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Bullied Gay Teen Hangs Himself in Oregon Schoolyard: VIDEO


A tragic story out of La Grande, Oregon, where 15-year-old Jadin Bell has been taken off of life support after hanging himself in a schoolyard last week, KOMO News reports:

Dozens of people came together last week in La Grande in a vigil for Jadin, trying to understand what drove him to despair nine days ago. He came to the playground of Central Elementary School in La Grande. He climbed on a play structure and hanged himself. Someone passing by tried to rescue him. He was brought to Portland and Doernbecher Children's Hospital where he was put on life support.

Hill says Jadin was pushed to suicide after being bullied in person and on the Internet for being gay.

"He was different, and they tend to pick on the different ones," Hill said.

Hill says Jadin asked his parents to home school him. He feared turning in the bullies would make things worse. But he had found the courage, recently.

Watch KOMO's report, AFTER THE JUMP...

 If you are considering suicide or need someone to speak with, please call the Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386.

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  1. @HOLAMIGO, the unfortunate reality is that in many states, townships and individual schools the overall culture of anti-gay bigotry takes top priority.

    It's frankly disgusting how many schools will side with the parents who raise a fuss and say "we don't want you coming into our schools to indoctrinate our kids into your gayness", preferring instead to indoctrinate their own children into bigotry, and refusing to allow for discussion about the simple reality that there are (let's be real here) gays in every class, in every school, all across the country.

    and the world.

    because of this, discussions seem to only be revolving around high schools, which is frankly too late.


    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jan 29, 2013 5:16:39 PM

  2. I have to echo the comment above about how insanely hard it is for some of us in small towns. Some of you all are so fortunate to have the support you have. I'm 19 and moved to Austin, but just a few years ago I was going to high school in a small town outside Lubbock Texas. To be called awful mean names every single day and then go to school administrators and they not care at all (because they were often homophobic themselves) sucks. It sucks so bad. And my parents are super religious, so if I told them, they would have sent me to some ex gay conversion program. there's so many of us gay kids from small towns crying ourselves to bed cuz we feel no one has our back. I'm happy to have made friends with someone in Austin and moved after graduation but not everyone's so lucky. Homophobia kills!

    Posted by: Jorge | Jan 29, 2013 5:20:20 PM

  3. Scott Johansen, i love you for that. Amen, brother.

    I was lucky enough to be going through adolescence as the Internet was taking off, and did indeed spend a lot of time reading blogs (then called Webpages!) by other young(ish?) LGBT people, who shared their stories, and showed that we don't need to live silent and invisible lives.

    LGBT people in my neighbourhood and community who made it their business to be Out, and visible, to others. Because of this, my parents knew gay people. They had gay friends. My coming out was aided immeasurably by those brave men and women, who put a face and name to What Gay Is, and thus showed others that being gay is no cause for shame and alarm.

    Closet Culture is literally what's killing us, and i tip my hat to all the brave men and women who think of others, and not themselves, and Come Out to open the doors for the next generations.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jan 29, 2013 5:22:07 PM

  4. The parents of the bullies need to named, and need to be held accountable. The role of the school administrators and teachers needs to be examined.

    That being said, if you've never lived in a small town you really have no clue what the struggle is about. Urban gays with no experience need to stfu and *listen* for a change. What worked in the cities doesn't work in the country, and the work that needs to be done hasn't been done. And this is not Canaduah, so urban Canadians opinions are pretty much useless here.

    Just sayin'.

    Posted by: Just Sayin' Y'all | Jan 29, 2013 5:28:31 PM

  5. By all means, let's work to change this culture.

    Share your stories, share your experiences, personalize not just our collective struggles, but our need to help others by opening the doors for them.


    It's the beauty of the internet-age: we can reach more people. all we need to do is be visible.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jan 29, 2013 5:38:30 PM

  6. JUST SAYIN': take ip up with Kiwi, don't take a swipe at "Canaduh" because you have an issue with ONE of it's residents.

    Posted by: BETTY | Jan 29, 2013 6:01:44 PM

  7. To follow up, my comment was only to correct the original headline that said this poor boy hanged himself in a Portland schoolyard (which was subsequently corrected). I was not making an editorial comment of any kind, other than to suggest it would might have been a different story had it happened in Portland. It's a shame a few people interpreted my correction as a commentary (based on their own issues). Let's focus on helping other LGBT youth avoid this fate, and take on bullying as the societal issue it is.

    Posted by: Scott | Jan 29, 2013 6:09:11 PM

  8. @Betty, that's the same troll under a different name. His issue? I don't hide and he does. Same old story.

    we can make this world better for our young brothers and sisters, and it requires us adults to stand up to be counted, and no longer live invisible and silent lives.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jan 29, 2013 6:09:24 PM

  9. another tragedy that a GBLT kid kills himself and I can barely contain my tears, saddness and grief...I wish there was easy answers, but there are none

    Posted by: Bernie | Jan 29, 2013 6:14:34 PM

  10. 1-- slight error in story: the vid is from the Portland TV station, right up the street from me, and KOMO is in Seattle.
    2- slight errors in comments:
    a- La Grande has 13,000 people, heavily mormon, so expecting it to a tolerant place is dreaming.(as is expecting local adult Gays to be vocal, sad to say)
    b- One reason for suicides like Jadin's and others -- young kids see "Gay is OK" in the media, and want to be free, but local straight folks are still backward. In the olden days, Gays came out to themselves later in their teens, when a bit more mature.
    c-Portlanders are always so very anxious to point out how liberal they are (and take NO criticism, in my experience). It's a good town for lesbians, backward for Gay men. I call it "Kansas with pink hair" There is not even a strong movement toward marriage equality here.

    Posted by: Bob | Jan 29, 2013 6:20:52 PM

  11. Those kids don't give a damn about him.

    Posted by: Andy | Jan 29, 2013 6:30:11 PM

  12. Kids learn what we teach them. Take the movie "Seven Psychopaths"- it's loaded with homophobic slurs and insults. Just loaded with them. Almost no one said a damn thing about it. Because, hey, if Colin Farrell, who has a gay brother, can star in it and throw around some slurs, and Sam Rockwell, and the rest of "liberal" Hollywood can take part in it, it must be OK. The slurs aren't part of the plot, and no one is ever punished for them in the movie.

    I am so sick of LGBT people saying that they don't care if people throw around words like "faggot". Listen, that word might not hurt you, but the world is bigger than you, and not as advanced as you, and that word hurts LGBT kids who don't have your armour. Some kids have to hear that in the hallways, and at home, dozens of times a day. And violence often starts with words, with being thought of as "less than".

    Posted by: Eric | Jan 29, 2013 6:49:23 PM

  13. ". . . after being bullied. . . "

    Look for variations on this use of the passive voice. He "was bullied" or he "was the victim of bullying." All of this is just a way for the press and law enforcement to cover up who actually did the bullying. Some real person or persons taunted and/or beat this kid. Why are these bullies never named? Why don't the families and friends of these bullycide victims name the killers? As far as I know, the only case where we ever learned a bully's name was that of Tyler Clementi. In every other case, there was widespread collusion to conceal the names of the bullies, and it seems that this case will be no different.

    Posted by: Gerald Bellin | Jan 29, 2013 6:55:41 PM

  14. Everyone is pushing this away from Portland. What's so special about Portland? I've read depression is rampant there due to the never ending rain and gray weather. Sorry this young boy had to die. Who had a duty to us when we came out? No one.

    Posted by: Jeff | Jan 29, 2013 7:00:04 PM

  15. Heartbreaking. Again. Let's all step up and do more, especially reaching out to LGBT youth trapped in these backwards towns.

    Posted by: Paul Leary | Jan 29, 2013 7:03:19 PM

  16. Jeff, the fact of the matter is, something like this happening in a conservative small town vs happening in a fairly liberal big city are clearly two different circumstances, and runs in line with the numbers, which show a majority of these suicides do occur in small towns, where outlets that aren't homophobic or are gay are few and far.

    To the poster "Just Sayin Ya'll" aka Yupp, it's easy to say that posters in urban areas have no clue about why this continues to happen in these smaller, conservative towns. And personally, I can say, I really DON'T know because I've never had to deal with this sort of blatant complete lack of respect and acceptance. But what is clear is that not enough or the right things aren't being done because these suicides continue.

    We're all in this together, and the fact is, if you're living in an area where there is general acceptance, you're in a position of privilege. And you need to use that privilege for good and we need to do our part to highlight what is occurring in these towns so we can at the very least have a conversation.

    Posted by: Francis | Jan 29, 2013 7:21:23 PM

  17. I blame the media for this. There will always be bullies. The media makes martyrs of these kids. Just remember that suicide does not happen in a vacuum. A plus B does not always lead to C in these cases. There are other factors. I feel bad for those he left behind. He just punished them for what the bullies were doing.

    Posted by: AJ | Jan 29, 2013 7:38:50 PM

  18. don't blame the media - thank it. the LGBT Youth suicide rate has not changed over the decades.

    the only thing that's changed is that for the first time the rest of the world is finally talking about it.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jan 29, 2013 7:49:21 PM

  19. Give it a rest AJ. Don't start your crap again. When a kid feels there is no other choice you know that they look to the suicide martyrs that went before them because suicide is so glamorous and glorified. Give me a break. The real people to blame: the bullies themselves and the people who do nothing to stop it. If the media didn't report about this kid the officials who did nothing would still do nothing and there will be many more Jadin's in that community. Now we can work to make sure it doesn't happen again. But we wouldn't now about if the media didn't report it.

    Posted by: UGH | Jan 29, 2013 8:23:38 PM

  20. You sound very dismissive to other people's problems AJ, I hope to God nobody ever comes to you for help.

    Posted by: NANCY | Jan 29, 2013 8:36:46 PM

  21. Where this took place is completely irrelevant. I don't care if it takes place in a small, ultraconservative town or on Mars...it is tragic no matter what. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

    Posted by: Brian | Jan 29, 2013 9:14:53 PM

  22. The boy had to have suffered from other psychological problems. His hanging himself is fuel for the bully brigade.

    Posted by: Jeff | Jan 29, 2013 10:29:02 PM

  23. It certainly doesn't help when the mayor of La Grande, Oregon calls same sex marriage an "abomination".. =/ http://www.lagrandeobserver.com/News/Local-News/Mayor-apologizes-for-anti-gay-Facebook-posts

    Posted by: Timothy | Jan 30, 2013 12:21:43 AM

  24. Thank you for the link to that story, Timothy. That says it all.

    Trickle-down economics may be bogus, but Trickle-Down Bigotry is a proven reality.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jan 30, 2013 12:50:32 AM

  25. @Jeff and @Brian: The location matters because contributing factors to LGBT suicides are very different in Portland versus La Grande. Portland is large enough to provide various support services. La Grange (as of the 2010 census) has a population of 13082, with 22.4 percent under 18 years of age. If you figure half of those are boys, 3 percent are gay, and 5/18 are teens under the age of 18, you get a rough estimate of 12 gay teens in that town, and that doesn't factor in the age at which they come out or even realize that they are gay.

    Also, social attitudes vary substantially from one area to another. For California and Proposition 8, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Proposition_8#Results has a map and a table showing the breakdown by county. Support for Proposition 8 was over 75% in Kern County versus under 25% in San Francisco County. That's probably an indication of how supportive people in these areas are of LGBT rights, and there is a huge variation in California depending on where you live. I'd imagine it is similar in Oregon.

    Posted by: Bill | Jan 30, 2013 1:53:45 AM

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