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Schoolboy, 15, jumped to his death after rumours he was gay

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  1. O, my God. What a sad news. RIP my dear boy.

    1. Very sad news. We must do all we can to stop kids thinking being gay is wrong.

      1. Jock S. Trap 31 Mar 2011, 7:18am

        Sadly while religion remains so dominate I doubt if attitudes will change. We clearly need some within religion to take the lead and show up the Church by exposing it’s hatred, it’s discrimination and reversing it’s very damaging messages. Without it we can only expect more of these Very sad unavoidable stories.

        1. @Jock (and others)

          Mere speculation that this had anything to do with religion

          Yes a Catholic school was involved

          What this was due to that or due to homophobia heard in the media, or some of the juvenile comments that have been heard in all schools from those with connection to religion and those that don’t or some other reason is mere speculation

          The event is very sad as many of us have said.

          There is ample opportunity to debate the link of religion to homophobia on these forums elsewhere

          Risking dominating this particular thread with a debate on religion (as much as I would encourage it elsewhere) when it may have no relevance to this case is hardly appropriate when responding to such tragedy

          1. “Mere speculation that this had anything to do with religion”

            Not really Stu,

            Religion is the source and the fan for the flames of much of the homophobia in society, it is religion that decided it didn’t like homosexuals and set out to demonise them and suppress them through making it sinful and illegal over the centuries.

            Religion is involved as a contributing factor in most if not all cases of homophobia, homophobic abuse and internalised homophobia as it is the insidious and all pervading evil which allows hatred to have a righteous face.

            No one would worry about being a homosexual (or anyone else being one) if it were not sinful, an abomination or an afront to god which will send you to hell.

            Maybe instead of trying to wriggle your religion out of the blame you would be better growing a pair and address the abuse religion is responsible for over the centuries and still does to-day.

          2. @Dave

            Purely out of right of reply – but will not take this any further because it is speculation in this case and inappropriate (in my opinion) on this thread

            Firstly I am agnostic I do not have faith – I believe passionately in many of the things you say – I just feel this particular thread is inappropriate for those discussions and debates – there are plenty of other threads on this site where we can and do discuss such matters.

            Secondly, it is speculation in this particular case as to whether religion had any invovlement or not

            Just as it was wrong speculation on your part that I am religious – I am not.

            I just think hijacking this thread to have our (understandable) condemnation of religious bigots is insensitive and inappropriate on this thread.

          3. Paddyswurds 31 Mar 2011, 11:36am

            @ Stu I am finding it increasingly hard to square you professed Agnostism with you strident defence of religion on these threads. Why not just come out and delcare your faith and be done with it then we will know where you are coming from.

          4. Jock S Trap

            I will debate with you about religion elsewhere not here

            I dont have a faith – full stop – in the same way as I am white but I support rights for those who are a different skin colour to me I support the rights of those who have faith (but not for their bigotry and ignorance).

            I haven’t supported religion on this thread until this comment, which is more than I intended to – and I don’t support religion anywhere – you seem to overlook my comments condemning religion and merely see the defence of the rights of the individuals. If you can not see the difference then you are either deliberately being obtuse or are lacking sophistication in your ability to seperate those issues.

            Again I have said more than I intended … please can we show some respect to this young mans death and not use this thread to speculate but do that elsewhere – not unreasonable – but you may have good reason to disagree – I am entitled to my view of what is dignifed however.

          5. @Jock S Trap and Padduswurds

            I apologise got the wrong person (so used to replying – both in support and challenge – to Jock S Trap that I typed the wrong name)

            Sorry

          6. Jock S. Trap 31 Mar 2011, 4:20pm

            Exactly Dave G

            It’s not as if a Catholic School is going to say being Gay is natural and that homophobia is wrong.

            Thats the problem, plain and simple. It causes bigotry and hatred. It affects others. It needs to be stopped.

          7. @Paddyswurds

            You are right it Catholic schools can cause bigotry and hatred

            Provide me evidence it did in this case and not speculation and I will accept you are not being insensitive

          8. Paddyswurds 31 Mar 2011, 9:57pm

            @Stu……… Eh….???
            Have you misposted again ……..I said Nothing about catholic schools. I did however comment on your professed Agnosticism whic you have so far ignored!!!1

          9. @Paddyswurds

            No I didnt mis post – here (or elsewhere for that matter, other than those already identified – and those weren’t linked to the substance of the debate).

            If you follow the progression of the discussion above you will see that Catholic schools naturally flow from a number of comments. I know you carefully say that you didnt mention them – that is correct but you made comments that naturally flowed from that.

            Incidentally – we have comments elsewhere in this thread suggesting religion was highly unlikely to be specifically involved in this case.

            It is an important issue to debate. Just not here on this particular thread – there is no evidence that has been provided that proves in this instance religion was an influence. However, you persist and you would expect me to stand my ground and ensure my integrity.

            Lets debate this elsewhere another time.

          10. @Paddyswurds

            Final comment

            I shall cut and paste it for you again so you can read it again because you obviously missed it the first time …

            “I dont have a faith – full stop – in the same way as I am white but I support rights for those who are a different skin colour to me I support the rights of those who have faith (but not for their bigotry and ignorance).”

            I did not ignore my agnosticism – you ignored, chose not to read or missed my comment

          11. Stevieeeeeeee 31 Mar 2011, 10:50pm

            i blame the daily heil.

          12. Jock S. Trap 1 Apr 2011, 10:08am

            Indeed Paddys…

            I apologise that you got the blame for MY post!!

  2. Jock S. Trap 30 Mar 2011, 4:16pm

    Yet more sad and very disturbing news. Yet again a price to pay for homophobia.

    Very sad indeed, My heart goes out to his family and friends.

  3. dave wainwright 30 Mar 2011, 4:16pm

    Tragic , my god son who lives in Cheltenham broke down in tears with his single mother and when asked what was wrong and what was upsetting him he said I don’t want to be gay , as far as we are aware he isn’t gay , but it shows the pressure and stigma that 14/15 year olds have to endure

  4. I live in South Gloucestershire and homophobia from the Council is rampant. We were going to get a LGBTQ Youth group, but the homophobic/religious council put a stop to it.

    This is what one youngster wrote last year: http://s582.photobucket.com/albums/ss264/GayNewsGuy/?action=view&current=DSCF0008.jpg

  5. dave wainwright 30 Mar 2011, 4:25pm

    I note it is a catholic independent day school

    1. Jock S. Trap 31 Mar 2011, 9:16am

      Indeed but some seem to still make excuses for that.

      1. Some do make excuses for bigotry

        Some of us seek to condemn all types of bigotry

  6. This is horrific. How high does the body count have to get?

    1. Jock S. Trap 31 Mar 2011, 7:22am

      I don’t think the church cares so long as they dictate their message of unacceptance.

      They need to take full responsibilty as to what consequences their ‘Freedom of Expression’ and the lives it costs just for them to carry on discriminating. The damage this does to the LGBT and Straight people alike is unforgivable.

      Attitudes need to change and it means nothing unless the Church acts on its on message of hatred.

  7. i am 19 now but when i came out as bisexual at school when i was 15, i received a torrent of abuse/bullying from all the ignorant chavs and religious bigots (most of them muslim). The government needs to do more to encourage acceptance of homosexuality, and to enforce the fact religious belief is not a valid excuse for it

    1. Agreed, the muslims and christians hated me at school, i would always get death threats. My teachers never supported me cause they were homophobic too,( i went to muslim teacher about the harrassment and he actually asked me what does homophobia mean?) and were probably hoping i’d kill myself. That was early noughties , looks like nothing has improved , but got worse. We live an increasingly intolerant society towards lgbt in this country and i expect these suicides will become more common.

      1. Jock S. Trap 31 Mar 2011, 7:24am

        Same here but it was only Christians at that stage. All of my secondary school life was marred by discrimination, intimidation and bullying. All the teachers would do was back it up until my parents pulled me out of that schools in my final year.

        It was hell and wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

        1. @Jock S Trap

          It sounds like much of your schooling was horrific and distressing. I am fortunate that mine was not so difficult.

          It is to your parents credit that they did pull you out of the school – I guess you may have wanted this earlier

          Inevitably experiences like this, whether as someone who has suffered at the hands of bigots or those being bigoted and having seen some level of acceptance of their bigotry, has an impact on other experiences in life.

          It is clear, that some of the important things we need to do is create a cohesive culture of acceptance in schools and wider society, educate and challenge. The culture should be aiming for equality for all regardless of difference.

          I have already apologised generally above for using your name incorrectly in vain – I apologise again personally to you.

  8. The moron coroner should be sacked. How does he know that these rumours didn’t contribute to this poor kid taking his life? This proves beyond any reasonable doubt that hate speech, anti-gay slurs do contribute to violent crimes against gay people as well as pushing the victim to suicide, gay or not. These disgusting kids know that gay taunts hurt then play the victim when they’re prosecuted, assuming they will be if caught. Sickening!

    I think the parents of these bullies should also be prosecuted along with their children.

    1. @Robert

      I didnt hear all the evidence the coroner assessed and evaluated. I would therefore be speculating as to how the coroner reached his decision – as you are in your comments (unless of course you were in the court room or have read a transcript).

      We all know that homophobia can have an influence that causes some to commit suicide

      There are often other factors involved in any suicide case (having investigated some) and I cant comment on this particular one as I dont know – but I suspect you dont either.

      I dont know what you would charge the bullies with (and certainly not their parents – in England people are legally responsible for their actions at 10 years – not the parent). In the same way if someone was bullied because they had red hair or were Asian or were fat or whatever and then committed suicide – which offence would the bully have committed? Harassment required two or more linked events that can be evidenced. They didnt murder or assault. What offence?

      1. David Myers 1 Apr 2011, 6:01am

        Personally, I tire of your appologies for all of those who “aren’t responsible”. I think it is appropriate to conjecture that the institutional homophobia that permeates society in general may very well have ilnfluenced the coroner’s conclusions. So if there are no applicable laws existing at present, to prevent psychological harssment and intimidation, then perhaps it is time to pass some, based on the existing hate crimes legal concepts and applied not only to students in school, but also on the internet. Psychological harassment is a concept that should be explored as a potential legal concept.

        1. @David

          The key issue there is there are many who much more than the negative “arent responsible” actually support the LGBT communities.
          At least you know that its conjecture whether any form of institutional homophobia or similar had any impact in this specific case. That may have influenced the coroner – the key word being may.
          There are offences that would deal with psychological harassment *if* there is repeated unwanted conduct towards the same victim by the same offender. In the absence of this its difficult sometimes to identify offences – there are cases where offences would exist, but not all. Due to this, it might be time to try and formulate some more effective law. That said, I think education to prevent this in the first place is more desirable but ultimately we need some form of sanction too. I think the problem would be the use of the word harassment as precedent is set that that requires the repeated conduct by same offender but it should happen.

    2. Jock S. Trap 31 Mar 2011, 7:32am

      Robert

      I think if anything this shows that we are a long way from educating youngsters. Section 28 may have rightly disappeared but no formal education replaced it so we seem to be stuck with nasty educated children who feel bullying is the norm for anyone considered different. It seems to have gotten worse over the last 10 years and now faiths schools have Labours Amendment 70 I doubt things will improve. Too many opt-outs giving the power to the bullies and nothing to the victim.

      It’s just shameful.

      1. It the parents that anti gay stuff is learnt at home. Educate the parents first

        1. Jock S. Trap 31 Mar 2011, 9:17am

          Very true and fair comment.

          1. It certainly is fair, whether relevant or not to this case – in a general sense it is fair

  9. How terribly sad, and what a damning indictment on modern society that a boy feels his life isn’t worth living because of selfish and cruel people.

    I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and I wonder if in some ways if the LGBT rights people aren’t partly responsible in an indirect way.

    When i was a youngster, some kids might of got the “nancy-boy” or “homo” taunt, but to be honest, most of us didn’t even know what it meant, so these events usually passed pretty quickly.

    However, these days, due to the nature of the politics, gay people are much more prominent in public life, and youngsters attitudes have changed too – some becoming far more accepting, but others seem to have gone the other way.

    I would imagine the average 12yo would know know what gay meant, even if they didn’t understand the “nitty-gritty” bits.

    It must be terrible to be bullied if you are gay, but even worse if you are accused of it when you are not.

    1. David Myers 1 Apr 2011, 6:06am

      You want to blame the gay/lesbian rights activists for heterosexual intolerance and abuse? You’re acting like an Ostrich telling people that maybe if they kept quiet and didn’t stand up for thier rights we wouldn’t have all these homophobes acting out. Its time to hold all elements of society accountable for their actions and their cruelties and their bullying. Zero tollerance for all bullying! Especially in the schools!

      1. Jock S. Trap 1 Apr 2011, 10:11am

        Here, Here!

  10. Very sad case
    Tragic that homophobia still has such dramatic results. Should redouble the efforts of everyone who believes in equality, LGBT or not, to ensure we both confront homophobia and redouble our efforts to improve acceptance especially in schools and expose ignorance and bigotry.
    Tragic

    1. I go with what you are saying, but I really think the difference between active homophobia and simple plain ignorance need to be identified.

      I am sure the lads that did this are probably as sick to their pits as anyone else over this incident, and never realised the ramifications of their actions. Many just see taunting as a bit of fun, without understanding how deep the psychological wounds can go.

      However, there are many religious zealots that know *exactly* what they are doing, and are responsible for a lot of the attitudes that youngsters are brought up with. It is they that need a serious slapping down, whilst everyone else simply needs educating.

      1. Many just see taunting as a bit of fun, without understanding how deep the psychological wounds can go.

        Correct me if I’m wrong Spanner, but haven’t you regularly decried those with too-thin skin these days, and repeatedly said in the past that a ‘little bit of teasing’ (or words to that effect) did no-one any harm when you were young?

        If so, I’m glad to see you’ve changed your tune.

        1. I still stand by my original statements. The occasionaly comments about poofs etc directed at nobody in particular should be brushed aside and treated in the way they were intended, as light hearted jibe. However constant taunting at someone specific is totally unacceptable. I think I had already said in previous posts that a great deal depends on the intent.

          1. Yes, I particularly recall you saying that calling an Indian boy “darkie” was all just good fun and you didn’t find it objectionable at all – though it must have been wholly specific. It seems you operate on double standards.

        2. Jock S. Trap 1 Apr 2011, 10:12am

          Yes Rehan, I agree. I remember Spanners comments well.

          Double Standards indeed.

      2. @Spanner

        Whilst I wholeheartedly agree there is a difference between active homophobia and ignorance, it is speculation whether the “lads” involved were active homophobes or acting ignorantly without understanding – as much as it was speculation as to whether Dominic was gay or not.

        I do not think this particular forum is an appropriate place to play out debate on religious zealots – as much as I agree there are many who have more culpability.

        1. I doubt any 15yo really knows what they are talking about.
          We were all that age, pumped up with bravado and showing off to their mates, “yeah, I’ve had her” etc. when we still had no idea where to put it. I think it’s about time this country put aside it’s Victorian prurience and started talking to youngsters about sex and sexuality and maybe then we might not only stop this vicious bullying, but it might reduce teenage pregnancies in the process.

          Religious zealots may complain that it is wrong, but if it stops a single tragedy like Dominic’s then it has to be a step in the right direction.

          1. I wholeheartedly agree education needs to tackle sex and sexuality in a better way.

            I disagree that people at age 15 are unlikely to realise the potential impact of their actions. Yeah there is bravado – but its no excuse for bigotry, where that is what it is.

            I wont engage in a debate of relgious zealots on this thread

        2. I still thing this has nothing to do with homophobia per se, but more about finding somebody’s weakness and just continually poking it, whether you are a four-eyes, fatty, spotty, skinny, ginger, black, or gay. The point is bullying is about control, if you dig hard enough, you will find a vulnerability. That is really what this is all about.

          You may wish to avoid the subject, but this was a Catholic boys school, and that is not a minor factor to be dismissed. If the administration thing homosexuality is wrong, they are hardly going to condone anti-gay attitudes, even if they are more of the schoolyard variety than hard-core homophobic attacks.

          1. Spanner

            It is speculation regarding the intent of the bullying etc. You may be right it may be less about the homophobia (although it is factually relevant – from the reports of the coroner) and more about control or ridicule.

            The Catholic connection is circumstantially relevant but its again speculation as to whether it actually had any connection is this case. There is schoolyard bullying that has some connection to homophobia found in most schools – faith lead or not – and some more malicious homophobia where faith has no connection.

            I appreciate many of us have views on religion. There are plenty of opportunities to debate these on these forums. I feel its demeaning to speculate and focus on a particular area that we find emotive when we are talking about the death of someone who is personalised.

            You may disagree with me. Lets condemn bigotry of all types. Encourage schools and society to educate in a better way that encourages equality. Passionate debates can be elsewher

          2. Roger and Paola Crouch 31 Mar 2011, 4:12pm

            Spanner you are nearer the mark in your first paragraph. Dom’s school was mixed not boys only and it’s not that Catholic in its pupil population altho the ethos is markedly catholic. My daughter thinks it was about jealousy – Dom had started to make his mark and was becoming popular.

  11. Poor kid. It was never this bad in the 90’s. This is battle that should be fought not wether we can get married.

    1. Paddyswurds 30 Mar 2011, 6:37pm

      I think I’m in agreement with you re the 90s, or else these stories are receiving more coverage nowadays but certainly there has been an epidemic of suicides due to the bullying of gays. It would be interesting to do comparison of these decades.

      1. Paddyswurds 31 Mar 2011, 12:18pm

        @paddyswurds above..”.I think I’m in agreement with you re the 90s, or else these stories are receiving more coverage nowadays but certainly there has been an …etc” whoever posted this comment please be aware that this is not your tag . it is mine and is attached to an e.mail address known only to me and Pink News Get your self a new tag.

        1. So you have an imposter too – thats at least 3 of us

    2. How do you know that, James!? Just because suicides weren’t reported as being caused by homophobia (in so many words) in the past doesn’t mean they didn’t happen.

      1. Rehan

        Gay was never used as an insult when I was at school. I didn’t come out eveyone knew and I was being myself l may not have been liked but I was respected. Suicides may not have been reported its true but in my whole school of 1200 there was never any overtly homophobic actions and we had about 4 gay teachers.

        1. @James!

          You were lucky in that sense. Gay and Poof were regular insults when I was at school. Some of them were targetted at individuals who were perceived (rightly or wrongly) as being gay – and for some it was less malicious, but no less potentially damaging.
          I don’t recall any suicides in my schools or those in the immediate area. I recall the school creating a culture of acceptance generally – but not actually explicitly commenting on issues of sexuality – which could have been beneficial in educating and generating a culture of acceptance.

          1. James!

            ‘Gay’ was only just becoming known in its current meaning when I was at school but I can assure you ‘pansy’, ‘poof/ter’ and ‘queer’ was pretty freely bandied around and I find it hard to believe they were less wounding than whatever the terms used today are.

          2. Stu

            It wasnt luck I reckon we make our own luck. I didnt have a problem with me, expected respect and got it

          3. @James!

            Maybe you are right that you made your own luck – thankfully that worked in your situation. Sadly, it doesnt for everyone

          4. Rehan

            sorry to hear that and you got through it count yourself lucky. I’ll be frank, I got more aggro going to gay bars and clubs, the casual racism threw me I was prepared for everything except gay bigotry. I finally dropped my guard and got a bit battered

          5. No big deal James!, but thanks – however, I wasn’t fishing for sympathy, just trying to make it clear that things certainly weren’t all rosy in the past.

      2. As I said in my post earlier, homosexuality was not as known about years back, certainly not in schools. The LGBT political exposure has been a double edged sword in the fact gay people now know they are not alone, but equally it has also publicised who and what we are to everyone, so there is going to be some people that will use it as a weapon where they didn’t before because they simply didn’t know about it.

        1. @Spanner

          I don’t understand how you can see knowledge of the existence of homosexuals in society is a negative thing. The use of that knowledge by those who are either ignorant or prejudiced is damaging – creating knowledge and encouraging equality which LGBT rights campaigners have done for years is a positive thing.

    3. Yeah, it was never this bad; it was worse. Don’t romanticize times just because of nostalgia.

      1. Ty pole

        Can you clarify what was worse with examples maybe I’m wrong and I dont mind being challenged

        1. James!

          How long have you got? Granted, I was never actually beaten up for being gay/effeminate/different but the name-calling, ridicule and mockery was in some ways worse because many if not most teachers – specially the male ones – ignored it, thereby tacitly condining it, or, worse, joined in. It beggars belief that people can actually think it’s got worse today. And I need hardly add there there weren’t any positive role models to provide hope for the future either.

      2. I left school in the early 90’s and it was as bad if not worse. The word gay was synonymous with the word ‘pariah’. I can only think of two out gay guys in my school, one of whom was shunned by everybody and the other only came out in the sixth form age 18. I was treated with contempt by several classmates just because they assumed I was gay when I had a backache one afternoon and was striking an effeminate pose whilst rubbing my lower back to ease the pain.
        And primary school in the 80’s was worse. Granted there wasn’t the actual use of the word gay as a synonym for ‘pathetic’ or ‘crap’ but the underlying attitude was always there.
        I think everyone bears some responsibility for that prevailing attitude, the parents, the kids, teachers, the media and religious institutions all feeding off each other’s homophobic prejudice.

    4. Jock S. Trap 31 Mar 2011, 7:39am

      It amazes me that we get a story about children being asked at 11 if they are Gay. We’re lead to believe no child could possibly know even though plenty of us did.

      Yet despite this children seem to know about using homophobic language and bullying at that age. So the arguement isn’t very balanced.

      James I think homophobic bullying was probably as bad but as Paddys…says just not reported. Don’t forget we had section 28 which basically meant nothing could be done, though bullying is bullying and schools still had a duty to keep children safe.

      I do think we are tipping this iceberg with this though because all we hear about is either those brave enough to report them or sadly those they die as a result.

      1. Jock S. Trap 31 Mar 2011, 7:43am

        Though I do have to add the homophobic bullying I recieved was before Section 28 was brought in, in the 1980’s.

  12. This is a desperately sad story. And the coroner’s verdict seems inadequate, but was presumably designed to absolve the school of any responsibility. What can we do to improve the situation? Is there a Council Member that can be petitioned to allow the LGBTQ Youth Group that was in planning?

    1. Without knowing the full evidence that the Coroner heard and saw I can’t comment on whether it is legally adequate or not. It feels inadequate however.

      I’m not sure what the other verdicts open to the coroner other than either an open verdict or a narrative verdict

      1. @Jock S Trap

        I suspect its a bit of both – some schools clearly are reluctant to take on a responsibility for homophobic (and sometimes other forms) of bullying. Some schools aren’t sure how to take it forward and how to create a balanced policy and curriculum that generates a culture and I suspect there are other reasons including fear of condemnation from bigots who may twist and misrepresent the intentions of the school – and a reluctance to engage in the potential conflict that could emerge.

        None of these reasons are acceptable. None of them improve the experience of LGBT (or those perceived as LGBT) in schools. None of them create a culture of which the school (and its pupils/staff) can be proud and none demonstrate fairness and equity.

        I have slight compassion for schools who aren’t sure how to take this forward, as some people are frightened that they may say the wrong thing or aren’t sure how to defend equality etc. They should seek help from others.

    2. Jock S. Trap 31 Mar 2011, 7:44am

      Priya

      I think we still have a problem with some schools taking responsibily for Homophobic bullying. I don’t know if it’s that they don’t know how to respond or even if they really want to.

      1. David Myers 1 Apr 2011, 6:20am

        One of the things that has helped, more recently, to make school boards pro-active in trying to stop bullying and homophobia in British Columbia, Canada schools was a successful lawsuit against a school board’s failure to do anything about homophobic bullying of a student in spite of coninual complaining by the student’s parnets. Now schools are starting to institute comprehensive anti-bullying programes in the schools and zero-tolerence for bullying policies.

        1. Jock S. Trap 1 Apr 2011, 10:18am

          An excellent step forward and one I’d like to see here in the UK. Sadly we have too many faith schools which may prove tricky however giving people/pupils the power to sue those schools that fail to protect against all forms of bullying including homophobia would be a great move.

          1. @Jock S Trap

            The power is already there if people chose to use it. It has been use for other issues of inequality such as race and disability against a number of schools or governing bodies.

            I am not aware of any litigation against schools on grounds of homophobia. It might help shake things up though.

            Not sure why faith schools makes it tricky … they can be sued as much as an LEA, a governing body etc etc – and arguably in the current fiscal climate have more resources at their disposal to compensate (if/where awarded).

            I think a small part of the reason why there have been no cases of litigation may be that it would be both a landmark case and set precedent – some lawyers are reluctant to engage such a case unless they are water tight and proving to a satisfactory level of proof of any type of bullying is difficult.

  13. Roger and Paola Crouch 30 Mar 2011, 7:18pm

    We are grateful for all these messages of support. Our son was not in fact gay but was opposed to all types of discrimination. We do not feel that the LGBT community bears any responsibility. That clearly rests with those who chose to taunt him because of his presumed sexuality. If you would like to make a tangible demonstration of your support you can go to Dom’s Just Giving page http://www.justgiving.com/domcrouch4NMCF

    and help support disadvantaged kids in South Africa in his memory. This was a cause dear to his heart. Thanks, Dom’s Mum and Dad

    1. I hope I can speak on behalf of everyone on Pink News, and offer our profound condolences on your terrible loss. The fact that you posted a message here means a lot to us, and even though Dominic was not gay, demonstrates the extent that all youngsters have to suffer such bullying and vindictiveness at a difficult time in their lives.

      We wish you both well, and hope that time will heal your wounds, but keep your fondest memories of your son fresh.

      1. roger crouch 30 Mar 2011, 7:43pm

        Thanks. It’s important to understand that homophobia demeans all of us gay or straight just as racism demeans all of us regardless of colour. The sad truth is that some people are so lacking in self esteem they can only get a sense of it by looking down on other people and of course they pick on the easy targets.

        1. Jock S. Trap 31 Mar 2011, 7:46am

          Here, Here.

    2. Andy Armitage 31 Mar 2011, 1:08pm

      It’s good to see that you’ve come on here to put your point, even though you must be very distressed. You also hold nothing against gay people and, it would seem, your lad didn’t, either. Thanks for sharing your views with us on this comment strand. I’m sure all our hearts are with you.

      1. Roger and Paola Crouch 31 Mar 2011, 3:55pm

        I’d go a bit further than the negative that I “hold nothing against gay people”, i support the rights if disadvantaged and discriminated against groups and i dont like bullying in any form for whatever reason – it’s simply an abuse of power. So far as distress goes it actually helps to talk.

  14. David in Indy 30 Mar 2011, 7:39pm

    Oh God no, not again!!

    Poor little fellow. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. How many more young people must die before society wakes up and does something about this? Attitudes need to change.

    Rest In Peace, Dom.

  15. I completely sympathise with Dominic Crouch. Tragic as it may be, I can completely understand why he chose to end his own life. I’m 32 and currently looking for my own “six storey building”. Suffering from severe clinical depression caused primarily by my sexuality – or, more pertinently, others’ reaction to it – I was forced to quit work and start claiming Benefits. As well as workplace homophobia, the morning tram was a passive schoolboy chorus of “Gay!” “Gay!” “Gay” “Gay!” Everything…Gay. Crap, s__t, pathetic. Essentially, I’d been (indirectly) told I was worthless a hundred times before I’d stepped on the platform. Work was an ignorant, conniving gaggle of dirty looks and off-hand comments that I, surprisingly, tolerated – always convinced I’d never be one of those “weak” gays that stood for homophobia. I started binge drinking heavily and taking drugs, every dirty look and snide comment on the street further chipping away at my armour. (Continued.)

    1. roger crouch 30 Mar 2011, 7:48pm

      Do not take your own life Paolo – you’d regret it if you did and so would those you love and who love you. I loved my son cos he was my son. I wouldnt have cared if he was gay or straight as long as he was happy. And for goodness sake do not jump from a high place – it’s a horrid way to die and you might live and regret it even more. Sorry to be so blunt but I dont want anyone else to die because of stupid hatreds. Take care.

    2. Paolo, there are ALWAYS other ways out of depression. ALWAYS. Don’t let the bastards get you down. Life’s too precious, and short. I has a friend who took their own life. And I live with that nearly everyday, wondering if I could have done more, could have prevented it in some way – it really hurts. Every time I read news stories like this, tears just pour for me, because it just brings it back and I see their face. It’s a cruel world full of hate, but also an amazing world full of love. And you never know, you may meet the love of your life soon. And love heals all wounds. xx

    3. Paolo

      Homophobia is horrific, whoever it is caused to.

      Depression is a horrible thing to face and is often compounded by other issues that impact on us.

      Having been depressed (albeit for entirely different reasons) I can say there is a way out.

      There are people who can help. The fact you are posting this suggests you would like that help. I urge you to ask for it.

      I wish you well. I hope you can find a way through this and look back and feel proud due to what you have overcome and the person you have been despite the challenges you face and have faced.

    4. Whatever you do Paolo, don’t go down that path.
      I know a fair few gay people some of whom suffer depression, but the best way to deal with that is to hook up with local support groups and other supportive gay people. Now you’re on the internet, finding other gay people you can relate to isn’t nearly as difficult as it would have been in the 80’s. And the more like minded souls you find, the less isolated you’re going to feel.
      We’re all rooting for you for a start.
      I knew one of my close gay friends a couple of years back who was in floods of tears at every provocation, and now he’s as happy as I’ve known him with a great boyfriend. I want that for you.
      You’re not as alone as you imagine.

    5. you aren’t worthless and don’t let the scum grind you down,
      couldn’t you talk to your bosses about the homophobia?
      suicide wouldn’t help you either – you’d be missed by people like friends I am sure

  16. This reminds me what utter hell school could be. It is beyond tragic that a boy with everything to look forward to should feel such despair because of ignorant rumours.

  17. (Continued.) Friends wondered what all the fuss was about, that I was being paranoid, adamant that my needing to justify my existence to virtually everyone I met was an over-reaction. A massive cultural shift has occurred in the past ten years, heterosexual adults now congratulating themselves on being colour blind to race and sexuality, wilfully ignorant to the fact that homophobia also needs challenging in the younger generation. This “tolerance” towards gays – not acceptance – has festered and grown into a social cancer that continues to go untreated, despite government lip service to the contrary. Every time a new anti-bullying initiative is proposed, the Daily Mail distorts the facts and scares the s__t out of teachers to the extent that it disappears down the back of the staffroom sofa as quickly as it arrived. Laws may change, but NOTHING is being done at ground level. The majority of schools don’t include homophobia in their anti-bullying policies… (Continued.)

  18. It’s just terrible, I’m so sad for his parents… much, much more needs to be done about homophobia in schools (as well as more generally in social life). Awful. Again, with feeling: it’s ok to be gay….

  19. (Continued.) ,…and teachers let homophobic language go unchecked. The evidence? Anecdotal, but no less relevant for being based on my personal experience. Anyone would think I was a six-foot drag queen the amount of abuse I get. Teenagers catcall me in the street and film it on their mobiles. I get laughed at by students, and have had drinks thrown at me from passing cars. I’ve been punched in the face and needed surgery to stitch the hole where my front teeth went through. And I’m an ORDINARY LOOKING man, hardly effeminate, not looking to provoke. My life is one painful slog. At this moment, I can see no other way out. I take anti-depressants, see a therapist…nothing works. Nobody can change the external hell I get on a daily basis. At one of my previous retail jobs, a customer returned a child’s sweater because her son was being bullied after his mates had taken the shop’s initials to stand for ‘Gay And Proud’. My heart sank. (Continued.)

    1. Paulo
      Youre not alone i get greif almost everyday I changed my journey cause I dont take crap and i’ll be the one going to jail. I’m way too pretty for jail! If your getting aggro on the tram buy a bike or walk, public transport is notorious. Get some help for your depression and try and find a hobby something that will stop you dwelling on the days negative experiences. And get an education it will give you more options and the higher you get up the food chain the less crap you have to deal with. And whatever happens stay focused on the positive things you want to acheive

  20. (Continued.) I suppose the point I’m trying to make is these teenagers are our future workforce, our bosses, our policemen. Given the evidence, many of these will flout equality legislation and circumvent our workplace rights to the effect that we’ll be better off dead. Do we really think a 20 year-old office worker is going to “rock the boat” in this financial climate? In an age where intelligence and experience are outweighed by attractiveness and youth, I feel like the last unicorn in the fifth largest city in Britain.

    1. Paolo: I do not take your comments lightly, and I would seriously seek some professional help. There are many both official and charitable organisations designed to cope and accommodate your problems.

      If nothing else, consider this: Are you the first person this has ever happened to? No.
      What did they do? I know it’s an old cliché, but a problem shared is a problem halved. Speak to somebody and I guarantee you, you will find a way to get your life back. Nothing is worth taking your own life for, least of all the bigots and homophobes that are driving you to do this. If nothing else, I wouldn’t do it simply to spite them and prove that I am a better man than they. You are made of better stuff than them. If you need more help, I am sure there are plenty of people on here that will point you in the right direction. What country/county are you in?

    2. which city is that? and i do empathise with your daily struggle. Britain is virulently homophobic.It is sad that some are completely clueless and ignorant to that fact, and their patronising denial does not help to stop this spiral of hate against lgbt. I do agree that equality legislation does not really effectively protect lgbt peopl from hate crime. I hope you survive this terrible time . I had a similar situation in a very primitive part of london ,but i finally got support from victim support and outrage . Good luck in the future, i hope you can find solidarity with other lgbt people that have experienced similar to you.

    3. try searching for the metro centre in greenwich london. i know you are not in london but they may offer nationwide advice/service or point you in the right direction. I know that they deal with hate crime and counselling/mental health , physical health etc for lgbt.

      1. Try Cairos in Soho or London Friend too or keep posting here for support and advice

        1. With the escalation out of control homophobia in this country, i was wondering are there any specific support groups for lgbt survivors of homophobic harassment/assault or those experiencing it? me , my partner and friends were trying to form one a few years ago , just a safe zone where people could meet to connect and have a sense of solidarity ,that they were not alone going through hate abuse and also provide practical support , which can be comforting.Anyhow it fell through, partly because i was having so much homophobic c**p , where i lived, there was a lot of death in my life at the time also ,i needed the bloody group more than co ordinating it . Anyhow if anyone has any ideas please post. i’m gonna contact london friend bout using the venue.

          1. Jock S. Trap 31 Mar 2011, 9:24am

            It’s an excellent idea rapture.

            A group like that would help a lot of people, victims past and present in a very difficult time of life. Knowing there are others to turn to and knowing thre IS a light at the end of that tunnel.

          2. I dont think We don’t need a physical space a moderated space on the Internet will do

          3. @ jock, yes i always felt like it would have helped me , as it got frustrating dealing with idiots with no empathy. I was shocked no such group existed .

          4. @james! yes, why not have the option of both.

          5. Jock S. Trap 31 Mar 2011, 10:07am

            Some people prefer this kind of hate was hidden.

            It should never be. I just wish they would learn from it.

          6. Jock S. Trap 31 Mar 2011, 10:08am

            Another excellent point. Meeting groups and internet help groups could both be a benefit.

          7. Jock S. Trap 31 Mar 2011, 10:09am

            Sorry, forgot to add that now with this Equality law any internet group wouldn’t be able to be filter legally even from religious schools so it could be an excellent service.

          8. @rapture

            I’m not aware of a specific support group for survivors of homophobic harassment (with the exception of a couple of specifically lesbian groups that may consider they support this issue).

            I am aware of a number of particular groups that support survivors of domestic abuse that target the LGBT communities and of some lesbian support groups that particularly deal with those experiencing harassment.

            I think there is benefit of having a physical support group (if people want to access it) but equally an internet based support site (moderated) would be useful too.

            I think both would be good for two reasons – 1) face to face is very useful for some people but
            2) its not feasible to locate a group geographically convenient for everyone so internet based support may be useful for them and as additional support away from when face to face is available

          9. Rapture agreed
            I reckon that the reason no club like that is around is so that we do not dwell on the negative. Life aint perfect make the most of of it

          10. @jock, stu and james! I do think a physical space is more beneficial from my experience anyhow ,and i don’t see it as dwelling on the negative more a cathersis. Also i personally prefer direct interaction when dealing with such a sensitive issue, as i believe it much more funtioning in communicative skill. It is impossible to perceive intonation etc online. also isolation can be a negative factor when you are in this position and any incentive to get out of it by attending a self help, informative group is a good thing and a positive step at attempting change for the better.

          11. @rapture

            I entirely agree for all of the reasons that you state that my personal preference would be for face to face support groups (not everyones choice or necessarily helpful to everyone – but I have seen them as useful for me and others for other issues in the past).

            I just can see that other people may prefer an online presence (particularly those outside Greater London) and that it could be complementary and supportive of face to face support group(s)

    4. Paolo – without wishing to sound glib there’s a lot more support available for gay people in big cities than in small villages. If you are in a big city, finding gay networks of all kinds should be a piece of cake. I’m sure we’d all help if you told us which one.
      Don’t focus on the bigots, there will always be bigots, but the tide of history and equality legislation is turning against them. Why give a crap about what Stephen Green, Melanie Phillips or Jan Moir would think of us? It’s their baggage, don’t make it yours.
      Surround yourself with people who care, and the people who hate will soon be just like a radio left on in another room which no-one is listening to.

      1. Jock S. Trap 31 Mar 2011, 10:25am

        We’re here too, Paolo!

      2. Well said Flapjack and Jock

        Paulo, I know people have made some very sensible suggestions on here of groups you can contact who might either be able to help you or direct you to others who may be more appropriate for your circumstances.

        I am guessing you are in Sheffield area from something you said earlier – but that is only a guess. If that is the case, I may have a couple of groups that could be useful to you and help you. If that would be useful please do post back on here and later today I will post their details.

        It is other peoples baggage – it hurts when they direct it at us in ignorance or deliberately – but its their problem. I don’t mean to sound glib, but it is a truth. Some people find that concentrating on that helps them get a sense of perspective. However, I do think Flapjacks comments about surrounding yourself with people who care is genuinely good advice.

        1. Paolo, I’m really sorry to hear your story. It must have been difficult to say all this – and I’m really glad you have. I can’t add anything to the many thoughtful suggestions on here, Flapjack’s especially. We’re all thinking of you xx

  21. I would like to send my thoughts and condolences to the family of Dominic Crouch at his tragic loss. Although this is a gay news site, his tragedy highlights how difficult it can be growing up, irrespective of the specific difficulties individuals face. People appear hard-wired into drawing attention away from their own inadequacies by turning their focus to ANY appparent difference in others. There should be a blanket zero tolerance approach to any form of discrimination or bullying and wide spread education related to acceptance of all differences and safe spaces made available to vulnerable children. We would all get on a lot better if we loved more and pointed the finger less.

    1. roger crouch 31 Mar 2011, 8:11am

      Well said and thanks.

  22. I am sure many LGBT share the same sentiments. On behalf of our “lifestyle”, I would like to present you this list of all the tallest churches for you “Christians” to jump from.

  23. Being gay is not a lifestyle choice , it is as inate as race. Being a christian is a lifestyle choice, albeit a bad one ,as you are clearly testiment to that.

    Your comment is evil, vile and putrid just as you. Your perverse hatred of lgbt knows no bounds and you will use any opportunity(no matter how insensitive and malicious) to express your unhinged obsession.

    And i would’nt want to be a member of christianity that has retrobates like you as members .You are morally inferior and so is your cult.

  24. roger crouch 31 Mar 2011, 5:15am

    Bob You are sick. How dare you comment like that on the death of a 15 year old boy and how dare you call yourself a christian – the word you are looking for is bigot. My son, who in any event was straight, would have despised you.

    1. Rob London 31 Mar 2011, 7:10am

      Dear Mr. Crouch, please see my additional comment below. I encourage you to report “Bob” to your local Police as his comments are not only very hurtful but they also entice hatred, are homophobic, and are illegal. You will have the support of your local LGBT Liason Officer. Please contact the Police for further information.

      1. roger crouch 31 Mar 2011, 8:15am

        I may do that. See also my not altogether flippant challenge to Bob to present his views publicly. Im grateful for your support but I wonder whether it’s even worth bothering about such pond life. Beneath my contempt.

        1. It is, Roger, and I’m glad to see his post has been removed.

      2. roger crouch 31 Mar 2011, 11:47am

        Thanks for this. I have and very helpful the were too. Pink News has been very helpful also.

  25. “If a few more homosexuals were to follow in this boys actions us Christians would be happier.”

    Translation:- “I more people I don’t like were to kill themselves, I could worship my god of compassion and love better, becuase killing others makes him and me happy”

    How fcuking stupid are you, Bob?

    Christians, what a wonderfully hateful and hypocritical bunch you are. Listen to the word of jesus much, Bob? Obviously not. You’re not christian Bob, you’re damaged goods. Very damaged.

    1. Jock S. Trap 31 Mar 2011, 8:18am

      So out of all the comments it takes It takes one Christian to show his Bigotry and hatred for all to see.

      Now then were are the one who make all the excuses for them?

      So an example first hand to what the problem is.

      1. I didnt think yours (Jock) or Spanners comments about religion were “right” on this thread.

        I thought those things were best discussed elsewhere and it was insensitive to set that sort of agenda on here when there are opportunities elsewhere on this site.

        The offensive bigot that is Bob (whilst not speaking for all Christians) is not just on the wrong thread – he is just wrong.

        I am horrified he even tries to justify such comments on a thread like this

        1. “I didnt think yours (Jock) or Spanners comments about religion were “right” on this thread.”

          Since the context is that the boy attended an Independent Catholic school, surely this makes religion very relevant to the thread; and curiously central in light of the Popes extreme views with regards homosexuality.

          1. Jock S. Trap 1 Apr 2011, 2:56pm

            Thank you JohnK, Exactly.

          2. I think comments have been very clearly made on this thread by people who know this case far better than you or I that relgiion does not appear to be a factor

          3. Really?

          4. Yeah – people involved in the case itself … rather than those of us who are spectators

          5. Stu, are you not a spectator then?

          6. roger crouch 3 Apr 2011, 6:14am

            I doubt that religion was a factor. Dom was nominally a Catholic and had been baptised as an infant but we never went to church except maybe at Xmas. He’d never been to confession or any of that mumbo jumbo. We’re an Anglo Italian family so Catholicism is as much a cultural tradition as a faith. Dom went to St Edwards because he could get support for his dyslexia and the small class sizes. The school has a Catholic ethos but I doubt that half the kids are actually Catholic and I suspect the kids who bullied my son did so out of spite and jealousy rather than from some deep faith driven hatred. Having said that I suspect that Catholic schools and teachers have even more of a problem in honestly addressing homophobia than secular schools.

          7. Roger Crouch wrote

            “I doubt that religion was a factor.”

            “Having said that I suspect that Catholic schools and teachers have even more of a problem in honestly addressing homophobia than secular schools.”

            – – – – – –

            The head of the catholic church namely the Pope, describes homosexuality as an instrinsic; and morally disordered evil!!!

            Need I say more

          8. roger crouch 3 Apr 2011, 4:52pm

            I meant in the motivation of the kids who bullied my son.

          9. roger crouch 3 Apr 2011, 5:02pm

            And by the way not all Catholics agree with the Pope on all or even most issues. Im not Catholic myself but it’s like the mafia or the old Communist party of the soviet union in that its a hard club to leave and many good people stay in despite rather than because of the Pope. There are examples admittedly few where catholics have been a real force for good – Liberation Theology in Latin america. My personal view is that this is outweighed by the harm the church as an institution has done over issues like child abuse by priests, aids, contraception, abortion etc etc etc etc. But are we debating relion on this thread or the death of a young person because of bullying?

      2. Jock

        I presume you mean me … You seem to think I make excuses for religion

        You misrepresent me

        For your benefit I shall spell it out
        All bigotry whether connected to religion or not is wrong and should be condemned.

    2. How dare some one like Bob claim to be a Christian, when clearly all he appears to be proclaiming is murderous thuggery.
      Very Christian indeed. Think not

      1. Jock S. Trap 31 Mar 2011, 11:00am

        Trouble is these people use their religion to justify such vile behaviour.

        Then sadly we see all too clear where the problem lies.

        1. Jock S. Trap 31 Mar 2011, 11:00am

          That response was to JohnK

        2. Exaclty, and get a way with it unfortunately; it appears.

          When Pat Robinson and the Pope are allowed to get away with the most outrageous claims with regards LGBT people, this just legistimizes people like Bobs hatred.

          1. I agree that when people tell lies or are extremely provocative about any difference that people have (including LGBT issues) and are not held to account in an appropriate and transparent manner then it helps build a culture of bigotry, hatred and prejudice – in some cases making people perceive a legitimization of their inaccurate, ignorant or hostile views. That legitimization can give those who are ignorant a sense of honour in making abhorrent statements or of hostile actions. We need to both create a culture that sees equality and acceptance as the norm and challenge those who fail to respect that culture of equality and fairness. In doing so, we need to take care not to be misinterpreted in our statements and actions and make sure we also demonstrate equality and fairness – then we can truly be respected.

      2. Unfortunately this is indeed the attitude of most religious people. It says in their ‘holy’ books that we should be killed: “When a man has sexual intercourse with another man as with a woman, both men are doing something disgusting and must be put to death. They deserve to die.” Leviticus 20:13

        I have even had one university-educated theology student tell me that 3000 years ago God did in fact want gay people to be killed!

        Their problem is that they believe their book has been written by God: “God-breathed” 2 Timothy 3:16

  26. Rob London 31 Mar 2011, 7:04am

    Bob, your comments are homophobic and are illegal. I have taken the pleasure of not only reporting you to the Pink News, but also asking the Police to investigate your comments. Enticement to Hated is a crime and your last comment could entice others to hatred. It also could be read by someone going through homophobic abuse and make them more depressed and likely to commit suicide. Further, I encourage Mr Crouch to report you as well. How dare you insult his son and family.

    EVERYONE…HOMOPHOBIC ABUSE (EVEN VERBAL) IS ILLEGAL…REPORT IT TO THE POLICE!

    1. @Rob and Bob

      As a former police officer who often dealt with hate crime (of all varieties) I have to endorse that homophobic comments are illegal and that the police have a duty to investigate.

      I notice Bob has reported this to the police and I hope there is strong action taken by the police.

      Insulting words are as damaging as violence (in so ways more so at times.) They are certainly offensive. They are never acceptable and the timing of Bobs vile comments was outrageous, callous and wrong. The direction of his comments was also wrong as Dominic was not gay.

      I would echo Robs comments encouraging all to report homophobic abuse to the police.

  27. In fact, I agree with you but if I had to live with people like you I’d rather die. And until then I think you are sick in the head.

    1. Rob London 31 Mar 2011, 7:15am

      Rick, to whom is your comment directed?

  28. sexuality doesn’t equal lifestyle
    demands like being safe and equal are bad in your eyes?
    many people don’t see the point of religions like christianity and it’s because of people with attitudes like yours and the other homophobes
    your last bit says that you are happy that a 15yo lad committed suicide you sicko

    also – the 90’s we’re crap as I went to school in the early 90’s and nothing was said about gay stuff yet people knew and some could be total idiots

  29. roger crouch 31 Mar 2011, 8:10am

    Ive reported Bob’s comments to Pink News as abuse and emailed the paper to ask them to keep this bigot off this site. I do however extend an open invitation to Bob and any who share his views to come to Stow Rugby Club this weekend and present their enlighted views to my son’s mates.

    1. Absolutely …
      I suspect you won’t get an RSVP!
      I have to admire the dignity you have shown on here.
      I can’t begin to imagine the emotions and difficulties you and your family have experienced.
      I am so sorry to hear of what happened – its a sad indictment of intolerance (whether based in fact or not) in our society.
      I wish you well for the future and I hope that Dominics death is a catalyst for change to give an extra memory to all the wonderful ones I am sure you already have.

      1. roger crouch 31 Mar 2011, 9:23am

        No worries Stu. My son was a lovely lad, hard as nails on the rugby pitch, kind gentle and thoughtful of it. He hated discrimination of all kinds. One of his last acts was to run flat out for half a mile cross country to fetch help for a friend who had an epileptic fit. I suspect it was jealousy that provoked the spreading of rumours but bullying is so hard to prove and unlike hate crime the intent of the perpetrator is considered. Big issue here for the LGTB community I think. I’ve known so many kids who were bullied because of their actual or presumed sexuality. We wouldnt toleae this if it were race or gender.

        1. Jock S. Trap 31 Mar 2011, 10:10am

          Too true.

        2. My… there are no words, really, Mr. Crouch… :'(

          If only a more fair-minded folks were familiar with this…

          TEACHINGS OF THE ECOKOSHER REBBE – HOMOSEXUALITY & THE HEBREW BIBLE http://tiny.cc/kv8r8
          http://home.earthlink.net/~ecorebbe/id18.html

          …then perhaps they would shout down the bigots on more occasions and thus improve society’s current malicious attitude towards LGBT’ers.

          I’m no Bible scholar but the info in that link appears to de-bunk the Christian faith’s ‘abomination’ BS but good.

          “Those who BELIEVE they know everything can’t learn anything. Those who merely THINK they know everything, can.”

  30. roger crouch 31 Mar 2011, 8:39am

    I have now reported Bob to the police, thanks to Rob – London for his advice. I will do the same with any other homophobic bigot who tramples on my son’s memory.

  31. Correct me please if I’m wrong but do this horrible news ever reach BBC news or major papers and discussion panels on TV? If not, why not?

    1. roger crouch 31 Mar 2011, 10:03am

      Made BBC Radio Gloucestershire, was reported in the Sun and picked up briefly on the Wright Stuff during newspaper review. There was more coverage at the time of his death (may 2010) as he was the second pupil in one school year to take his own life. Google his name and you’ll pick up most of the coverage.

      1. May I ask if this happened nearly a year ago why it is only now being reported? Do inquests take that long?

        1. Roger and Paola Crouch 31 Mar 2011, 2:34pm

          Yeah 10 and a half months after he died and the Child Death Review (another legal requirement when someone under 18) dies unexpectedly has yet to complete. Dom would now be 16 and a half doing his GCSEs if he’d lived. We didnt see the coroners file until Novemebr – 6 months of hell with only his hastily scribbled notes to go on. Nearly drove me mad trying to work out what had happened and why he did it.

  32. This has really upset me. The poor lad, and his family too.

  33. dave wainwright 31 Mar 2011, 10:22am

    I would direct any who are interested in “doing something ” to effect change in our education in schools, to avert any more suicidal deaths amongst teenagers suffering from homophobic slurs and innuendoes in our schools whether they be gay or straight to check out the amazing work being done by The Matthew Shepard Foundation in the United States of America , they have launched an “ERASE HATE ” campaign and the link is here , they do amazing work going into schools and have resources such as “matthew’s page” where teenagers are able to interact and discuss and get involved , I think we need a pro active group to do something similar in this country and it should be mandatory that all schools should be involved irrespective of their religious denomination, convictions or standing , far to many young people are killing themselves and far to much pressure on ” conformity” http://www.matthewshepard.org/

  34. Andy Armitage 31 Mar 2011, 12:59pm

    Two things seem to be working here. It’s bad enough that (a) people feel the need to spread rumours (I’m assuming the rumours weren’t spread in a “nice” way here), but (b) on top of that we get the idea that being gay is seen as something one would wish to commit suicide over. It’s deeply worrying. The biggest culprits are religionists, of course. If they didn’t have such a thing about what people do with their emotions and their private parts, there would be far less opprobrium cast on sexuality on the part of wider society.

    1. Roger and Paola Crouch 31 Mar 2011, 2:30pm

      Dont jump to too many conclusions here Andy. I doubt that Dom saw being labelled gay per se as the issue. It was much more that it shattered how he thought others especially girls (he was straight) would see him. The pink news story is very brief and odesnt do justice to some of the complexity here. My son was also dyslexic and was just an easy victim for someone who wanted to prove how cool they were compared to him.

      1. Thanks for the clarifications you have made on here. It is rare that any of us get the opportunity to speak to the people most affected and have some of the most to say (or choose not to) about particular events. Your recognition that your tragedy is both a personal event to you, your family and Dom’s friends AND something that can have an impact for good is fantastic.

        1. Roger and Paola Crouch 31 Mar 2011, 8:22pm

          Some good has to come from it Stu and if I cant bring him back id like to to stop another youngster dying whether thats by campaigning against bullying or raising money for a childrens hospital in S Africa. Some would say its just a way of coping with grief but so what! hey maybe if the weblink sums were harder bigoted idiots like Bob would find it harder to post on these threads LOL! Cant believe people still think like that – its 2011 – how many years since stonewall?

  35. Suran Dickson 31 Mar 2011, 1:22pm

    Mr and Mrs Crouch, your dignity and understanding of this issue is utterly humbling. And I’d like to let you know that Dominic’s story is, without doubt, going to prevent more young people taking their lives. I am a teacher who is just about to give up my salary to talk to young people about homophobia full time. I hear too many stories and I see too many children, who may or may not be gay, being bullied mercilessly simply due to a lack of education around sexual orientation.

    I do workshops with young people as an openly gay teacher; I talk to them about my experiences, my family, my happy life and the fact that being gay is actually about as interesting and statistically normal as being left handed. I want them to know that ‘gay’ is not an insult, it just is what it is. It says nothing of the calibre of a person, nor the goodness in their soul.

    I am determined to get a role model into every school in the country to help kids understand this.
    http://www.surandickson.com

    God bless.

    1. Roger and Paola Crouch 31 Mar 2011, 2:25pm

      Good luck to you. Im an ex CEO and DCS so if you ever want a word on preventing bullying do get in touch – I like to think I still have some expertise.

    2. This is a great initiative! I’m sure there are examples of how this message has been effectively communicated within schools, so you shouldn’t need to re-invent the wheel. And perhaps one of the education agencies can give you the necessary scale to implement county-wide and then beyond. I think the message needs to be packaged carefully, so as to anticipate all potential objections.

      1. roger crouch 1 Apr 2011, 10:01am

        I understand that Stonewall is doing work in this area suran – have you contacted them?

        1. Suran Dickson 2 Apr 2011, 1:03pm

          Hi Roger, yes I do work with Stonewall, however our initiative is about putting role models from all walks of life directly in front of kids to demystify ‘gayness’ and prevent it being considered such an insult. There are plenty of successful, happy LGBT people around who will demonstrate to kids that neither being called gay, nor actually being gay, mean that life has to be horrendous. I am also setting up links between schools and businesses so these adults can act as mentors for anti-bullying groups and provide a further place for young people to turn. Unfortunately homophobic bullying is one of those forms of discrimination that leave the victim with nowhere to go – it’s difficult to talk to friends, family, teachers or church about these issues. We want to make sure kids don’t feel so isolated.

          I’d love to talk to you further so do feel free to send me an email through my website if you have the time or inclination.

          1. roger crouch 3 Apr 2011, 6:04am

            I will. Stonewall have been in touch with me as have other LGBT and anti bullying groups and Im talking to some on Monday about how I can help by using dom’s story. Are you on FB? If you are I’ll message you my email and other contact details. by the way there is no shortage of good material for schools to use – the problem is getting them to use it.

  36. I’ve written a little about this in my latest blog.

  37. Ian J Taylor 31 Mar 2011, 5:17pm

    Yet more sad and very disturbing news. Yet again a price to pay for homophobia.

    Very sad indeed, My heart goes out to his family and friend

  38. I took some time last night to read the comments on the facebook group dedicated to Dominic, and have to admit it left me in tears. The obvious love shown by Roger, Paola and the rest of his family and friends was so strong. It fills me with great faith that they have gained strength since their son’s tragic death, and galvanised their local community into doing something good.

    Paola and Roger Crouch, you do your son proud and I’m sure he’s smiling from wherever he is. I sincerely hope that you gain some peace from what you are doing, and whilst I know that losing a child is the most abject pain, I applaud how you have taken the pain and focused it.

    You have my deepest respect.

    1. roger crouch 1 Apr 2011, 10:01am

      Thanks.

  39. No,sorry,I have to say this,in response to ‘Stu’,it is everything to do with religious intolerance & bigotry,especially where the catholic church is concerned.Faith schools by their very nature are ‘institutionally’ homophobic.State schools have enough problem dealing with homophobic bullying even with so-called ‘zero tolerance’ policies in place.But I would wager that faith schools,at best pay scant regard to this particular policy,and at worst wholly disregard it.Whether or not Dominic experienced homophobic bullying within school I wouldn’t know.But I imagine he wouldn’t have received much support if he had.It’s almost irrelevent that he wasn’t gay.The fact that he may have felt incapable of seeking support from his school to at least guide him through his ordeal somehow makes this tragedy worse,if the suicide of a teen CAN be made worse!

    1. Roger and Paola Crouch 31 Mar 2011, 8:29pm

      i think you may be right in general but wrong in this case. gay is the easy slur these days – when I was young – many many years ago casual racism was endemic. Thats pretty much gone now and even if we cant change wot people think we can change the way they behave. Ive workrd with real bigots (BNP councillors on one Council I worked for) and my conclusion is that the bullies and bigots are the real inadequates – externalising their self loathing on to other people be they gay, muslim or black.

      1. Thats the way I was reading the situation.
        As much as there are problems with organisations such as faith schools both in terms of failing to tackle bullying and, in some cases, bigotry – it is important to have balance and not assume every episode of bullying that has elements of homophobia and is connected to a Catholic school is due to religious intolerance. Many are. Too many are. Not every case.

    2. Jock S. Trap 1 Apr 2011, 10:31am

      Paul

      I agree.

      Lets not forget homophobia is a by product of religion no matter how much we want to excuse it or make allowances for it. Fact is if certain teachings in certain religious texts hadn’t been written we would be looking much more positive about life in general.

      1. @Jock

        Absolutely religion has a lot to be blamed for … but we cant blame it for everything … that would actually be being blinkered because we would fail to deal with homophobia that had no connection to religion

  40. This is terrible

  41. Please children do not kill your self because somebody calls you gay. We live in an world where even some Christians who profess love are evil. Know that there will be hateful people who will spread rumors about you and harass you. There are many gay friends ready to help you today and we are fighting back now in a peaceful way to change the evil that people do to others.

    1. Jock S. Trap 1 Apr 2011, 10:32am

      Good comment Moro.

  42. MURDER. PURE AND SIMPLE.First the reputation, then the spirit. All he did was add the body to the pile.
    Youth can be cruel, it seem that the cruelty has become so much greater than when I was younger.
    ” Four Eyes” “Fat,Fat, Water Rat” have become the soul killing ” Fag” “Batty Boy” I actually heard one call another “Cock sucker” .
    We have become a world of base people, civility and care are of the past. Acceptance and Tolerance are theory’s no longer practiced.
    My Sympathy to the family, my pity to us…

  43. It is curious the number of apologists we have for religion on pinknews!

    What are they trying to protect?

  44. I am sure the Catholic hate had everything to do with his death but you fight fire with fire. The real religion is one with a God of love for all and love for one another and we need a religious leader who can rise about the hate that is in religion today and bring gays and straights to a higher level where we can all live together in peace and with love for one another, like was intended before the haters took over the Christian Churches.

  45. roger crouch 3 Apr 2011, 4:51pm

    The police say the homophobic bigot ‘Bob’ will be easy to identify and probably arrested even if not prosecuted. Bob I hope you are outwardly respectable. You will enjoy being taken into custody, having DNA and fingerprints taken, your belt watch and shoes removed and sitting in a nice green cell with a hard bench and rubber matress, a cold steel WC and no clock while you wonder what happens next. Enjoy. Aggravating circumstances means prosecution Bob. So

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