A bisexual teen has taken his own life after enduring years of bullying at school.
Adam Kizer, 16, a high school sophomore in Sonoma Valley, California, died May 30 after tying fishing line around his neck. He spent four days on life support.
Adam’s father, William Kizer, says he’s considering legal action. William Kizer told The Advocate he reported the bullying to school officials, who claim they weren’t aware of it.
The Press Democrat reports:
The elder Kizer said his son had been a target of bullying since elementary school in Wyoming, where other kids once bound him and poured gasoline on him. The abuse continued in Sonoma after the family moved there in 2011, with students at Sonoma Valley High picking on the slightly built teen with shaggy hair, encouraging him to take his own life, the father said.
He had attempted suicide before and suffered from depression and post-traumatic stress, his father said.
“It’s the worst pain you can ever imagine,” the father said.
Adam Kizer, who came out as bisexual six months ago, enjoyed kickboxing and played bass in a heavy metal band. He was also an active member of the school’s GSA. About 200 people attended a vigil (right) for Adam the night after his death. .
GLAAD has more on the problem of bullying and suicide among bisexual youth:
In April, a bisexual teenage girl from Iowa named Alyssa Morgan passed away from suicide, as well. Like Adam, Alyssa’s family were supportive of her identity, but she suffered with depression and self-harm in the face of longstanding bullying for being perceived as “different” because she was bisexual. Like Adam’s father, Alyssa’s mother Nicole struggled to get her daughter’s school to take the harassment seriously.
Bullying and suicidality are life-threatening issues plaguing students across the country, and disproportionately impact LGBT youth—especially bisexual members of the community. Bisexual people confront higher rates of anxiety, depression, substance abuse, suicidality and other mood disorders compared to straight, lesbian, and gay peers. Recent studies show that 8 out of 10 of all LGBT students experience in-school harassment, and that school staff does nothing about over 60% of reported anti-LGBT bullying cases. These anti-LGBT and biphobic issues are systemic and cultural, and are costing children their lives.