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In memory of Phillip Parker, age 14


Phillip Parker, a 14-year-old from Tennessee, took his own life on Friday after relentless bullying because he was gay. His family had reported incidents of bullying to the school, but nothing happened. 

Added grandfather Paul Harris: “Because he was gay, he got mistreated physically, mentally by several people out there at the school, and I am very resentful as a result of it. After he did what he did, we found out a lot that we didn’t know and there is a lot of bullying that goes on at the school.”

Tennessee, by the way, has taken some of the most controversial actions in terms of LGBT issues recently. Most famously, the “Don’t Say Gay” bill banning discussions of homosexuality in school is gaining momentum, and lawmakers are trying to change an anti-bullying law to exempt “condemnations of homosexuality based on religion.”

My heart is broken. These tragic stories are piling up again and we need the world to notice. Tell your friends about this. Make them understand why we need to take action against bullying. Get angry. Get emotional. Contact Tennessee lawmakers. Do something. If we don’t speak up, no one will.

Most importantly, if you need help, please call the Trevor Project lifeline at 1-866-488-7386, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You are important. You can get through this. We are here to help you.

Rest peacefully, Phillip. I’m so sorry we couldn’t help you in time. 

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