Goobdye Brandon Elizares, of El Paso

Another teen gone. This time it's 16-year-old Brandon Elizares, of El Paso, Texas.

Elizares had battled bullying in school for two years, according to his mother, Zachalyn Elizares, because he didn't want to live in the closet. From KFOX14:

"He got bullied simply for being gay," Elizares said. "He's been threatened to be stabbed. He's been threatened to be set on fire."

ElizaresElizares said the El Paso Independent school district did everything it could to help solve the problem.

"They've reprimanded several kids and they did everything that they could," Elizares said.

Elizares said that Brandon's friends told her that there was an incident on Friday at school where someone insulted her son and planned to fight him the next week.

Saturday, Elizares was running errands and came home to discover her son's body.


  1. Gregv says

    @Mike128: I was thinking the same.
    Not everyone has the money or circumstances that allow them to move anywhere they wish. But if I had a gay kid in danger and had options, I would get the heck out of Texas.
    The curriculum itself is anti-gay in Texas so there is little support for the safety of gay kids from the top right on down. A kid would find some sympathetic voices in some of the more progressive neighborhoods of Houston, Austin or Dallas, but even there, well, it’s still Texas.

    Sadly, it is too late for Brandon. But I would urge anyone with a gay kid to ask their kid if they feel safe going to school, and of they don’t and solutions aten’t happening, look for a school that IS safe, even if it means moving to Austin or even out of state.

  2. says

    each story like this pains my heart.
    there’s a reality that the “group mentality” of bullying is epic.
    i remember as a child, being bullied, and wondering what (if anything) would be done about it. was the school prepared to suspend or expel 25 students?

    Brandon, I’m sorry that the support systems were not there to make you feel more safe and accepted. I only hope that your tragic death makes for a wake-up call for the bigots of this country who are more concerned with protecting bullies than addressing the harm they inflict.

  3. Matt26 says

    This is so sad. Too many, so young. That smiling kid found no way out except… No words.
    My support to his mother, family.
    I wonder what the people, who bullied him, are thinking now?
    @Mike128, good points/questions. I would say the first one is the main issue.

  4. mike says

    As a middle school teacher, I hate seeing these type of articles. It breaks my heart.

    I try to do everything within the system that I can to aid the bullied. Little gets accomplished… the bullied take back the statements made to me, the bullies lie, parents (of the bullied/bullies) blame everyone else and threaten to bring in lawyers when their child is blamed for something they’ve done. It’s enough to make many teachers and administrators turn a blind eye until something like this happens.

  5. Matt26 says

    @Mike, sadly it seems what our society has become, calling a lawyer.
    I wonder what the parents of the children who bullied BE are thinking now?

  6. Gary says

    Gays should come to grips with just how much they are despised. This is serious, and will get worse if marriage is approved. People want to believe that society is more accepting of gays, if the media is to be believed. The truth is, it’s the same world it always was. In many places, nothing has changed, We are easy targets for violence.

  7. says

    i came out in high school in the 1990s, “Gary”

    my country (Canada) has legalized marriage for same-sex couples.
    for twenty years now it has allowed LGBT Citizens to serve openly in its military.
    LGBT people are protected from workplace and housing discrimination. schools are required to permit Gay Straight Alliances.

    it’s not the same world in 2012 than it was in the 1990s when i Came Out.

    yes, in many places “nothing” (or very little) has changed. in others, the changes have been monumental and hugely positive.

    if you want to make an impact, raise your visibility and get your non-gay allies to do the same.

  8. Eric says

    If he was threatened with violence, and it appears that he was repeatedly threatened with violence, then the school did not do everything that it could, nor did the local police. It sounds like everyone failed him. If this had been a case of a straight teenage girl being threatened with stabbing or being set on fire, can you imagine how quickly the school and police would have rained down on those involved? But, because he was gay, and because he was male, it sounds like he was, for the most part, just left to deal with everything on his own. I’m sorry for the mother, but I’m also sick of hearing the parents of these kids saying that the schools did everything they could. There are plenty of laws on the books that can be used to protect our kids. Schools already kick children out for carrying a stray aspirin or wearing a pro-gay t-shirt, but hey, suddenly all laws and policies evaporate in cases like this.

  9. says

    we need to get rid of this bogus excusatory culture of “kids will be kids” or “boys will be boys”

    children and boys will be sociopathic perpetrator of violence if you let them and “hey, bullying happens” is not a valid reason to ignore it

    we saw in michigan amendments made to an “anti-bullying” bill that literally made bullying “acceptable” if the person had a “religious justification” for it.

    this, of course, was meant to protect “Christian” children

    here’s hoping the parents of those “Christian” children, who demanded the amendment, will have their own kids violently attacked by some other religious group for being “heathens”

  10. Eric says


    I’ve often said that we need to reframe this discussion and stop talking about “bullying” and start calling it what it is: “stalking”, “assault”, etc.

  11. Anthony says

    I am with you too SmartDawg. A nation wide we’ll-come-kick-your-bullies-ass-since-your-school-won’t take-care-of-the-problem-gay-hotline.

  12. Dale says

    I’m sure Tony Perkins, Matt Barber, Maggie Gallagher, Brian Brown, Peter Labarbera, Bryan Fischer, Both Wildemons and the other lying christian hateful, vile scum are celebrating.

  13. ROBERT K says

    I doubt they’re celebrating. They’re probably lamenting in hushed, mock-serious tones the passing of this young man whose life would have been “normal” if he hadn’t given in to his “sins.”

    Burn in hell, Christianist scumbags.

  14. Francis says

    Instead of doing whatever possible to put an end to the harassment (cases like this go beyond bullying), the responsibility is almost always left completely on the backs of the LGBT teen. They have to fend for themselves. That’s the big problem here. This shouldn’t be continuing to happen, and yeah, it’s Texas. But, even in Texas, one would think the safety of the children would be of the utmost concern.

    Parents have to basically go no-holds barred and make things happen and force change. Because it’s clear schools either can’t or won’t do anything. Many schools seem completely perplexed as to what can be done. Obviously, the answer should be immediate punishment whenever there is any report of bullying, a no tolerance policy, which results in dismissal if it is continued, as well as tolerance education to combat the hatred within the hearts of some of these kids towards LGBT students. Not enough is being done and LGBT youth are being failed all-around. Such a tragedy.

    RIP, Brandon Elizares.

  15. Randy says

    Each time this happens, it’s telling us that we didn’t do enough.

    What are we doing, to:
    (a) hold accountable those kids who did this, and hold accountable those adults who let it happen, and
    (b) do the same across the continent before it gets to this point again?

    If the law is inadequate to prosecute anyone for this, there need to be some new laws. This has gone on far, far too long.

  16. says


    I think littlekiwi has the right idea there, about what happened in canada and how that has changed the underlying social fabric and social-support signals that kids now receive from the State, their provinces and local schools and just everyday people they meet. that’s how to deal with this in the larger sense.

    there have been huge changes in a # of countries, like canada and many of the european nations, while many others have seen little change and it’s a daily struggle for anyone who knows they are different when they are quite young.

  17. michaelj72 says

    while checking other news sources to see who was covering this poor boy’s fate, i came across now this, which I find very interesting. good thing Biden forced obama’s hand on this issue too. Brandon’s suicide was mentioned in a related article

    …..A new Washington Post/ABC News poll found that President Barack Obama’s announcement in support of same-sex marriage has had a major impact on African-Americans.

    Before Obama made his statement, 41 percent of African-Americans said same-sex marriage should be legal. In a poll released today, 59 percent said they support marriage equality. Since Obama made his statement, the NAACP passed a resolution in favor of marriage equality and a number of hip-hop artists have announced their support…..

  18. Dejae says

    I hope those “poll results” aren’t national. I’m sorry to say this, but I may have to do something I said I wouldn’t: vote for Romney come November.

    I’ve been an ardent Obama supporter for most of his presidency and have gotten into many heated debates with Obama haters over the past 4 years, but I do not support his stance on same sex marriage. In my heart of hearts, I do believe that marriage is one man/one woman.

    After Obama made his proclamation, I was left shaken and woefully disappointed. So much so that I decided that I wouldn’t vote for him again…but said that I wouldn’t be crazy enough to vote for Romney either, because – despite my agreeing with his stance on marriage – I don’t agree with anything else on his agenda. I was simply not going to vote this time, period, and was going to let what happen happens…but if Obama is influencing the African American community at large into supporting same sex marriage (which I previously felt even he couldn’t do), then frankly I think it’s dangerous that he get a second term. Even more dangerous than Mitt getting into office.

    So, with a heavy heart, come election day, I think I may have to begrudgingly vote for Romney.

  19. Dave says

    The time has come for LGBT people to form their own security guard groups to protect LGBT children from these anti-gay Christians who think they have the right to harass gay children until they kill themselves. Anybody who cares about children could join and help stop the madness that these anti-gay Christian bullies are doing to the children in America. The anti-gay Christian bullies have been getting away with murder for years now and it is time to stop them before they kill another child.

  20. FunMe says

    We have the “It’s Get Better” … which is a start, but we need something more than this. What can help educate the schools, students, teachers, administration, police and more.

    This has GOT to stop!

    Prayers for healing for the family and friends of Brandon who mourn his loss.

  21. Rich says

    It is the essence of schooling that children are left to the mercies of their peers. Teachers and administrators are vastly outnumbered by their charges.

    It is the essence of public schooling that no child be left out. While one can hope to exclude a few outliers, the population of bullies and potential bullies far exceeds what a public institution can refuse to serve.

    While it is politically incorrect as hell, perhaps the way out of this dilemma is to hold school districts as accountable for meeting the special needs of LGBT students in the same cost-be-damned way we hold them accountable for meeting the special needs of the physically and developmentally disabled.

  22. JP says

    I am saddened by the content of this article that I didn’t even notice the spelling error on the headline.
    How many more gay kids have to die before this terror will end? Kids go to school to learn, not to be taunted and bullied for who they are. Now Brandon and other deceased gay kids will never have the opportunity to live the life they dreamed of. I hope he will find peace in heaven. This is the product of hatred and wipespread homophobia championed by homophobes and crazy clerics. I hope these people will rot in hell.

  23. elg/edwin says

    Theatening to stab someone or set them on fire is NOT bullying.

    Theatening to stab someone or set them on fire is HARRASSMENT and STALKING and is (or should be) AGAINST THE LAW.

  24. says

    Working hard to make sure WA can be the first state to win in the ballot box. We have prop 8 and DOMA going to SCOTUS. Times are changing, it may not be as fast as we want, but it is getting better.

  25. Brenda says

    Pflag El Paso and the Elizares Family would like to extend an invitation for the community to attend a Memorial Service on Friday, June 15th at 7:00pm at Holy Spirit Episcopal Church – 10500 Kenworthy Street.

    Donations may be made to a special anti-bullying fund in the memory of Brandon Elizares at any El Paso Area Teachers Federal Credit Union – Acct.: 168783.

    Please help us in forwarding the message about anti-bullying initiatives and this memorial service. For more information or further details, call: (915) 209-AMOR (2667).

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