Thursday, January 12, 2012

Eric James Borges, 19, May You Rest Peacefully

Suicide has claimed yet another teen and another teen from the LGBT community.  Eric James Borges, known to his friends as EricJames, died Wednesday, January 11, 2012.  He was a 19-year-old intern with The Trevor Project.  Sadly, even being involved with that group couldn't save him.

Like many victims of suicide before him, Eric wanted to help others even as he was struggling with his own situations.  Eric was dealt a troubling hand right from birth as he was unwanted by his birth parents.  Still, he navigated his way through 19 turbulent years, interning with The Trevor Project and becoming a Supplemental Instructor at the College of the Sequoias.  And, through it all, a look at his facebook page info reveals a positive young mind with a great spirit and passion to live...and give.

To the family and friends of EricJames, we offer our condolences and prayers. 

To everyone else, I say never stop trying to reach these young people.  Listen carefully to what they have to say.  Lives are depending on it.  We'll never know if a compassionate ear would've saved EricJames.  All we can do at this point is say Rest in Peace, EricJames.  You were a rising star.

Suicide Prevention Resources

Since October, I've made suicide prevention my "second career".  I'm as passionate about this as I am about my music.  That says a lot!  Whenever possible, and as often as possible, I like to provide valuable information in case anyone is face-to-face with a life-or-death situation.  As we're seeing over and over, it's can happen to anyone.  And, in some cases, as in Alex Frye, we don't even see it coming.

The deeper involved I become in this, the more I understand what an outstanding and equally passionate network of people trying to make a difference.  It's truly amazing, and it makes me very proud (even humbled) to be a part of such an enormous effort.  It really should've come as no surprise when I spent some time perusing the Wipeout Homophobia on Facebook webpage and came across what is probably the most comprehensive compilation of resources I've come across so far.  I would be doing a disservice if I didn't pass along that link.

Great minds think alike.  I've been saying forever that one of the biggest issues with the troubling teen issues, from the bullying to the suicides to other violent acts carried out by troubled teens, is that we as adults fail them when it comes to listening.  We hear them.  Too often, we aren't listening.  Then, suddenly, it's too late to listen.  We're left with having to react to whatever their actions may be, however devastating they are.  That's nowhere near good enough.  On the WHOF page, the first piece of advise is to "be quiet and listen!"  What a concept.  I'm convinced that if the family and friends of then-15 year old Andy Williams had only listened to what he was screaming to them, the two boys he killed would still be alive and he wouldn't be spending the rest of his life in a California prison.  Google it. (yeah, that story got under my skin because he was a Marylander who was transplanted to California to get him away from the bullying.  It didn't work.)

We can never have enough resources available to us.  As I shared earlier in the week, some of the "resources" that are supposed to be there for you sometimes aren't.  One thing we know for sure:  Wipeout Homophobia on Facebook is always there to provide support and resources.  Kudos, again, to you Kel and Whof!!!