Mail Online (United Kingdom) - June 14, 2012
I couldn't make it; I love you ugys: Gay teenager, 16, killed himself after bullies taunted him for two years and threatened to burn him
by: Richard Hartley-Parkinson
original source URL: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2159164/Brandon-Elizares-16-killed-bullies-taunted-years-threatened-burn-him.html
A gay teenager was found dead by his brother after killing himself a day after bullies who had taunted him relentlessly had organised a fight with him.
Brandon Elizares, 16, an Andress High School student, El Paso, Texas, sophomore with bright prospects for the future, but the pressure of threats effected him so badly that he took his own life.
He had been open about his homosexuality since he was just 14 and his family said he had tried to be honest and open with himself.
But it all got too much for him, particularly after one threat was that the was going to be burned alive and shot, and on June 2 the teenager took a quantity of pills that killed him.
Before he died he put his school awards on display in his room and left a heartbreaking note for his family that said: 'My name is Brandon Joseph Elizares and I couldn't make it. I love you guys with all of my heart.'
His mother, Zachalyn, has spoken to ABC-7 about his death, saying she wanted to help stop bullying. She told the channel that before he died, Brandon wanted to be a model, fashion designer, poet or a writer.
She said: 'Art was very dear to him and I think that it kept him sane.'
She continued: 'When he first came out, he told me that he had lost a lot of his friends because he wanted to live openly as a gay person and he did not understand.
'He'd be like "I'm still me. I'm still Brandon, nothing's changed other than the fact that I like boys".'
In his note he said that he was sorry but that he felt terrible because he had to 'hide under his skin', preventing him from being who he truly was.
Mrs Elizares said that Brandon had developed a thick skin towards those who bullied him, smiling and walking away without saying anything.
'It's really sad because I always wish that he'd found his voice and I thought that he was getting better at that since he came out,' she added.
A memorial service is being planned for Brandon tomorrow evening at Holy Spirit Episcopal Church in north east El Paso, organised by Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.
When he first came out somebody threatened to shoot Brandon while he was at Chapin High School.
His mother concluded: 'At the end of the day, he did make a choice and I do understand that. I do. But he also had a right to live his life the way that he wanted to and to be respected for who he was.'
Mrs Elizares and her family is now trying to raise funds to send his body to Hawaii where he was born and brought up before moving to El Paso in 2004.
Last month, a former Rutgers University student was convicted of using a webcam to spy on his gay roommate who went on to kill himself.
Tyler Clementi ended his own life in September 2010, days after Ravi set up the webcam and accessed it remotely from another room showing Tyler kissing another man.
Jurors at his trial earlier this year heard that he and the friend saw just seconds of Clementi kissing the guest, who was identified in court only by the initials M.B.
When Tyler, an 18-year-old violinist from Ridgewood, asked for privacy again two days later, Ravi agreed - then told friends how they could access his webcam.
But this time, the webcam was not on when M.B. came over. There was testimony both that Clementi unplugged it and that Ravi himself put it to sleep.
The next night, Tyler jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge.
Huffington Post online (Washington, DC) - June 14, 2012
Brandon Elizares, Gay Teen, Commits Suicide, Writing 'I Couldn't Make It. I Love You Guys'
Brandon Elizares, a 16-year-old from El Paso, Tex., took his own life early this month after being bullied and threatened at school because of his sexuality, KVIA-TV reports.
"My name is Brandon Joseph Elizares and I couldn't make it," his suicide note read, according to the station. "I love you guys with all of my heart."
The El Paso Times reports Elizares committed suicide the day after he received a threatening text from a classmate.
"He worried about everyone else before himself," his mother, Zachalyn Elizares, told the paper. "He would say, 'It's OK, it doesn't bother me.' My son had a right to live how he wanted to live."
Brandon's mother also said she believed the school did everything they could to control the bullying.
"He's been threatened to be stabbed. He's been threatened to be set on fire," Elizares told KFOX-TV. "They've reprimanded several kids and they did everything that they could."
A Parents, Families, & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) memorial service is scheduled for Friday in the teen's hometown, where donations can be made to the PFLAG anti-bullying fund, the Dallas Voice reports.