• Jaheem Hererra- Tormented by peers, Hererra hanged himself with a fabric belt on April 16, 2009. He was 11 years old.
• Asher Brown- Bullied, tripped down stairs, taunted, on September, 23, 2010 Brown shot himself in the head. He was 13 years old.
• Carl Joseph Walker Hoover- Hanged himself on April 9, 2009 in response to gay bullying eventhough he never identified as a homosexual. He was 11 years old.
• Lawrence King- on February 12, 2008, a homophobic peer shot King in the head at school. King was 15 years old.
• Seth Walsh- on September 9, 2010 Walsh hanged himself from a tree to end the gay bullying. He survived ten days on life support before passing. Walsh was 13 years old.
• Sakia Gunn- May 11, 2003, Gunn was shot in Newark, NJ as part of a hate crime. Gunn died at age 15.
• Lance Lundsten- 18 years old, committed suicide on January 16, 2011.
• Nicholas Kelo Jr.- on February 23, 2011 Kelo shot himself because he could not handle the bullying. Brilliant and a black belt Kelo could not overcome the pain of his peers. He was 13 years old.
• Billy Lucas- after being called a fag, Lucas hanged himself in a barn on September 9, 2010. He was 15 years old.
• Gwen Araujo- On October 3, 2002 at a party several men assaulted and brutally strangled and beat Araujo to death in a hate crime. This was in response to her being a preoperative transgender woman. Araujo was 17 years old.
of a hate-crime. Martinez was murdered on June 6, 2001 in Colorodo.
Alabama, whose burned and partially decomposed body was discovered on July 22, 2004, a few miles from the mobile home in which he lived. He had been beaten, strangled and stabbed numerous times, partially decapitated, and his body doused in gasoline and set on fire.
In addition to the students, this painting features other layered metaphors.
• In the courtyard you will find an illustration of a fence and red cardinal representing the landmark Matthew Shepherd hate crime as remembered through the play and film The Laramie Project.
• By the door you will find a Keith Haring Poster. Haring was an artist and social activist who died from AIDS at the age of 31.
• On the chalkboard the Robert Indiana Love sculpture poster as well as Harvey Milk poster plaster the edges. Robert Indiana is an openly gay artist. Milk was as an American politician who became the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California, when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. A homophobic colleague Dan White assassinated him on November 27, 1978. Milk became and advocate and icon for the LGBT community. The poster features his quote, “Hope will never be silent.”
• Other subtle posters include the human rights campaign sticker and the Trevor project poster on the lockers as well as the GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network) Safe Space poster.
This is just a sampling of how adolescents have been affected by homophobia. Hopefully this piece can help bring awareness to this epidemic and begin to create a safe space for all students.