NEW YORK—LGBT advocates and supporters have planned a glowstick vigil to honor the memory of six young men who tragically died from suicide in the past several weeks—apparently as a result of vicious anti-gay bullying.
New York University LGBT organizations and Delta Lambda Phi, the national fraternity founded by openly gay men, are organizing the “You Are Loved” vigil, which will take place under the arch in Manhattan’s Washington Square Park this Sunday, October 3, at 9pm.
The alarming number of recent suicides committed by LGBT teens has incited national conversation on the growing epidemic of anti-gay bullying in schools—a subject often largely ignored or downplayed outside of LGBT organizations and communities.
“This is a moment where every one of us — parents, teachers, students, elected officials, and all people of conscience — needs to stand up and speak out against intolerance in all its forms,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in a statement addressing the heartbreaking deaths. “Whether it’s students harassing other students because of ethnicity, disability or religion; or an adult, public official harassing the President of the University of Michigan student body because he is gay, it is time we as a country said enough. No more.”
The NYC vigil will end with a “chalking session,” intended to “provide uplifting messages as well as shed light on the amount of bullying, harassment, self-injury, and suicidal thoughts that disproportionately affect queer youth.”
Organizers of the vigil ask that participants bring glowsticks, rather than the more-traditional candles, to show their support, as open flame is strictly prohibited in NYC parks.
Names and ages of the six adolescents who ended their lives after enduring anti-gay emotional abuse: