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Teen boy takes his own life after suffering homophobic abuse at his Alabama school

Nigel Shelby took his own life on April 19

2019-04-23

A 15-year-old boy took his own life after he was being bullied because of his sexuality.

Nigel Shelby was a ninth-grade schoolboy in Huntsville, Alabama, and on April 19, the young boy took his own life after suffering homophobic abuse in his school.

Following his death, friends and family spread messages of awareness on social media calling for parents to educate their children.

One wrote: “He was bullied smh teach your children to do better. So many will yaaaaas and weeeerk their way all over social media, but you won’t publicly stand up for queer folk.

“You’re not calling out your family and friends for their homophobia and transphobia. You’re not creating spaces or room for folks to be safe. He was a baby. Somebody’s baby is gone.

“I’m sick of it. I don’t even know this baby, but he’s my baby. So many queer black youth are my babies.

“Fight for our babies y’all because they deserve to live and live whole.”

Amit Paley, CEO and Executive Director of The Trevor Project, also called for adults to learn more about suicide prevention.

Paley said: “We know how challenging coming out can be at any age, especially in environments that may include risk factors for increased rates of discrimination, rejection, and bullying.

“At The Trevor Project we hear from LGBTQ young people who have thoughts of suicide, or feel unsafe or unloved at school or home - just for being who they are.

“We encourage adults who interact with youth to learn more about LGBTQ competent suicide prevention and risk detection, and to remind LGBTQ youth that they are never alone, that their lives have value, and are loved.”

A fundraising page has been set up for his family.

If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, the Samaritans are available 24 hours a day in the UK and Ireland.

You can call them at any time of the day on 116 123 or email them at [email protected].