Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sergio Urrego

This news is so heart breaking that it is difficult to put it into words...

Sergio David Urrego was a young Colombian 16 year old who had many aspirations in life.  He wanted to study English in Australia and environmental engineering. However, all this changed when a teacher at Gimnasio Castillo Campestre school, a Catholic school in the capital of Colombia, Bogota found a photo of Urrego kissing another boy (his partner) on his cell phone. Apparently he and the other boy were sent to the school's ppsychologistfor an evaluation. The two boys were together for a month and a half, but this new situation forced Urrego's partner to tell his parents and they removed him from the school in an apparent move to keep both boys apart.

Because of the discovery of the photos on Sergio's phone, the school did not give his family his academic transcripts and prevented him from transferring to another school.  He was allegedly made to visit the psychologist regularly and was even suspended and accused of sexual harassment.  According to reports, he was also called an atheist and anarchist by school officials who saw him as mentally disturbed.  Like any typical teenager, Sergio took to Facebook to vent and posted a graphic with the words, 'MY sexuality is not my sin, it's my own paradise.'

He then posted on August 4, 2014 his last post:

'Goodbye cruel world
I'm leaving you today
Goodbye
Goodbye
Goodbye
Goodbye all you people
There's nothing you can say
To make me change
My mind
Goodbye.'


This message would follow his death.  Sergio David Urrego on August 4, 2014 would go to the roof of a shopping center and jump to his death.  He died three hours at the hospital.

The story is indeed tragic and depressing.  A young man decided to end it all after being allegedly harassed at school and apparently losing contact with his lover. I am not sure what really happened and am merely relying on news reports. However, it is clear something pushed this young man to the edge.  If indeed school employees at this Catholic school behaved this way, then it is truly sickening. It is a slap to the face of Christ.  There is no reason to harass a young boy to the point of him choosing to end his life because it was too much to bear.

The bullying of LGBT youth is a big problem throughout the world. Bullying happens to everyone, but it seems to be more frequent against youth who identify as LGBT.  They are seen as "strange" or "wierd" by their peers.  Others fear they will be "hit on" by these LGBT youth because they are obviously attracted to their same sex. LGBT youth many times feel no support and decide to commit suicide because the situaion seems hopeless.  In many cases, these young kids are closeted and revealing to their families their attraction may worsen the situation.

We all must address bullying in general, not just against LGBT youth. In 2014, no one should be harassed, mocked or made to feel as a pariah by others.  They should be able to attend school in a comfortable environment, make friends and enjoy their youth without becoming the punching bag of others. Kids can be mean to each other and it gets worse with each advancing generation.  More needs to be done to educate students on the harm bullying does. Students who are being bullied must be supported.  Their bullies must be punished and their parents must be notified immediately.  We should not have to hear of these stories of young kids killing themselves because of harassment.

Many support groups on Facebook have appeared honoring Sergio: https://www.facebook.com/search/more/?q=Sergio+Urrego&init=public  

While I disagree with the lifestyle young Sergio lived, he was still a human being made in God's image and deserved to be loved and respected by school officials and others. May Sergio David Urrego rest in peace.

If you are or know someone who is being bullied, please tell your parents/guardians, school officials and the police. You do not have to be a victim or a doormat for any other person(s). There is hope and support, never choose to harm yourself . This does not remedy the situation and will allow the bully to continue his/her bad behavior with someone else.  
 

For help:

http://www.stopbullying.gov/at-risk/groups/lgbt/






Source:

http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/gay-columbia-teen-commits-suicide-after-persecution-school110914

http://www.advocate.com/world/2014/09/10/teens-suicide-highlights-struggle-lgbt-colombians

http://www.queerty.com/gay-colombian-teen-bullied-to-death-by-catholic-school-officials-20140912

http://www.glaad.org/blog/young-colombian-man-commits-suicide-after-relationship-uncovered-school

http://www.eltiempo.com/estilo-de-vida/salud/suicidio-estudiante-sergio-urrego-recomendaciones-para-evitar-matoneo-por-ser-gay/14503355

http://www.towleroad.com/2014/09/colombian-teen-commits-suicide-after-alleged-harassment-from-catholic-school-administrators.html

https://www.facebook.com/sergiodavidurrego1?ref=br_rs&fref=browse_search


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