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UK: Bisexual teenage father hangs himself in woods after being bullied

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  1. What a terribly sad story! Deepest sympathy to his family !….At this time when we are all happy about the gay marriage bill this is a stark reminder that still for many young LGBT people
    Life is incredibly hard and we still have a long way to go !

  2. Equal marriage is great but all that effort by politicians in tackling the legacy of Section 28 would have saved more lives.

  3. Another heartbreaking story. Many of us try to run away from our sexuality at that age. This poor guy couldn’t cope. My heart goes out to those who loved him.

  4. What a sad story, deepest sympathy to his poor family ,at a time we are all celebrating the marriage equality bill,this is a stark reminder that for many young LGBT people life is still incredibly difficult .

  5. It is outside of the sometimes cocooned settings that people who are “happy with CPs” dwell in that lads like this bear the brunt of homophobia.and ignorance.

    Yet throughout the marriage campaign the “happy CPers” have seemed indifferent to what happens to people who live in less accepting communities?

    1. roderiousd 8 Feb 2013, 2:48pm

      To be fair the ones who focus on same sex marriage as if its a panacea that will end stories like this are just as blinkered. The fact that a gay couple can marry rather thana only have a CP will do nothing to end homophobia, the politicians only want to talk about it because its a soft option

      1. True, it’s not a panacea but a step in the right direction. Every bit helps as our Tesco friends say.

        1. It won’t end homophobia but it will help some kids in families. My father disowned me because he said it hurt him too much that he could never go to my wedding like a father should and my brother in law denies me any right to see my nieces and nephew because I am not normal and live outside of society (I have partner of 20 yrs and I teach-how horrific!) Perhaps a decade or so of marriage rights would have softened his approach-perhaps not!
          Either way,in the rest of my family, marriage trumps all and my partner has been dealt with totally differently than those married into the family (with the wonderful, warm exception of my dearly loved mum who was the only staunch Christian and the only one who accepted my partner as family and loved her as another daughter)
          Anything that helps young people see that there is a future for lgbt ppl and it is recognised by law and the state is a good thing. It is just horrific that it is not happening fast enough and we mourn for another family

  6. Find out who these girls are. Is it possible to tackle them via the law? Get THEM to toughen up!

    1. That’s positive action, Jeffrey. It didn’t occur to me. We need to take real and positive action like that. Is their a group in Lancashire with the balls and gumption to track those girls down?

      1. Joseph oz 8 Feb 2013, 1:17pm

        I was always under the impression that girls were more accepting of gay men. These girls must have been real mean bitches to carry on as they did? I’m sorry that he had to end his life that way… unfortunately, sometimes people forget that; one day school will be over and you won’t have to associate with the school bullies. It’s too late for Anthony but hopefully some lessons have been learnt? I hope that the girls in question feel proud of themselves… perhaps, someone one day will return the favour.

  7. GulliverUK 7 Feb 2013, 6:38pm

    The hate comes from religion and is passed around in schools, and from parents to young people. It’s backed up by discriminatory homophobic laws, most of which we’ve got rid of, bit witness the bigotry and homophobia in Parliament on Tuesday for over 6 hours and imagine what effect seeing that has on young people – I’ve developed a thicker skin and am older, but it still hurts me.

    Why also has the government done little or nothing to stop homophobic bullying in schools – this was in every manifesto, Labour, LibDems, Tory, Greens – yet I’ve seen no action at all. Academies and those new fangled schools don’t even have to record bullying any more. And so, inaction leads to another dead young person. When will this stop. Don’t young people also have human rights? If someone was bullying me I’d report it to the police, why can’t kids report it to the police? Shouldn’t schools have to record all incidents of bullying and have mandatory LGBT history classes – which we know work.

    1. Jan Bridget 7 Feb 2013, 8:57pm

      I totally agree, very little is being done to tackle homophobic bullying. This is an area where the police could take action: they could work with local LGBT youth groups (where they exist) and, on behalf of the young person, tackle the school. This is something very positive the police could do. It is also possible to go to Ofsted, but young people are unlikely to have the confidence to do this – so a supportive adult would come in handy. If there are any young people reading this who are being bullied, please, get support. Have a look at http://www.galyic.org.uk/support/young_people/bullying.html If you are not out to your parents, is there anyone at school you feel you can trust, like the school nurse or the teacher responsible for child safety.

  8. Robert in S. Kensington 7 Feb 2013, 6:44pm

    Opponent of equal marriage should take note. Until full equality is in place, terrible incidences like this might diminish. What some of them said on tuesday was hateful and mean-spirited. Their words resound outside of the Commons and have consequences such as this. The negative equal marriage rehtoric has a direct link to bullying, discrimination and homophobia. I can’t imagine what this poor boy went through. so unnecessary too.

    1. Adele Magee 7 Feb 2013, 7:36pm

      How would equal marriage help this case? When he got his girlfriend pregnant he was 13, not old enough to get married in any form. The case for safe sex education in schools is far more relevant here. Bullying of all kinds also needs addressing by the schools. As for whether this boy was gay or not, it would certainly have been easier for him to deal with if he hadn’t got a girl pregnant – bringing us back to safe sex. No wonder he was conflicted. He had all the problems that adults have trouble coping with and was still doing his o’levels.

      1. You are Wrong. The vicious, vile, homophobic rhetoric used by the nazis against the equal marriage/human/civil rights bill was so grotesque and given such a voice in this country , it would inadvertently at least have promoted hate and evil against LGBT people.

      2. Adele Magee 7 Feb 2013, 10:26pm

        I got things a bit mizxed up. I thought it said the child was two years old, not 4 months. Not sure how I managed that. But I stand by my points otherwise.

        1. Yes , you have got things very mixed up from both your posts..

      3. Seriously !!!! ..re read the story this has nothing to do with sex education ,but endemic and institutionalised homophobia ….and young men and women ate losing their lives because wooly liberals like you refuse to accept the fact that this level of homophobia exists …….FIGHT BACK .

        1. Adele Magee 8 Feb 2013, 3:57pm

          You’re calling me a wooly liberal? Frankly I think he and his girlfriend were extremely stupid to begin with, having sex without protection when both were underage. And if he was uncertain about his sexuality then really he ought to have kept it in his pants until he was sure about what he wanted – and until he was over the age of consent, while we’re at it.

          But I wasn’t going to say that because it was mean and insensitive when the boy in question is dead.

          And exactly WHAT is woolly and liberal about suggesting sex education and anti-bullying efforts in schools? What else is going to stop this sort of thing?

          1. His girlfriend wasn’t underage she is 18 …

    2. Agreed, if there was not such a bbc media supported homophobic lobby concerning the civil rights/human rights/equal marraige debate, this form of homophobia may not have reached it’s severity, but when nazi bigoted people are given such a public platform to preach hate, it is no wonder that LGBT young people in the UK face daily hate.
      Those responsible for the bullying need to be exposed and prosecuted. Apparently these new comps or academies no longer need to report homophobic crimes.

  9. Well LEYLAND, BLACKBURN, HASLINGDEN, ACCRINGTON, DARWEN and all these places hereabouts are the back of beyond. Much of it is Catholic so is it any wonder when you have pronouncements in 1986 from Cardinal Ratzinger – now Pope Benedict xvi- on homosexuality that “although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.”
    Some 5 years later, turning the screw even further, he added “Sexual orientation (is) not equivalent to race or ethnicity (and so it is) not unjust discrimination to take sexual orientation into account.”
    Eh?
    Not unjust to discriminate?
    Some Christian!
    He writes about Jesus Christ but I wonder if he knows anything about Him.
    I would give everything I own to meet Ratzinger, to tell him to his face what I think of him, his poxy views and his poxy cult which I dumped 52 years ago.

    Keith.
    SALFORD

    1. Keith, that is something of an outrageous generalisation. Are you from the area? I am, I grew up in Leyland. It is not as you say and it is naive to imagine that homophobic bullying is restricted to areas of the North West that you consider backward or areas where there is a higher than average Catholic community. Hompohobic bullying is just as prevalent in the leafy suburbs of the South East.

      1. Have I said that homophobic bullying is restricted to……the North West.?
        Where have I said that.?
        K
        x

  10. This is heart-breaking, and a reminder of all that hatred that has welled up throughout the UK over the last six months, during the Same Sex Marriage campaign. We have a long long way to go yet.

  11. To Continue ‘cos I ran out of characters:-

    Is it not STILL a huge disgrace that people like RATZINGER cannot be brought to book, even decades later, for their evil pronouncements?
    Why can they not be?
    If I were to stand up in public and spout that, it was “not unjust discrimination to take sexual orientation into account because sexual orientation is not equivalent to race or ethnicity..” – guess where I’d be looking thro’ within minutes.?
    The back of a police van, that’s where.
    How does Ratzinger know that sexual orientation is not equivalent to race or ethnicity?
    Ph.D in genetics has he.?
    He knows for a fact that ‘gay’ is a choice, does he. or is fostered by inadequate upbringing does he?

    Keith.
    SALFORD

    1. Do you really think these schoolyard savages were behaving the way they were because of Catholicism? I fear the cruder tribal instincts of many levels of society operate quite independently of religion.

      1. Average Man 7 Feb 2013, 10:29pm

        chav mentality has nothing to do with religion.

      2. I agree with you Rehan, but don’t forget that religion condones this behaviour and therefore perpetuates it.

        1. Granted, but let’s not underestimate the viciousness of schoolyard bullies, who seldom require organised religion as a basis for their brutality.

          1. Adults often use religion as a pretext for bullying. The mentality of the school yard bully in adult bodies.

    2. I’ve never thought of those areas as particularly Catholic. I would have thought there was more of a strong Methodist tradition, that has changed somewhat with the growth and development of the Asian community.

      When I go to Lancashire, it does feel like a million miles away from London and a bit scary.

      Still, this is very sad news.

  12. That poor boy – my blood boils when I read things like this. The schoolyard is really the last refuge of the savage in the modern Western world, isn’t it? Where were the teachers and the head of the school? Why was such bullying allowed to go on for 2 years?

    1. Those are the questions I’d like answered too. Who knew about this bullying and why wasn’t it stopped? Bullying HURTS. I’m sick of people saying things like “Oh, they were just mucking about. They didn’t mean it. You need to toughen up” etc etc. No-one should have to ‘toughen up’ because bullying like this shouldn’t be happening.

      My deepest sympathies to the family and friends of this young man. It’s always upsetting to read about suicides of young people who should have had their whole lives ahead of them. Utterly tragic.

  13. … and religion has blood on its hands AGAIN. Religion is the last bastion of bigotry and homophobia. Every time a religious believer utters another vile, hate-filled anti-gay statement, it legitimises, in the mind of the mindless, that it’s OK to victimise someone on the grounds of their sexuality. Religion MUST stop its incitement to hatred before more confused teenagers end their own lives in such a tragic way. It’s scandalous. And all in fhe name of god. Pah!!!!!

  14. What about a concerted nationwide campaign of anti-breeders bullying, very open, very loud, just to see how they feel about it hey? Let’s fight fire with oil, to teach the idiots a lesson. And it still goes on, when will we as a community , UNDERSTAND that playing nice doesn’t work??? Jewish youth don’t show the other cheek to neo-nazis. Young black men and women don’t just politely complain about racist attacks… yet as gay men an lesbians, ALL we do is write online, sometimes rally, lobby, drink champagne at Westminster. Unfortunately, most of us DO NOT HAVE THE BALLS to fight…and for it to work, we will have to get physical. Oh I can hear the politically correct moral liberal brigade already…but remember they will ALWAYS be the ones never ready to put action where their mouth is. Who’s with me??

    1. I’m with you, Blue.

    2. It’s not ok to bully anyone. Encouraging LGBT young people to bully is not going to help. All you get is more bullies and more unhappiness.

  15. “I think there should be someone in schools to
    support teenagers who may be going through
    this confusion.”

  16. jacqui pollock 7 Feb 2013, 10:09pm

    This Is so sad and unaceptable,something has to be done here otherwise it will carry on with more young people taking their own lives.I am willing to help do something or be part of aa group to tackle this.

  17. It’s sad that this young man felt his life was so difficult that leaving life was the only real escape. It must have been torture for himself and his partner to got through such relentless bullying. I note that the fact this boy suffered biphobic bullying, that no one could deal with the idea he was in an opposite-sex relationship despite appearing effeminate, seems to have been overlooked in the comments. I think if there was more support for people going through this then he might still be here. I know I really struggled accepting being Bi, and I’m only glad I’d already come to terms with it when I entered fatherhood and wasn’t stuck in as hateful environment as him.

  18. Tragic and very sad, may he rest in peace.

    What I find irritating about this story is that the mother seems to blame his “confusion”, his bisexuality for his suicide and not the relentless anti-gay bullying he had to endure. I agree with her that schools need to support LGBT teenagers but at the same time they have to tackle the real problem: (anti-gay) bullying! Speaking of, what happened or will happen to his (female) bullies now? Will they face any consequences of their hateful actions or will they get away with it?

  19. A very sad tragedy! my heart goes out to all these impacted by this in his life and their future.

    One issue touched on through out this situation by readers is the issue of anti bullying. In his mothers interview she spoke at length of trying to grasp and comprehend his situation to better understand.

    What is not often recognized is bullying it the aftermath! how many times do we see a situation and say “stand up for yourself” “Man up” “Don’t be a baby or a wuss” at this stage the bullying is already happening and we aren’t helping because we to are bulling the person to be stronger! we need to be intuitive to the situation so we can help address it not compound it. By the time we know how bad it can get like this situation help and prevention is no longer an option.

    Antony’s mother recognized the symptom and tried to help.. and that is another issue, if her son was so good at hiding how bad it was, when is the time to recognize an issue and intervene and be reactive to symptoms?

  20. This just breaks my heart.

  21. Terribly sad. Homophobia has definitely played a role here, especially in the vicious torture inflicted by the tribal bullies, and this has been well-discussed in previous comments, but another issue I’ve not seen mentioned is bi erasure.

    When so much of the country still acts like you have to be one-or-the-other in regards to sexuality, no wonder this poor bi lad would feel so confused and conflicted by his own sexuality – he clearly did love his girlfriend, but wasn’t straight. The continuing trend of regarding bisexuality as ‘a kind of gay’ deserves to be addressed – B is a letter in LGBT after all.

  22. Shocking stories like this never make the national headlines. You have to ask why that is? You also have to ask where is the responce from the schools that allowed this homophobic bulling to take place? Indeed where is ANY responce! We been in the national headlines over equal marriage rights, but when it comes to tragedy and death it seems it’s not worth a mention! The lack of voice from offical quarters is what is shocking worring over cases like this! Someone,Stonewall, an MP needs to speak out before more deaths reach us once again without responce!

  23. your heart just sinks when you read this kind of news –

    Listening to LBC radio in London the day the equal marriage act was being debating the number of callers who express hatred for gay people – under I have gay friend so i cant be homophobic but…

    1. Joseph oz 8 Feb 2013, 1:30pm

      Yes, they all have gay friends but…
      They want us to be good little people.
      Stay in our place and not rock the boat!

      The funny thing is, that many straights who have gay friends can be very homophobic…
      They seem to think it’s fine for them to have all the rights and privileges but if you’re gay…
      You don’t need or deserve the same rights.

  24. RIP

    Section 28 is the reason schools are a breeding ground for this behaviour

  25. Jan Bridget 8 Feb 2013, 2:14pm

    If you look at the college prospectus: http://www.wellfield-high.lancsngfl.ac.uk/download/file/Useful%20Documents/Wellfield%20Prospectus.pdf Anthony is there on the first two pages. Sort of begs the question why didn’t they make him safe in school??? Why didn’t Ofsted in their inspection identify homophobic bullying as a prioblem?

    1. Jan Bridget 8 Feb 2013, 2:52pm

      Just done some more digging on the college website. Surprise, surprise, have a look at their equality statement: http://www.wellfield-high.lancsngfl.ac.uk/index.php?category_id=142 – you will see that sexual orientation isn’t mentioned!!!!

      1. Jan Bridget 8 Feb 2013, 3:05pm

        Bullying was identified as a problem in their Ofsted report last year!!

  26. Those girls should be prosecuted for murder, their lives should be destroyed just as they have destroyed Anthony’s family.

  27. Edmund Rodgers 9 Feb 2013, 4:46pm

    I really think the term fa**ot should become as unacceptable and morally repugnant as using the ‘n’ word. A campaign is needed.

  28. Sujay Kentlyn 9 Feb 2013, 10:35pm

    I think queer communities must share some of the blame, for making bisexual identity either invisible, or seeing it as being confused about sexuality, just a stage on the way to a stable gay or straight orientation. About time we value and nurture our bi folks as well.

    1. GulliverUK 12 Feb 2013, 5:11am

      I don’t think that is a product of the gay community as much as it is a direct result of the need to define boxes to fight the homophobia of religion. They are the ones who force people to take a side – I’m straight, I’m gay, without a proper acknowledgement that historically we have know for a long time that each person is somewhere on a scale between straight and gay, and on that scale we also have a range of fluidity, but that complexity (simply a fact) makes dialogue and argument too difficult and bogged down.

      We definitely need to wholeheartedly acknowledge, support and speak-out for the “B” part of our community – they must not be ignored or feel second-fiddle. We have to find a way to re-word the dialogue with our enemies to be completely inclusive and acknowledge the diversity – that isn’t just gay and straight.

  29. your either Gay or Straight, NOT both. Both (Bi) is just greedy. and just gives us gay men a bad name. If you want kids then be straight, dont tar gay men by claiming your bi.
    If you have sex with men your gay so be gay, dont screw around with women, if you do your straight so be straight.

    1. How do you deduce this? My god, if feel unquipped to say anything other than do fuck yourself.

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