US: Gay teen taken off life support after hanging himself because of homophobic bullying

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A 15-year-old gay teenager has been taken off life support, after hanging himself in a local school playground after being bullied because he was gay.

Jadin Bell, of La Grande, Oregon, was taken off life support today after hanging himself. He was subject to homophobic bullying both online and in person because he was gay, the Huffington Post reported. 

“He was different, and they tend to pick on the different ones,” Hill told the news station. He remembered Bell fondly:

“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.”

The LaGrande Observer reported that over 200 people, including family members and classmates, turned out at a candlelight vigil for Bell last week.

His friend, Jody Bullock, said last week: “He is amazingly sensitive… If he saw a wounded butterfly [as a child] he wanted to heal it … He is an amazing young man who is smart and very social.”

The number of teenagers taking their own lives due to bullying and homophobic bullying has increased dramatically over the past seven years, according to research published in October.

Katu 2 also reported that a 16-year-old girl killed herself in La Grande in October last year.