Down in El Paso, Texas, Brandon Elizares, a sixteen-year-old Andres High School student killed himself last Saturday after being bullied for over two years.
He was openly gay.
"He got bullied simply for being gay," his mother, Zachalyn Elizares said. "He's been threatened to be stabbed. He's been threatened to be set on fire."
For being gay.
But, what makes this story different, is that Zachalyn Elizares reported the bullying to the school district, and she says they did all they could to stop it.
"They've reprimanded several kids and they did everything that they could," Elizares said.
But, Brandon friends say that last Friday, after more episodes of bullying, someone insulted her son and planned to fight him the next week.
On Saturday, after running errands, Zachalyn Elizares came home to find her son's body: "My son had every right to live his life the way that he wanted to, without having to fear that people would call him names or threaten to beat him up," she said.
And he did, as do all LGBTQ youth. But how can they, when we live in a world that sees politicians consistently tell them they have no value, that they have no rights that they are less then.
How can any young LGBT person feel safe in this country when you have pastors and preachers and so-called men of god saying we need to be locked up, or that the government needs to kill us?
How can we expect children to treat LGBTQ youth with compassion and tolerance and acceptance when they are being taught every day by religious leaders and political leaders to do otherwise?