15-year-old Nigel Shelby dies by suicide after homophobic bullying

Nigel Shelby died by suicide after homophobic bullying.

A 15-year-old boy has died by suicide after homophobic bullying at his school in Huntsville, Alabama.

Nigel Shelby, a 9th-grade student, took his own life on April 19. Since his death, friends and family have spread messages of love and tolerance across social media.


“We are heartbroken over the death of Nigel Shelby, a 15-year-old freshman at Huntsville High School,” a local pride festival, Rocket City Pride, wrote on Facebook.

“Nigel took his life because he was bullied for being gay. There are no words that can be said to make sense of this devastating news.”

Remembering Nigel Shelby

A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money for the family of Shelby. It’s so far surpassed its goal of $10,000 and currently has raised over $14,000 in donations.

One person wrote on the donation page: “I’m praying for the family of this young boy. We as a nation and a people need to do better. Support those who are different and live different lifestyles.”

A candlelight vigil was held in Huntsville on April 21, to remember the life of Shelby.

A fellow schoolmate of Shelby, Nadia M. Richardson, started a mental health awareness campaign called No More Martyrs.

“I am still processing this loss, we have so much to understand and so much work to do. Racism, sexism, homophobia, classism; all of this plays a part,” wrote Richardson.

“Bullying is a by-product of a world ill-equipped to include that which is deemed different. As a result, psychologically damaging othering occurs and leaves many isolated, self-loathing and depressed. Don’t shy away from the necessary conversations around this. The cost is too high.”