05 June 2007


Boy, 15, lay down in front of train after gay taunts
A boy of 15 lay down in front of a train to commit suicide after being teased at school about his sexuality, an inquest was told yesterday.

Moments before he died, Jonathan Reynolds sent harrowing text messages to his family telling that them they were not to blame for what was about to happen. A passer-by saw him holding the mobile as he lay down on the tracks in front of a train travelling at 85mph (136km/h) through Pencoed railway station near Bridgend, South Wales.

In his last text message sent to his father, Mark, and his 14-year-old sister, Samantha, the teenager wrote: “Tell everyone that this is for anybody who eva said anything bad about me, see I do have feelings too. Blame the people who were horrible and injust 2 me. This is because of them, I am human just like them.

“I hope they rot in hell 4 what they made me do. They know who they are.”

He added: “None of you blame urself mum, dad, Sam and the rest of my family. This is not because of you.”
The TimesOnline.

15 years old!


The right-wing-nuts would undoubtedly say it was his choice. A fifteen year-old does not have the full story or capacity to make a choice like this. A fifteen year-old only knows what is going on in a super-hormonal cloud. She/he hasn't a long term thought about anything. They are coming to terms with what/who they are. They are facing one immediate crisis after another. To a fifteen year-old girl, what shade of lipstick to wear is a world crisis that is equal to anything that the United Nations debates. To a fifteen year-old boy, one scuff mark on his white gym shoes is a reason to start World War III.

As far as a fifteen year-old facing her/his sexuality, they know that there is something different about them, but they don't usually have anyone who can quide and support them through what being different is. They are all alone.

How do they know they're different? Everything they hear and see around them. Boys holding girls hands; school dances with boys and girls going together; the pastor talking about hell; a parent using a sexual slur. What a maze to go through just being a fifteen year-old. The maze for a teen questioning her/his sexuality has more turns, more dead ends, and much higher walls with what seems like no light shining through.

How does a 15-year old come to the decision that the only way through the maze is to get out? Totally, and not out of the closet - out of life! You can't get much more permanent than that.

I know how difficult it is to grow up. Not just because I did it myself, but I worked with kids for almost 40 years. Their thinking, their fears, their worries... were a part of my daily life. It was never far away.

I know how difficult it is to come to terms with sexuality also. I didn't come out formally until I was 31. While it seems that sexuality is paramount in the majority of American's minds, it's not to me. It's one of the last things I think about. The goodness in a person is much more important. You can be purple and asexual as far as I care.

Maybe, that's the reason I ask why. Just one life wasted, especially one that is so brief, is so far beyond my comprehension. This didn't have to happen. Jonathon didn't have to die. Matthew Shepard didn't have to die. Ryan Skipper didn't have to die.

to die because of who you are, whether you chose it or not, is not a very good reason; and to have people who want to see you crushed, put down, unequal, cursed, beaten, and dead for this is, is, is, [i'll say it!] unchristian...


Wayne said...

Mike, you don't realize the intense pain being gay at 15.
It's bad enough just being 15.
Let alone being different.
I came close at 17, a lot of emotion at that age.

Brent said...

I don't know what to say about this story. So sad. I cant imagine what he was going through or what his family is going through.