by Amanda Bastien

He stared at the gun barrel and pushed the trigger. BAM! His life gone, his family destroyed, and now everyone is asking why. Why did this thirteen year old boy take his own life? Everyday, he dreaded going to school- a place where students should feel safe. He was harassed, verbally abused, and called the cruelest names. Still a child, still discovering himself, but at age thirteen he ended his life. Another boy in California chose to hang himself; he was eleven years old. A total of six boys committed suicide in the month of October. Each of these six boys was gay or thought to be gay by their peers. October was a month of tragedy, and society needs to view it as a wake up call.

Being gay is not a bad thing. It doesn’t affect the type of person you are or the type of person you will be. We, as a society, need to reinforce the rights of homosexuals and heterosexuals because we are all people. October was a sad month, and was a cruel reminder that we need to treat others with respect and kindness, because the truth is words hurt.

Words may not cause physical harm, but the emotional damage verbal abuse creates is unfathomable. All six of these boys could not stand hearing another slur directed at them, and chose death as an escape. Everyday, people are verbally harassed because the way the look, their sexual orientation, gender, race, and even religion. We sometimes forget how powerful words can be, so pick your words wisely. We know cruel words can cause someone to end their life, but imagine the effects of a few kind words…….