Texas vigil for 13-year-old homophobic bullying victim

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A vigil was held in Texas, US, yesterday for 13-year-old Asher Brown, who killed himself last week after suffering anti-gay bullying.

The student shot himself just hours after telling his step-father he was gay on September 23rd.

His parents, Amy and David Truong, told how he had been bullied for the past two years about his sexual orientation, his size, his clothes and his Buddhist religion.

Mrs Truong told CNN that her son felt that there were “more important things” than wearing brand name clothes and said she and her husband had contacted Hamilton Middle School to complain that Asher was being harassed.

The school claims Mr and Mrs Truong did not contact it but the couple say this is untrue.

Yesterday’s vigil took place at the school and was also attended by students from other colleges in the area. The school cancelled extra-curricular activities and moved a football game to another location.

On Sunday, a vigil took place in New Jersey for Tyler Clementi, another teenager who is believed to have killed himself after being harassed about his sexuality.

There have now been at least eight reported suicides of young men who were gay or were thought to be gay in the last month. Most were said to have suffered homophobic bullying.

They are:

Asher Brown, 13, of Texas, who shot himself on the day he came out to his parents

Seth Walsh, 13, of Minnesota, who died nine days after attempting to hang himself. He is said to have been bullied for being gay.

Billy Lucas, 15, of Indiana, who hanged himself. Classmates said he had suffered bullying.

Raymond Chase, 19, a student Johnson and Wales University, Rhode Island. He hanged himself in his dormitory. It is not yet known whether he had suffered bullying.

Tyler Clementi, 18, a student at Rutgers University in New Jersey. He jumped from a bridge after his roommate allegedly broadcast footage of him having sex.

Caleb Nolt, 14, of Indiana, who is said to have suffered anti-gay bullying.

Felix Sacco, 17, of Massachusetts, jumped from an overpass. Friends said he had been bullied.

Cody Barker, 17, of Wisconsin killed himself. He attended a support group for LGBT youngsters.