A Trevor Project teen volunteer has reportedly committed suicide weeks after filming an It Gets Better video.
Just a month after participating in the video project advocated by many celebrities, EricJames Borges was reported to have committed suicide, shocking close friends and supporters.
Speaking to ABC News, a close friend of Borges, James Criss said “He advocated pro-life for gays. He wouldn’t want anyone to [commit suicide]. It’s so shocking that he did it himself.”
The reasons behind the teenager’s suicide are unknown at present.
A vocal supporter of LGBTQ rights, Borges, known as EricJames, moved to California in 2011 after becoming estranged from his family.
He was interning at the Trevor Project, a charity of which the main aim is to prevent suicide among LGBTQ youth.
Laura McGinnis, the Communications Director at The Trevor Project, released a statement saying: “We are deeply saddened to hear about the tragic death of EricJames Borges, and our hearts go out to his family and friends, and his community. EricJames was a dedicated, trained volunteer. Our main concern right now is that those affected by his death feel supported and can get the care they need.”
In his YouTube video, Borges, discusses being bullied by peers and family, and the physical, and emotional abuse he received, including being assaulted in a classroom with the teacher present.
He also talks about an attempted “exorcism” where his mother tried to “cure” him of his homosexuality.
He said: “I came out in an attempt to educate others about the consequences of homophobia and the adverse affects it had on my life.”
At the end of the video, Borges talks about getting over the difficulty of coming out, and the future.
Criss said that in the days leading up to Borges’ death, there were no warning signs of any intention to commit suicide “He seemed like the normal old Eric the last time I saw him. He was fine. I couldn’t tell anything was wrong with him.”
The case has similarities with that of Jamey Rodemeyer, a 14-year-old boy from Buffalo, New York, who killed himself last year. Rodemeyer had recorded an It Gets Better video after suffering homophobic bullying.
EricJames Borges’ It Gets Better video is below.