students because they thought he was gay." Yes, I said they were teachers.
Jaheem Herrera (left) didn't even make it to his teens. He was eleven years old! The student from Dunaire Elementary School in DeKalb, Georgia went home and took a belt and hanged himself in his closet. His mother 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." Jaheem's mother, like many of the other parents of dead children, said she reported the bullying to the school but they refused to do anything about it. Instead it "just got worse and worse and worse." The morning of his death he didn't want to go to school again. When he came home that afternoon he gave his report card to his mother—it was good—and went upstairs. His younger sister discovered him, she grabbed her brother and tried to lift him up to prevent the belt from strangling him, while screaming for help. It was too late. School officials tried to claim that when other students were bullying the boy as "gay" that what they really meant was that he was "happy."
Carl Walker-Hoover (right), was in sixth grade. He too was just 11-years-old. He was relentlessly attacked by other kids for being gay. His mother, like most the other parents referred to here, reported the attacks to the school, New Leadership Charter School in Springfield, MA. He also hanged himself when he couldn't take it any longer. The Boston Globe editorialized that "an act so desperate by one so young is a clear reminder of how schools can become torture chambers for students perceived as different."
Below is a memorial video that was produced to honor Justin Aaberg, The music you will hear is a recording of Justin playing the cello. While it was created for Justin, I don't think those who created it will mind if it acts as a memorial for all these kids, victims of the anti-gay prejudices that are pushed by the Religious Right and the Republican Party. Never, never, never, let one of these bastards ever get away with the fraudulent claim that they are "doing it for the kids." They are doing it to the kids. Never forget that.