Monday, June 11, 2012

Brandon Elizares, 16, Bullied to Suicide

The numbers just keep adding on.  On June 2nd, we lost yet another LGBT teen to suicide.  And, once again, it was to escape the bullying he had been enduring.
According to 16-year-old Brandon Elizares' mother, he had been bullied for the past two years because he didn't want to be in the closet.  Wanting to be who he was, with no apologies, cost him his life.  In a television interview, Zachalyn Elizares said:
“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.”
Elizares 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.
How many more of these young lives will have to be lost before people finally stand up and say, "Enough is enough!!??  Brandon should be preparing for his summer vacation...maybe even a summer job.  Or, perhaps planning to event the 5-day long El Paso Pride festivities.  Instead, his family had to plan his funeral.  I don't know about you, but my blood boils now when I read, and write, about another teen suicide.

In just the past two weeks alone, we've seen instance after instance where prominent public figures have made it crystal clear that they have no desire to live on the same planet with someone who's from the LGBT community.  Much more often than not, their bigotry is rooted in religion.  Does their reckless, bigoted vitriol have an effect on young minds?  Of course it does.  I have a friend whose 15-year-old son spews anti-gay rhetoric, in accordance to the Bible, at her regularly and mocks her for her efforts in the fight for equality and anti-bullying campaign.  His views are shaped by a father who is, himself, a deep-rooted Bible thumper.  The world was introduced to Caiden Cowger last week and his ridiculous video about the President turning young people gay.  Caiden is 14.  Hatred and intolerance is NOT something we're born with.  It's a taught and learned behavior.  The ones who bully kids they perceive to be LGBT, real or imagined, learned that level of intolerance from somebody else.  Typically, they learn it from adults, but not exclusively.
“My son had every right to live his live the way that he wanted to, without having to fear that people would call him names or threaten to beat him up,” - Zachalyn Enizares
It's sad that in the year 2012, we're still seeing the type of mind-numbing hatred, intolerance, and bigotry that I saw when I was a young boy.  That was during the height of the Civil Rights movement of the 60s.  It's sad that day after day after day, we're seeing these young people end their own lives because someone else decided that they weren't fit to exist.  To be sure, my aforementioned friend's son finds it humorous that LGBT teens are killing themselves.  How will a person justify that when their time comes to stand before God to be judged? It's sad that we, as a people, are not evolving.

Brandon Enizares should be preparing for his summer vacation.  He's not.  Two years of relentless bullying because of his sexuality was more than he could handle.  For all of our efforts to bring about changes in our culture, one that allows people to live happily just as they are, much more needs to be done.

It was reported that the school officials at Andres High School in El Paso, where Brandon was a student, took bullying very seriously and did everything they could to prevent it.  They are to be commended.  Still, more needs to be done.  More needs to be done in the homes.  More needs to be done in the religious sector.  More needs to be done in the political arena.  The time has come for dramatic changes in our collective consciousness.  We need more love and less hate.  We need more acceptance and less intolerance.  We need these changes firmly in place before we can start seeing the teen suicide rate begin to come down.  And, we need these changes to begin yesterday.

May you rest in peace, Brandon.

10 comments:

  1. Enough is enough we need to do more a a community to protect the ones we put in the most danger. The ones that have not been hardened and numbed to the pain of BIGITORY. Oru fight is killing them. RIP BRANDON YOU WILL NOT BE FORGOTTEN!!!!!!!

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  2. Rest in eternal peace, Brandon. You deserved so much better.

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  3. It will never be enough until we get rid of the crazy fundamentalist fake Christians. Never!

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  4. Most children learn their bigotry at home. If there was a zero tolerance for bullying, the first offense lead to suspension and the second offense lead to expulsion, the parents would be forced to see that their child is a bully and they would have to take steps to stop it.

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  5. Those people who bullied that poor guys are the ones who deserve to rot in Hell. Sorry to say it like that, but I have lived something similar because I'm an Autist as well as being a homosexual. I have been saved and sent to the hospital, before discovering my Autist side.

    Seriously, bullies have ABSOLUTELY NO LIFE!!! I wonder how killing others by suicide makes them more tolerant toward their own lives; shouldn't it be the opposite?

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  6. I say we start standing around hate churches with posters of all the LGBTQ kids their beliefs have helped to kill with posters that say, "how many more have to die until you will see?"

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  7. Welcome to bigoted homophobic ass backwards Texas. The texas school system with our idiotic religious nutjub of a governor is A JOKE. Zero tolerance policy my ass. They don't do shit. I had to drop out of high school cuz of bullying. According to them I was so "mentally ill" I was writing the death threats myself and was imagining the bullying.

    Rip dear angel. So sorry the Texas school system failed you. So sorry that we have a religious wing nut in the governors seat who doesn't have enough intelligence to pour piss out of a boot. Ps I NEVER have voted for the idiot.

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  8. When I was going through this in the 70s, nobody gave a damn. Now its cause celeb. Better late than never I suppose.

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  9. I'm sorry to say this but it has to be said: just as bullying needs to be stopped in homes, we need to teach our children that there's nothing wrong with them and that high school does eventually end. We need to let them know that this happens, it sucks, but it DOES end. If these kids have enough guts to come out of the closet then they have to be prepared to deal with this crap. I came out when i was 15 and i was bullied to no end. My mother told me the best thing i ever heard: high school is only four years.

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  10. “To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason, and whose philosophy consists in holding humanity in contempt, is like administering medicine to the dead, or endeavouring to convert an atheist by scripture.” — Thomas Paine, _The American crisis_ (1776–83) no. 5.

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