More sad news to report today as word comes of four more teen suicides, at least two of them from within the LGBTQ teen community.
We are just learning of Justin “Chloe” Lacey, a transgender teen in Eureka, CA, who shot and killed herself just days following her 19th birthday. And Aiyisha Hassan, also 19, the daughter of a high-ranking executive in Marin, CA took her life last week.
Both deaths appear to mirror that of other teens who have recently committed suicide due to fears of bullying and acceptance.
Chloe’s mother, Allison Murphy, said she never knew her son was transgender until he was about 16, when he saw a television show about being transgender and ‘Chloe’ said, “Boom, that’s it.”
But, when Justin decided to transition into Chloe earlier this year, family members say she struggled with fears of harassment and abuse.
“Who wants to see a young man walking down the street with a dress on? In his eyes, that was the worst fear of all time, for someone to throw rocks at him, beat him up. It’s just the overall society judgment is what did this,” said Chloe’s mother. [KFSN-TV]
Chloe killed herself on September 24.
There are few details related to Aiyisha’s suicide. She was a former student at Howard University in Washington D.C., and according to reports, Aiyisha killed herself on October 5.
Lauren Morris, 21, a senior at Howard, who lived in the same building as Hassan from 2008-2009, said she had introduced Hassan to the University’s LGBT student group, C.A.S.C.A.D.E.
Morris told Metro Weekly that friends say Aiyisha’s suicide was related to her struggles with her sexuality.
”She was having a lot of trouble with a lot of different things,” Morris said, ”but mainly her sexual identity and just trying to express that.”
A service for Aiyisha will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13, at Westminister Presbyterian Church, 2230 W. Jefferson Blvd., in Los Angeles.
We have also learned of two additional teen suicides in the past week in San Rafael, CA, although it is not yet known if the teens were LGBT, or victims of bullying — names of the teens have not been released.
Officials at Miller Creek Middle School said a 13-year-old male student died on Sunday evening or early Monday morning. The student was found at about 7:15 a.m. Monday by another student who was walking to school.
Just one week earlier, a 15-year old female student at Terra Linda High School also died in an apparent suicide.
On Sunday, we reported on Zach Harrington, 19, an Oklahoma teen who committed suicide after witnessing a “toxic” and “homophobic” debate over LGBT History Month at the local city council meeting.
Update, 10/13/10: A preliminary autopsy determined that the Miller Creek student died by asphyxiation after hanging himself in a public area, just as the Terra Linda student did.
“We have learned that they knew each other, but there has been no connection that would indicate one (incident) was the cause of the other,” said Marin County sheriff’s Lt. Barry Heying.