Showing posts with label Gay Suicide. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gay Suicide. Show all posts

February 23, 2017

New Study Finds Gay Youth Suicide Rates Dropped After Gay Marriage Law

Youth who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual are four times more likely to attempt suicide in the United States than heterosexual kids. But there's hope. A new study from the pediatric journal JAMA found there is a correlation between states where same-sex marriage was legalized before the Supreme Court decision that made it legal federally and lower rates of LGBT suicide attempts. Results showed a fall in suicide attempts unilaterally for youth ages 15 to 24, but LGBT teens' suicide attempts declined the most.

The investigation compared the 32 states where same-sex marriage was legal to 15 where it was not and found that from 1999 to 2015, the number of high school students' suicide attempts decreased in states where it was legal. According to the report, which describes LGBT youth as sexual minorities, suicide attempts fell by 14 percent for these most at-risk teens. Better still, the suicide attempts for people ages 15 to 24 fell by seven percent in states with legalized marriage.

While the investigation does not explore why there is a correlation or a causation for the decline, it does suggest that a waning social stigma might contribute to the drop. "Legalization of same-sex marriage is also often accompanied by media attention and increased visibility of sexual minorities which is associated with increased social support for the rights of sexual minorities," the study says. "This increased social support could translate into improved familial and peer acceptance of sexual minorities, which has been shown to be associated with improved mental health."
The investigation was limited by means of measurement, as well. Researchers relied on self-reported suicide attempts and did not control for race or socioeconomic class. Without further study, too, the evidence remains inference. More investigations are necessary to determine why and how such a correlation exists.

Despite its constraints, the study's results are particularly important given the uncertainty surrounding the Trump administration's sentiment toward the LGBTQ community. Vice President Mike Pence certainly has a history of restricting LGBTQ rights when he was governor of Indiana. The good news is that this study provides evidence that there is a major benefit to lifting restrictions on LGBTQ rights.

February 10, 2017

UK: “The Church is Driving Gay People to Suicide”

The Church is driving homosexual people to suicide because of its negative and discriminatory attitude towards same-sex relationships, a major Christian charity has concluded.
A report by Oasis warned that churches must take a ‘disproportionate share of the blame’ for the mental health issues of people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual.
The charity found that every denomination of the Christian church in Britain, except for the United Reformed Church, held positions which actively discriminate against people with same-sex partners. Rev Steve Chalke MBE , Founder of Oasis, said, “It is no secret that the negative stance taken by the Church, and so many individual local churches, has a hugely distressing impact on large numbers of lesbian, gay and bisexual people and leaves countless numbers of them living lives of forced secrecy and dishonesty.  
“Tragically, it is also common knowledge that the resultant anguish and distress often leads to spiritual, mental and physical harm, and in the worst of cases to people making the desperate decision to take their own life.
“We will take a long hard looking the mirror and see the consequences of what we have said and done staring back at us.”  

The report warned that the negative stance taken by the church had driven some to suicide  CREDIT: YURI_ARCURS
The report concluded that local churches are ‘one of the biggest organises discriminators’ of gay people.
The research was released in part to respond to the report from the House of Bishops which restated the Church of England’s opposition to same-sex marriage and will be discussed at the General Synodmeeting next week.
The charity called for the Church of England to fund more research into the issue and also give more money to mental health charities.
It also said that liberal members of congregations must do more to ‘make their position heard.’  
                                            I Males                                                                                 
______________  76%I______________        _______24%_______I Females
  Data | Male suicide in the UK
Males Females

Suicide rates by age
Per 100,000 population
Men under 30
75 and over

Data: ONS

  The report said: “Churches that are inclusive to lesbian, gay and bisexual people, need to find effective ways of presenting this to local communities. We would encourage people in every church group and denomination to be as courageous as possible in championing the position that they believe in.”
Rev Chalke added: “Any doctrine, any policy, that causes destructive hurt and alienation cannot be born of a theology that reflects the God of the Bible."

December 29, 2016

Gay Couple Commits Suicide as Allegations of Sexual Misconduct are Made

  Matthew Deyo and Aric Babbit

The pictures and rest of the story can be found on the url at the end of the page. I just want to introduce the story and concentrate on the part that a married gay couple were accused by a teen they had acquired as friends from both the school were one taught and the other was a mentor to the teen when he came out as gay. The police reports a total of eight boys which came out and some state they met one of the couple at a Hilton Hotel for sex and others taken to a couple’s cabin. The police did find a cam hidden on a clock in the bathroom and from it there were naked pics.

This story exploded three months ago when the body of the couple was found at San Juan County in Minnesota but the friendship with this particular boy was long going (This posting is concentrating on this 16-17 yr old boy because I see evidence of a relationship which could have been sexual and was something that was going on for the last four years or so). It’s hard to believe no one was aware of it or wether it developed into anything else but mutual liking for these three individuals.

This couple accused of all the things you can imagine when parents find out their 17 yr old was skinny dipping at their pool and they hugged and kissed at occasions and other kids had come out with sex stories.  The couple was Aric Babbitt, 40, and Matthew Deyo, 36. Ten days after the story broke they shot each other with a gun. They ran away to a deserted beach feeling as one wrote to his mom on a note “too great to overcome” to explain and fearing what sex charges would do to their life, guilty or not and not able to move out to another country like Julian Assange (wiki-leaks) did when accused of rape in his country.

The original charges that probably were to follow (they were not charged as of their death) enough to scare anybody particularly people that are not law breakers but had their emotions carried them away from a proper conduct in dealing with underage kids even if they have already reached the age of consent. The way I know the story and the way you can place it on your mind like everyone will, because there is nothing wrong on many people’s mind of what went on and there is a bunch of crimes on the minds of some others including making someone gay. There are too many details that came out for which there is no proof, I am basing my description of this story on what is out to the public and most of it can’t be disputed by a rational human being.

There is no proof there were sex involved just a close relationship which became unprofessional and improper because the role this couple played as older guys in a position of power over the kids on particularly this 17 year old mind. He is the one that came out years before and it seems he is the one that bragged that these couple were his boyfriends (to his parents, Im sure you can imagine the scenario in which he would say that,  even without malice or with malice being pissed at one or both of the guys for any particular reason).

The parents regained hope that maybe their son was not really gay but made so by this couple. When I put all the pieces together I get a friendship which started mainly because this 17 yr old believe he was gay and was coming out years earlier and seeking support established a relationship as he was coming out as gay, which we know that is a very difficult time in a kids life which will be made so much easier by being supported by all people, a gay couple! One that was even married.

 If you are educated about “gay” as a sexual orientation, not just an uneducated mouth piece that repeats what people were saying about the LGBT community before it became improper because it was not true then you You might be believe someone could make you gay.   No one has the capability to make someone gay or non-gay.
Let me repeat it in a way it can be pictured: If someone gets turn on by vaginas the way Donald Trump does and may be the father of a gay son it does not mean all healthy men would want to. Even if they do because they are bisexual the desire for the same sex would not disappear. This is so well known now I can say “google it” and pick the answers from a non profit, non religious, educational or health organization.
Sexual attraction happens in the brain not in the sex organs., Im sure you have seen someone gorgeous getting married or dating someone with really bad physical looks.

I feel I need to post this story but the way the media has been posting about it makes me feel bad and unable to just repost because we lost two human beings in their prime because of their bad judgement, unprofessional behavior, stupid relationship with a young man full of testosterone going through the usual growing pains of growing up gay and knowing it. The death penalty was not the proper punishment.

There are some other kids that have said the couple got close to them but I read nothing factual to that and we know for sure that most if not all the parents were interrogating all the male kids to see if they were molested, kissed, held, went to the pool or are themselves gay by their parents. Meaning other non factual stories were bound to come out.

What ever kids this couple was friends with feel, will now be scarred more for this couple death’s than their friendship with them was, as improper it might have been..They have their lives for the couple doesn’t.  This couple did not turn against each other which is usually what happens in cases with two defendants. They faced death together because in their bad judgement death was better than what they thought was waiting for them even if they could fight it.

What would you do if accused? What would you do if you are friends with guys which are still young enough but older to be your father and you are under 18 and they want to see you naked or touch you?

adamfoxie*blog International

*Other boys described being plied with alcohol and marijuana at Babbitt’s and Deyo’s home, Babbitt’s family cabin and Deyo’s parents’ farm before “it got weird.”

Videos show Babbitt filming himself masturbating in a school bathroom and in his empty classroom, near a student’s desk.

Text messages between the two men revealed the planning that went into their abuse of the boys.

Babbitt, referencing a boy staying overnight, texted Deyo: “Make sure the alarm clock [containing the hidden camera] ends up somewhere good. I was going to surprise (victim) with hot tub … in case it improves chances of skinny dip.”

In another text message, Deyo asked Babbitt, “Should I be expecting a scantily clad 40 yo and (victim) to give me some hugs and kisses this weekend? I just want to be able to hug and snuggle (victim) for a couple mins without (victim) feeling awkward.”

Babbitt responded by texting, “You just need to grab him and make (victim) sit on your lap every once in awhile.”

“Outlasting the Gay Revolution” spells out eight principles to help Americans with conservative moral values counter attacks on our freedoms of religion, speech and conscience by homosexual activists.

Even as police were conducting their search of the pair’s home, Babbitt and Deyo were planning to flee the St. Paul area. On Aug. 16, the men drained their bank accounts, purchased $860 in camping gear on a credit card and went on the run.

The couple was found dead on Aug. 25 on a beach on Lopez Island in northwest Washington state, having died the previous day in a shotgun murder-suicide, ruled the local coroner. Deyo killed Babbitt before turning the weapon on himself, according to the report.

They left a note on the dashboard of their car describing their time on the run as the “vacation of a lifetime,” and saying it “brought great peace to end it on Lopez.”

A suicide note mailed to Deyo’s parents said that some would characterize the pair as monsters, but they were not. Calling the accusations against them “too great to overcome,” it said they had decided to “choose our own destinies rather than experience the embarrassment, ridicule, hatred and inevitable loss of freedom that the justice system would give.”

South St. Paul schools Superintendent Dave Webb said Tuesday that the district is providing grief and mental-health counseling for students and staff, as well as offering training for staff on trauma, mental health and early warning signs related to sexual abuse.

“As a school district, we strive to provide a safe and secure learning environment for our students,” Webb said.*

December 18, 2016

Award Winning Porn Actor Alexander Gustavo Dead at 33


Last Saturday December 17 the body of award winning porn performer Alexander Gustavo was found shot in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was a self inflicted wound the police declared. Gustavo was only 33 years old.

Gustavo had a famous (to many) crown tattoo on the front of his waist. 

His body was found sunday morning by fellow performer Jaxton Wheeler who was returning home after a night of filming.

Tragically acceding to the police Gustavo single shot himself in the head. It seems he died instantly from the head wound.

Jaxton Wheeler who found Gustavo was his roommate and best friend. Adamfoxie blog feels real bad for any performer straight or gay who ends their life so young having not experience fully their journey in this world. Our condolences to all his friends and all close to him.


December 5, 2016

’Tyrone Cried Before his Suicide Afraid of Going Back to School’ A friend Confirmed

 Tyrone Unsworth was a  happy kid inside the home. Loved to dress up and make others laugh

A gay teenager broke down in tears the day before his suicide, telling a friend he was afraid of returning to school.
Gypsie-Lee Edwards Kennard told 7.30 she was on a fishing trip with Tyrone Unsworth when he revealed the extent of the homophobic taunts he was facing from other students.
"He was an absolute mess, crying his eyes out and telling me everyone wants him dead and I said, 'Tyrone, what do you mean everyone wants you dead?'," Ms Edwards Kennard told 7.30.
"He said, 'The kids at school keep telling me to go kill myself', and I was obviously gobsmacked.
"[The other students] did call him nasty names, like faggot and fairy.
"He loved girly things, he's chosen dresses for me and his mum to wear, he's asked to use makeup.
"Kids obviously thought because he's like that he could be a target for their bullying."

If you or anyone you know needs help:

Ms Edwards Kennard said she pleaded with him to seek help from his teachers at Brisbane's Aspley State High School.
"I said, 'You need to speak to someone [at the school]' and he said, 'They don't care'," she said.
"He just felt like no-one wanted him around and he didn't belong.
“It's really hard to hear that from a child that's only 13 years old." ‘This kid picked up a fence paling and hit him from behind' One month ago Tyrone was in a fight with another student outside of school hours that left him hospitalised.
Queensland Police is investigating the assault.
"A kid and him, they fight a lot, this kid picked up a fence paling and hit him from behind and knocked him out and broke Tyrone's jaw," Ms Edwards Kennard said.
 His grandmother Twiggy Jones said the
 Tyrone with Mom
assault had a major impact on Tyrone.
"He was very upset and sad and he didn't want to go to school," she said.
"We tried to force him but he just kept saying, 'No, I don't want to go back to school.'"
Aspley State High School has admitted it knew about the assault but said it had no idea homophobic bullying was occurring, something Tyrone's family disputes.
Principal Jacquita Miller declined to be interviewed by 7.30, but in a statement Education Queensland said:
"Tyrone was absent from school following the incident and the school attempted to make contact with the family regularly," the statement said.
"The school has the best interests of the family and school community at heart in handling this matter."
Tyrone's family and friends have called for change before more young people die by suicide.
Ms Edwards Kennard said she wished Tyrone had experienced a supportive environment that allowed him to open up.
"I wish that he could have expressed the feelings that he had and I don't know why he couldn't, and this one time that he did to me, afterwards he had to pretend everything was fine," she said.

 On Sunday hundreds of people gathered in Brisbane to remember Tyrone, with people asked to dress in bright colours, something he loved.

Tyrone's mother, Amanda, was due to speak but cancelled due to her ongoing grief.
Speakers at the rally called for the controversial Safe Schools program to be made mandatory to prevent bullying of queer students.
"I had a gay daughter who, in her mid-20s, committed suicide," William, a man in the crowd, told 7.30.
"She was bullied and vilified from the beginning of school because she was different.
"It shouldn't happen, we should have Safe Schools in all schools.
"We need to protect our kids from bullying."
Gay university student Christopher Hanson spoke about how he wished Safe Schools was available for him, who as a teenager hid his sexuality and struggled with depression.
"When I was in high school and I suffered from poor mental health," he told the rally.
"Safe Schools hadn't yet come into existence and there wasn't really anything like it in its place but I wish there had been.
"Instead I had to find support for myself."
Mr Hanson's said his school made the situation worse by providing sex education that ignored his sexuality.
"Sex education throughout all of my schooling essentially pretended that any kind of sexual or gender diversity didn't exist," he said.

                      'Schools want to provide education about sexuality'

                                                                                 Many queer young people in Brisbane, like Mr Hanson, turn to the organisation Open Doors for support. General manager Pam Barker said most of their clients had experienced bullying.
"Taunting, name calling, hitting, kicking, spitting, telling of stories and spreading of rumours [is common]," she told 7.30.
Ms Barker said many schools want to provide education about sexuality, but remain afraid of discussing it properly.
"They're scared that their children will turn gay, their children will become transgender, that we're teaching something outside of religious beliefs," she said.
“Parents may backlash and get upset about it and they want us to tell the students about being sexually diverse or gender diverse but [they say], 'Don't tell them that much or don't say this or don't mention homosexuality or don't mention transgender'."

November 29, 2016

Australian Boy 13, Takes His Own Life Due to Bullying

  Tyrone Unsworth with his mom

The bullying started when Tyrone Unsworth was just beginning to understand he was gay. (Warning: Some readers may find some language in this article offensive.)
He ignored the taunts as best he could. His favorite saying was "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me".

But a month ago, Tyrone was involved in a violent clash - allegedly with another student - outside school. According to his mother, Tyrone required surgery after being hit in the jaw with a fence paling. The attack left him afraid to return to school.

Then last Tuesday, Tyrone took his own life. He was 13.

Mother’s vow to help others

Amanda Unsworth said her son, a boy with bright blue eyes who dreamed of becoming a vet or a fashion designer, had been bullied about his sexuality for years.
Classmates at his high school in Brisbane, Australia, called him "fairy", "gay boy" and "faggot".
"I feel like these people who were bullying Tyrone are the cause of why he is not here any more," she told the Courier-Mail newspaper. “They pushed him to the edge."

Aspley State High School principal Jacquinta Miller said no claims of bullying had been made.
"Neither the student nor his family ever came to us to say there was a problem of any kind," she said in a statement. “If they did, we absolutely would have stepped in."

On Friday, Ms Unsworth posted to Facebook an image of herself holding a newspaper story showing Tyrone's face and the headline "bullied to death".
"We Love and Miss you so much Tyrone," she wrote.
“We will stand up and fight to get as much awareness help and support for others out there, SAY NO TO BULLYING."

‘Safe Schools' debate

Tyrone's story has ignited passionate debate since it was first reported and widely shared on Friday.
Much discussion surrounded the merits of a controversial Australian education program me, Safe Schools, that aims to stop LGBT bullying in schools.

According to its website, Safe Schools is designed to create “safe and supportive school environments for same sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse people by reducing homophobic and transphobic bullying and discrimination in schools".

In March, the Australian government made sweeping changes to the program me after Christian groups and conservative MPs said it raised sexual issues that were inappropriate for teenagers and young children.

One Safe Schools opponent, Queensland MP George Christensen, at the time said the programme had been "gutted of all its bad content".
However, advocacy groups have maintained it should be expanded, pointing out the suicide rate among same-sex attracted youths remains a cause for concern.

According to depression awareness group Beyond Blue, young LGBT Australians are six times more likely to take their own lives than their peers. Bullying and violence increase the risk of self-harm, it said.

‘Real lives are affected'

Writing in The Monthly in response to the tragedy, Sean Kelly said even a “glancing acquaintance with common sense" would show that children are influenced by the environments adults create for them.

"Too often we forget that real lives are affected by political arguments," he said.
The Courier-Mail’s Lauren Martyn-Jones wrote that Tyrone's death was a reminder that homophobia can have tragic consequences.

“Tyrone Unsworth is just the sort of kid the Safe Schools programme was established to support, before it became mired in controversy and ended up as a whipping post for the right-wing, anti-PC brigade," she said.

In the Guardian, Dameyon Bonson wrote an opinion piece entitled: "I am Indigenous. I am gay. Unlike Tyrone Unsworth, I survived."
“We need to understand his life experience, and how political discourse may have challenged his hope," he said.

October 25, 2016

Engaged but Closeted Scottish RAF Flyer Found Dead

 Robert Fleeting found hunted just before

The family of a Scottish soldier found hanged in his room insist that he did not kill himself and may have died as a result of a ‘besting’.

Robert Fleeting, 24, from East Kilrbide, was found dead at RAF Benson, Oxforshire, in September 2011.
A coroner ruled that the senior aircraftsman, who was engaged to be married, hanged himself after having consensual sex with another man.

A postmortem examination found rectal damage on Robert, but the medic that he had sex with said that Robert was not the receptive one when they had intercourse.

However, his parents Charlie and Susan suspect foul play and believe he was killed to cover up an initiation ceremony that went wrong.
Charlie said: ‘Two police officers came to the door and told me that Robert had passed away and gave me a number to call.

(Picture: Justice for Robert)
(Picture: Justice for Robert)

‘It was RAF Benson. I was told immediately that Robert had hanged himself in his room.
‘The police officer in charge also said later it was “a classic suicide”. But the more inquiries we made the more inconsistencies emerged.’
Robert was found hanged in his room with suicide notes to his family in the room.

On the night before, Saturday, September 3, 2011, Robert and some of his colleagues from RAF Benson went out for the night in nearby Henley, where they were joined by medics from the base.

Witnesses said Robert danced, appeared to be happy and was not drunk.
He was discovered the next day when two friends went to find him after he failed to turn up for his shift.

An inquest found Robert, who was engaged, took his own life after having sex with a gay medic and struggling with his sexuality.

The post-mortem examination took place at the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford two days after Robert’s death, which is when rectal damage was detected.
The body was returned to the family – still unaware of the findings – and cremated, with the permission of the police, less than two weeks after the death.

Charlie says that he has no problem that Robert had a homosexual encounter but until then his family believe he was entirely heterosexual.
He had had several girlfriends, he was engaged to be married and had just given his fiancee £300 for a wedding dress.

At the inquest in April 2012, the Oxfordshire coroner Nicholas Gardiner concluded that Robert had taken his own life.

He said: ‘One difficulty which has been put to me is the fact there is no indication he had homosexual tendencies prior to this event.
‘That is one powerful argument – that he might have been distressed that a homosexual act had occurred.

‘That would have been a dreadful blow to someone who was engaged to be married. I strongly suspect it was that realisation which caused him to take the action he did.
‘If he did take that action, I cannot conceive it would be an accidental event given the notes that he left.’

The ‘suicide’ notes, addressed to family members, scrawled and sprawling, apparently written when intoxicated, were likely to be Robert’s, according to an expert handwriting witness.

Charlie said: ‘We don’t believe these to be Robert’s. His grammar and girlfriend’s name are wrong.
‘Robert was very close to his sister and if he was leaving this world he would have mentioned Stacy-Anne.’

The case was referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission that found there had been failings by Thames Valley Police. One being the lack of explanation as to how he suffered internal injuries.
There were also questions raised about whether he would have been able to kill himself the way he did.

The report also questioned the failure of the inquiry to establish whether a specialist knot used was one that the RAF man could perform.
Charlie Fleeting claims that he could not.

The IPCC also slated the police for accepting the word of the key witness, the medic, despite him giving contradictory statements.
Charlie said: ‘Right from the start police made up their minds that it was a suicide, there was no proper investigation.

‘No investigation of [Ray’s] room, no fingerprinting, or DNA, no explanation of the T-shirt, which clearly wasn’t Robert’s, no explanation of where his underwear went to.’
The family have now obtained a penal notice from court ordering police to hand over all of the files on the case. Thames Valley Police has until Wednesday, November 2, to respond.
The RAF conducted its own inquiry but it has not been shared with Robert’s parents or made public.

July 18, 2016

Lonely Struggle as Gay LDS Member Decided to End His Fight

Harry Fisher on his LDS mission in Rochester, New York.

On the night of February 12, 2016, Harry Fisher spent a few hours online: He scrolled through Facebook, checked his email. He searched Google Maps for nearby canyons and read through the lesson plan for a Sunday school class he would not live to teach.
Fisher navigated to, the official website for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and clicked on a page he knew well: the church-issued "Gospel Doctrine Teacher's Manual." 
From there, Fisher visited the webpage of the assigned lesson plan for the upcoming Sunday; it was titled "I Know in Whom I Have Trusted." The last section of the lesson suggested asking class members to analyze a chapter from the Book of Mormon and report on how the scriptural characters responded to discouragement.
    Perhaps Fisher was looking for answers himself.
    The 28-year-old Brigham Young University student was under stress in his final semester at school. He had fallen behind in his classes and failed a job screening that his mother said he had placed high hopes in. And in his last month of life, he publicly outed himself as gay on Facebook.
    The Sunday school manual's answers were meant to be a model for Latter-day Saints to follow. Some suggested answers included: "Read the scriptures," "Trust in the Lord and look to Him for support" and "Engage in mighty prayer." 
    This was the last webpage Harry Fisher ever visited.
    A search and rescue team used Fisher's internet history to locate his body high above Israel Canyon, a scenic hiking destination south of Salt Lake City, Utah. That history also paints a portrait of a man in his last days, struggling to reconcile his faith with his sexual identity. Death in a digital era lacks a sense of finality. Social media profiles remain, frozen in time. Personal videos can be replayed, and for a moment, the dead are resurrected in pixelated form.
    For Fisher's father, Paul Fisher, Harry's internet search history and Facebook profile provide pieces of a puzzle -- an incomplete jigsaw of Harry's last thoughts and final feelings.
    Paul Fisher shared his son's final Facebook posts, corresponding comments from friends, and a 30-day internet search history with CNN in an effort to shed light on who Harry was, what he loved, and what he believed. Harry's mother, Claire, also spoke with CNN. 
    The Fishers, who are divorced, agree that being gay was a source of loneliness for their son. They disagree to what extent the Mormon church played a role in fostering feelings of isolation. 
    Claire Fisher is a Mormon; Paul Fisher, though married to Claire for a decade, never joined the church. 
    But this much is clear: Their son's struggle to reconcile his faith with his identity was not his alone. Mormon leaders have been laboring to create a welcoming atmosphere for all members -- gay or not -- even as they hold fast to doctrines that regard homosexual acts as sinful. 
    On February 12, Harry Fisher closed his computer, leaving one last virtual fingerprint on Paul Fisher said that sometime in the hours that followed, Harry left his apartment -- taking his Bible and Book of Mormon, but leaving behind an empty gun case and a typed note. 
    With his Brigham Young University hoodie in his passenger seat, Fisher drove his 1995 Toyota 4Runner south from Draper to a final destination resonant with religious overtones: Israel Canyon. 
    Fisher left his scriptures in the passenger seat, bookmarked on Matthew 16:25: "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it."
    A search team found Fisher’s body 11 days later, lying atop the canyon overlook with a gun at his side and three of his Mormon church membership cards in his pocket, Paul Fisher said.

    Harry's identity 
    Raised in the church, Mormonism constituted a foundational aspect of Fisher's identity -- but it was not his only identifier. He was a committed son and brother, a beloved bridge in a family split by divorce. He was a sci-fi junkie who avidly followed the Avengers, the Japanese anime show "Naruto Shippuden" and Star Wars. 
    He watched Portuguese language tutorials online, listened to Dan Carlin's podcast "Hardcore History," and reverenced Dostoyevsky. He ignored emails about overdue books at BYU's Harold B. Lee Library. He supported Bernie Sanders. He was also gay.
    Fisher publicly identified himself as gay only after he left his job with Ancestry, a website for genealogical research staffed by many fellow Mormons and headquartered in Lehi, Utah. In a January Facebook post, he disclosed how being both a member of the LDS Church and gay had been particularly difficult.
    "Many of my friends and family already know this, but for those who don't, let me let you know I'm gay. It hasn't been a secret, but I wasn't completely public with it before now because I worried that while I was at it might hurt my opportunities for promotion. Some of my closest friends at Ancestry were pretty openly anti-gay, so while I don’t know if any of my bosses were, and don't think they were, it seemed safer not to risk finding out." 
    Ancestry spokesman Brandon Borrman said the company was "deeply saddened" upon hearing of Fisher's death.
    "We were also horrified when we read of the concerns he had while he worked here. We believe this is (and strive for it to be) a place where everyone feels welcome and can live their lives without any worry of self-identification, retribution or discomfort. That said, we do not operate in a cultural vacuum. ... We hope that we can honor Harry's memory by continuing to improve ourselves as a company and by fighting for equality in the communities where we operate."
    Fisher's post went on to share that "being gay in Utah while being a Latter-Day Saint can be hard. ... It seems like every couple of Sundays I have to go out to my car to keep from crying at church."
    He then thanked those who had said "positive things about gay people, even if you didn't know you were talking about me. It really means a lot."
    That post gave Paul Fisher relief. "I thought, 'He's come out, he's OK. He's taken that big burden off of himself and everything is going to be fine.'
    "I couldn't have been more wrong."

    'Looking for a bullet'

    In the hazy wake of Harry's death, the Fishers are grasping to answer the most pressing question raised by suicide: Why?
    The Fishers, like many families, are left to deconstruct last words, subtle intonations, prolonged sighs -- pegging the formerly inconsequential as missed opportunities for intervention. There is always another clue to analyze, more to try to make sense of.
    In Harry's suicide, as in many suicides, there is never one simple answer. Paul Fisher believes the circumstances leading up to his son's death were complicated.
    In early January, Fisher decided to take on 22 credits in his final semester at BYU, where he had a 3.98 GPA. The heavy course load was an attempt to graduate by summer and move to Washington, D.C., where he was applying to become part of the Metropolitan Police Department.
    Harry's father believes his son saw the nation's capital as an escape.
    "Harry was looking for a more socially progressive community. He viewed D.C. and a job with the police department as his way out of Utah," Paul said.
    The week before final exams, Harry skipped school to fly to Washington for the physical portion of the police department entrance exam, which included a timed obstacle course. 
    He failed it by 2 seconds, his father said. 
    On his way home, he searched online for the appeals process for the entrance exam. Then Harry called his mother to tell her he was going to take the rest of the week off school, saying he "needed a few days to reconsider his options."
    Several days later, he was dead. 
    "It seems to me in retrospect that [his death] was really thoughtfully done and had been considered as a contingency," Claire said. "I believe there was a part of him that was looking for a bullet. He got to a point where he was just done."

    Latter-day labels

    On the day Fisher's body was found, Elder David A. Bednar, one of the church's top leaders and considered a "prophet, seer, and revelator," made media waves when he said, "There are no homosexual members of the church."
    Bednar was responding to a question posed by a member in Chile, who asked, "How can homosexual members of the church live and remain steadfast in the gospel?" 
    Bednar continued his response by encouraging Mormons to identify first as "children of God" instead of with a particular sexual identity. Nonetheless, Bednar's remarks incited a conversation among Mormons on the importance of language in sexual identification. It also ultimately pointed to another question: Is there room for gays in the Mormon church?
    The LDS church's labels for those on the LGBT spectrum have evolved over the past century. Before 1950, the church referred to homosexuality as "the sin that dare not speak its name," occasionally using the Biblical term "sodomy."
    In the 1960s, "homosexuality" entered the church's lexicon after leadership became concerned that the "practice" had begun to "infiltrate the church." The church began to use the term "same-sex attraction" in the mid-1990s, encouraging gay members to avoid "over identifying with [their] temporary mortal condition."
    Today, the church continues to use the term "same-sex attracted" when referring to gay members. One notable exception exists: the church's public-facing website The site was first released during Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign as an effort to address the church's stance on sexuality to the public. Targeted for a nonmember audience, the website is the first instance in which the church uses "gay" in an official publication.
    The church stresses that all, regardless of sexual or gender identity or marital status, are welcome to attend worship services weekly. But to be included in church records as an official member, congregants must abide by certain standards of conduct. Mormon members are taught that attraction to a member of the same sex is not a sin, but marrying someone of the same sex is. 
    Still, senior church officials have admonished members to reach out to gay Mormons with love. 
    "As a church, nobody should be more loving and compassionate. Let us be at the forefront in terms of expressing love, compassion and outreach. Let's not have families exclude or be disrespectful of those who choose a different lifestyle as a result of their feelings about their own gender," Elder Quentin L. Cook said in a video released in 2012 on
    The church's desire to reach out to gay members is coupled with a doctrinal imperative to take a protective stance in advocating for traditional marriage. Mormon theology is founded on a core doctrinal belief that marriage between a man and a woman is essential for salvation in the highest levels of heaven. 
    Most publicly, the church organized significant support for California's Proposition 8 in 2008, which banned gay marriage statewide. In the years since, church leaders have expressed the view that all people deserve equal rights civilly. Top leadership has advocated for housing and employment protections for LGBT people. 
    But recent policy changes to church disciplinary handbooks for local leaders requiring the excommunication of members in same-sex marriages affirm that the church's doctrinal stances remain the same. 
    Meanwhile, LGBT advocates worry about the harm exclusionary messages could have on gay and lesbian Mormons.
    "You don't get much greater rejection than a top church leader telling you you do not exist," said Mitch Mayne, a Mormon from San Francisco and advocate for LGBT church members. Mayne was one of the first openly gay Mormon leaders. "I think it was a grave mistake to refer to LGBT identity not as an orientation but as a cross we must bear, a behavior," he said.
    Many LDS members, like Harry Fisher's mother, Claire, agree with the church's position that homosexuality is a challenge to be overcome by a lifetime of celibacy. Claire considers her son's sexuality to be a result of a "chemical effect" on his body, a "challenge" faced in his "imperfect human condition."
    "We spoke about these affinities a little over a year ago," Claire said, describing the time when Harry came out to her. "I asked him where he stood, and he said he had full intention to live within the bounds the Lord has set for these appetites and passions. He thought of himself as basically a Mormon monk."
    Still, Claire recognizes Harry's celibacy was a source of loneliness. "I think he may have seen this as an escape. It all came crashing in, he snapped. This was not an act of rebellion, of being angry at God, of being bullied at church, he just succumbed to the loneliness."
    Paul Fisher has a different perspective. He said he was not aware of his son's choice to remain celibate. "I just assumed one day he would show up with a guy at my door and I would meet his boyfriend."
    In January, unsubstantiated claims of an increase in suicide among gay Mormon youth prompted a public statement on gay suicide from the church-owned paper, Deseret News.
    "We mourn with their families and friends when they feel life no longer offers hope," church spokesman Dale Jones said. The article went on to outline how "constant love" from families and congregations can decrease risk factors for LGBT youth. However, church officials drew a line between "acceptance of a youth" and "embrac[ing] the individual's sexual identity."
    This is the difficult balance the church is weighing as it seeks to promote principles of inclusion while standing by its doctrinal positions.
    And now there are heightened consequences for gay members of the church: Choosing to live with a partner or marry a member of the same sex are grounds for excommunication.
    The church made that policy change last November. It also addressed the children of same-sex unions, rendering them ineligible for baptism until they are 18 years old and willing to denounce same-sex marriage.
    When the policy was leaked online by a whistleblower, the Mormon church found itself at the eye of a public relations hurricane. Thousands of members gathered in the church's Temple Square in Salt Lake City to resign from the church. Petitions circulated demanding disaffiliation with the Mormon church. College athletic teams across the country were encouraged to boycott games and matches with church-sponsored Brigham Young University.
    According to his father, Fisher followed the response to the policy change closely.
    "I don't know if [gay marriage] was something he considered," Paul says, "but he did express to me at a dinner after he came out publicly on Facebook that he hoped within 10 years the LDS church would allow gay marriage."
    Claire disagrees, saying, "Harry wasn't waiting for the brethren to come to their senses on anything."

    'Love is like a surgical knife'

    In the month before he died, Fisher renewed his "temple recommend" card -- identification used by the church's most faithful members to gain access to sacred LDS temples.
    He successfully passed a "recommend interview" with his bishop. His support of church leadership as "prophets, seers and revelators" was required to pass the interview and gain access to the church's most sacred places of worship. In Mormon doctrine, his eternal fate was contingent on the answer.
    In the interview, Fisher was not explicitly asked about his sexuality. The 10 questions required to receive a recommend are uniform in congregations across the world and none require members to state their sexual identity. He was, however, asked about his adherence to the church's Law of Chastity -- the standard prohibiting premarital sex and homosexual relations of any kind. 
    Additionally, Fisher was asked about his support for any organizations whose activities were not in line with church teachings. Fisher posted publicly about his response to the question on Facebook. 
    He said, "One of the questions asks, 'Do you support, affiliate with, or agree with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.' I answered no."
    According to his mother, Fisher put all three of his prior temple recommends in his wallet before he died. Yet in the last week of his life, he also spent time online exploring what it meant to "sustain" or support his leaders' edicts.
    In early February, Fisher accessed the page of a Terryl Givens' article, "What it Means to Sustain," on the LDS blog Times and Seasons eight different times. As a University of Richmond professor and active member, Givens speaks as a Mormon scholar closely affiliated with the church.
    The article was a published letter Givens had written to a friend who questioned how to support church leadership despite disagreeing with the recent policy regarding gay members.
    Givens' friend asked: "How can I sustain a leadership that I think has acted in error or unrighteously?"
    Givens answered that God required "faith and patience" from members who are led by fallible men and women. He said "the church is not a democracy" but insisted leadership was, overall, seeking to serve members with love. He believed Mormons could only exert influence on leadership "by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned."
    On January 28, Fisher changed his Facebook cover photo to a picture of an LDS temple. Overlaid on the image was a caption: "Love is like a surgical knife. Sharp and dangerous.” 


    While dozens of LGBT Mormon advocacy organizations have arisen with the advent of the internet, the church has been careful not to sanction any of these grassroots movements. And for devout members like Fisher, seeking answers from outside sources is often deemed subversive.
    According to his public search history, Fisher sought answers to his questions from the church. He never ventured into the large repository of anti-Mormon blogs and forums. Instead, he visited the church's website and typed the word "seek" into the scriptural search bar. He navigated to the page for Matthew 7:7: "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you." 
    But Fisher found few resources for gay Mormons in official church publications. He pursued the next best option: blogs of active members asking similar questions.
    Fisher visited the blogs Times and Seasons, By Common Consent and Feminist Mormon Housewives, reading articles titled, "How did you become aware of gender issues in the Church and world?"
    Fisher later posted his own "thoughts about transgenderism" to Facebook. On January 10, he wrote: 
    "I feel very strongly, though, that people should have the right to look and act however they want, and to be called by whatever labels they want. So much that is evil in the world comes from categorizing people." 
    He concluded the post with a hashtag: #thegospelisbigger.

    An emotional soul

    Fisher's mother says she first noticed a change in Harry after he returned from his two-year LDS mission to Rochester, New York. She believes his exposure to a world outside Utah unsettled her son.
    "Ever since he came home from his mission he had a deeper kind of sadness. He had an emotional soul, but he had never been exposed to prostitutes and drug dealers like he was in western Rochester," Claire said. "He came home with a bit of cynicism, a bit more jaded about the human condition."
    She remembered the first thing Fisher wanted to do upon return from his mission was read "The Brothers Karamazov" by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. For the characters in Dostoyevsky's novel, suffering is quasi-religious. Death and devastation are ways for the Karamazov brothers, like the biblical character Job, to draw closer to God. 
    Fisher asked his mother to read the book with him -- seeking someone to share his feelings with.
    "He wanted me to understand the depth of suffering in the human condition," Claire said.
    For many LDS missionaries, who leave their homes for 18 months to two years to proselytize in an assigned region of the world, loneliness is pervasive. Missionaries, many of whom leave on their mission immediately after high school graduation, are only allowed to call home on Christmas and Mother's Day, though they can email once weekly.
    This loneliness can be exacerbated for gay missionaries bereft of resources from the church and cut off from the internet, where many find solidarity with other gay Mormons. 
    "I don't think [Harry] knew he was attracted to men in high school. But the mission gives you the ‘in your face' realization that you may be attracted to that guy," Claire said. 
    Paul believes his son returned home from his mission with some questions about the church. Harry disliked the church's emphasis on attending "young single adult wards" -- groups designed for unmarried adults ages 18-29. He believed the prioritization of marriage in these wards (the LDS term for congregation) detracted from the focus on worshiping Christ.
    Soon after his mission, Fisher began attending a "family ward" -- Mormon congregations open to all. Upon realizing he was not married, the bishop overseeing the ward asked him to leave.
    "A bishop ordered him out of the family ward and told him to join a singles ward," Claire Fisher said. "He moved every year for the last five years, not laying down any roots."

    A lack of resources

    Paul Fisher wishes he had encouraged his son to utilize more LGBT resources and communities that exist in Utah. "I wish I had walked him into an organization like the Utah Pride Center. I wish I had shown him that this community existed. It doesn't mean he would have responded positively, but I wish I had."
    Claire Fisher says she spoke with her son about existing resources, but he rejected them. 
    "He had considered all the options that were open to him as someone who identified with same gender affinity. We had discussed the resources, namely North Star, but he rejected the idea and felt he would do it on his own."
    North Star is a "faith affirming" organization which seeks to provide resources for "Latter-day Saint individuals and families concerned with sexual orientation or gender identity."
    While the Mormon church has advocated publicly for equal rights for the LGBT community, it has left the provision of resources to the LGBT community to secular entities. To date, the church has not adopted any of the resources developed by Mormon LGBT advocates, including the Family Acceptance Project, a training program for families and religious leaders aimed at increasing acceptance of LGBT youth and addressing mental illness.
    The Family Acceptance Project is the only faith-based training program listed as best practice by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The materials were adopted by the Utah State Health Department as a resource for families last September in light of a threefold increase in youth suicides in Utah since 2007. 
    Andrea Hood, suicide prevention coordinator with the department, said there is no statistical evidence that the increase in suicide is connected to the LDS church policy change, or to religion in general, but it is difficult to say for certain as data on sexuality and religion are not always included in police reports. Hood also noted that religiously motivated discrimination is a risk factor -- along with mental illness, prior trauma and depression -- in teen suicides. 
    "We want to show them examples of adults who are LGBT who, if they have faced faith discrimination in their life, they have been resilient and that they are happy, successful adults who are thriving members of our community."
    Mormon leaders have been pitched the Family Acceptance Project in meetings with advocacy groups since 2008, but the materials have not been implemented. The church rarely adopts outside material for use in leadership training or member instruction, preferring to produce teaching manuals internally. 
    In the eight years since the church was introduced to the concept of the Family Acceptance Project, no materials have been produced internally with the aim of helping church leadership respond to at-risk LGBT youth. The church declined to comment on the adoption of the materials.
    Mayne, the openly gay Mormon leader, said the church has "completely missed the boat" in terms of providing resources for LGBT members. "It is a dangerous time to be an LGBT Mormon right now."
    Other members of the advocacy community agree, pinpointing the problem on an empathy gap.
    Kendall Wilcox, an openly gay LDS member, filmmaker, and former BYU professor, said, "To overcome that empathy gap, leaders need to do the work of stepping out of their homes and their offices, to have many, many long conversations with LGBT members about their lived experiences." 
    Erika Munson, co-founder of the LGBT advocacy group Mormons Building Bridges, said, "I would like to hear a little more compassion. I want to hear an acknowledgment of that pain -- that it is a pain that hits an identity. I want leaders to say, 'This is difficult, you are not alone, I am here for you.'"
    Claire says her son preferred to chart his course of reconciliation alone.
    Claire also is wary of how helpful the gay communities could have been for Harry. "In the support groups ... being in proximity to another gay man would exacerbate the issue if you're trying to get a hold on it."
    Claire laments the loneliness her son felt but underscores that his death is about more than just his sexual identity -- it was about the isolation he experienced in forming relationships.
    "Though his dad and his older sister are adamant that the Mormon church killed my son, it didn't. Loneliness did."

    'My work is finished' 

    On the last night of his life, Fisher called his mother one final time. In the conversation, she asked him what "he had come up with in terms of his future plans."
    Fisher often sought his mother's opinion when making life decisions. Yet that night, he grew quiet. With a sigh, Fisher said, "Mom, Mom you know, I know you mean well."
    Later that night, Harry Fisher left a typed note in his apartment. It read, "I know God loves me and that my work is finished."

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