Twitter mourns gay 13-year-old boy who committed suicide after getting bullied
The online LGBTQ community in Australia has united in mourning the tragic death of a 13-year-old boy from Brisbane.
The boy’s mum Amanda Unsworth told a local news outlet her son died by suicide on Monday, after being constantly bullied for being gay.
The shocking news of his death has Queer and non-Queer Twitter users alike calling on the Australian government to protect the Safe Schools curriculum a program created to educate school kids on LGBTQ identities and reduce homophobic and transphobic bullying.
“Tyrone ended up being gay and a lot of people started picking on him,” she Amanda told The Courier-Mail Thursday night. “He was a really feminine male, he loved fashion, he loved make-up and the boys always picked on him, calling him gay-boy, faggot, fairy; it was a constant thing from Year 5.
“I feel like these people who were bullying Tyrone are the cause of why he is not here any more. They pushed him to the edge.”
Less than a month ago, Tyrone was hospitalised, his mum said, following a violent incident with another student in which he was hit in the jaw with a fence paling, requiring surgery.
Aspley State High School principal Jacquita Miller told the paper she was unaware of the bullying.
“We are really sympathetic with the family, and his loved ones and peers,” she said. “We had no reports to the school of the bullying, we really try to work with families to resolve these complex issues.”
While Queensland police investigate the assault prior to Tyrone’s death, social media have expressed their condolences to the family and sent a strong message of support for young gay people going through similar hardships.
Our government wants to cut funding to the program that helps to prevent this from happening. This is why Safe Schools is critical.
Matthew Wade (@MatthewRWade) November 24, 2016
heart is breaking re: tyrone unsworth, what an absolutely unnecessary death. providing support for young queer ppl is so fucking important
allison gallagher (@aewgallagher) November 25, 2016
The Safe School Coalition have issued a statement via spokesperson Craig Comrie, saying “[Safe Schools] exists because research shows that students at safe and supportive schools have better educational outcomes and are less likely to have poor mental health outcomes.
“Research also highlights that young LGBTI [sic] people suffer higher rates of poor mental health and suicide due to bullying and discrimination.”
Tyrone’s grandmother gave the most touching farewell on Facebook, saying: “Now you’re at ease and peaceful, lay to rest my beautiful grandson, you be flying high with the butterflies and your fairy angels will be guarding you way up in the sky our darling little grandson.”
My heart breaks for Tyrone Unsworth. Precious child.
Homophobic bullying is given permission & instruction when performed in parliament.
Sally Rugg (@sallyrugg) November 25, 2016
The Unsworth family are fundraising online for Tyrone’s funeral here.
If you want to talk to someone or are experiencing suicidal thoughts, text the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. For international resources, this list is a good place to start.