Poignant details about Kenneth Weishuhn, the gay Iowa teen who took his own life after friends and family say his classmates sent him death threats on his cell phone and made him the subject of a Facebook hate group, are continuing to emerge.
Numerous media outlets are pointing to the 14-year-old's Pinterest page. One section, titled "When I get married," features photos of vintage menswear, candle centerpieces and wedding cake toppers depicting two grooms. Another section, titled "Inspiration," includes a number of anti-bullying sentiments, along with a quote attributed to "Glee" actor Chris Colfer: "There's nothing wrong with you, there's a lot wrong with the world you live in."
Sister Kayla Weishuhn said Kenneth was actually quite popular before he came out last month. "He had a lot of friends but once they found out he was gay a lot of them turned on him." Kayla, a sophomore, told ABC 9 KCAUTV, before noting that many of her classmates also bullied her brother: "I was just really mad because those guys were supposed to be my friends and they were making fun of my brother. I tried to stick up for him a couple of times but I guess it wasn't enough."
Weishuhn's death also prompted LGBT advocacy group One Iowa and Iowa Safe Schools to issue a statement. "The loss of Kenneth Weishuhn is both tragic and heartbreaking," wrote One Iowa Interim Executive Director Calla Rongerude. "Our hearts and prayers go out to the Weishuhn family and to the community of Primghar. We all have lost a bright young man with a promising future."
"What Kenneth endured is something that no one should have to go through. Kenneth made the brave choice to live his life openly and fully, and he was targeted at school with taunts, hurtful online organizing against him and even death threats. No one, especially the most vulnerable members of our community, should face bullying and threats of violence simply for being who they are.
"We have a responsibility as a community to foster acceptance and love for all of our youth. We need to make sure that students have the support and resources they need to thrive and grow. One Iowa will work towards the day when all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people can live their lives openly and without fear."
Take a look at other recent LGBT bullying cases below:
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