An openly gay Fort Worth lawmaker's
tribute to four gay teens bullied to death has gone viral.
Councilman Joel Burns became emotional
at a council meeting on Tuesday as he talked about the tragic deaths
of four boys.
Burns said he wanted to talk about an
issue that “pulls at my heart.”
He spoke about the recent deaths of
Asher Brown, Seth Walsh, Billy Lucas and Justin Aaberg as he reached
out to other troubled teens. Brown, 13, shot himself in his dad's
closet on Sept. 23; Walsh, 13, died nine days after his attempt to
take his own life by hanging left him in a coma; Lucas, 15, hung
himself in his grandmother's barn; and Aaberg, 15, took his own life
in July. All four boys were gay or perceived to be gay and routinely
faced harassment from other teens.
Burns suggested that he too considered
taking his own life to escape the taunting and bullying of his
“Yes, high school was difficult.
Coming out was painful. But life got so much better for me. And I
want to tell any teen who might see this: Give yourself a chance to
see just how much better life will be. And it will get better.”
(The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)