Suicide of Gay Anti Bullying Activist EricJames Borges

Raised in an extremist Christian household, assaulted in classroom with a teacher present, EricJames Borges, 19,  was repeatedly bullied, tormented, terrorized,  for the duration of his childhood and teen  years. He came out with the video “it Gets better”  below, yet he could not live through the pain. EricJames committed suicide yesterday!

“Disgusting, perverted, unnatural and going to hell” is what his parents told him as he was kicked out of his house.  Exorcisms, beatings and extreme Christianity pervaded his young life  and did not “cure” him – rather it killed him!

The death on Wednesday of this young filmmaker  has shocked his friends. “He advocated pro-life for gays. He wouldn’t want anyone to [commit suicide],” said close friend James Criss. “It’s so shocking to see that he did it himself.” (ABC News)

Borges made a video just last month for the “It Gets Better” project, a campaign that features personal hope-filled videos to LGBT teens to get them through difficult times.  Although he said “it gets better” he could not live through the  extensive damage to his psyche and the pain that life had brought to him.

In his video EricJames says he works form the Trevor project.  In a very sad voice, he tries to convince that “it gets better.” Dont ever give up, says Eric, but the sadness of his voice is pervasive.  Many of us believe it should not “have to get better,” but that we should be sending the message  to kids “don’t wait for it to get better – speak out now!”  No American or global child should have to endure what EricJames did.

EricJames Borges lived in an area – Central California, Visalia, known for extreme homophobia.

UPDATED:
After covering this story, I went down to Visalia with filmmaker Kristina Lapinski from GAY USA the Movie to attend the memorial of EricJames.  I was having a difficult time understanding why he would do this while attached to the Trevor Project – what I found out helped me on a personal level and so I wrote about it.  I was given a copy of his suicide note and also the kind cooperation of those closest to him at the end – my updated report can be found at GAY U.S.A. the Movie and Blog:

Never before had the sound of ‘Edge of Glory’ been so inconceivable; EricJames Borges chose Lady Gaga, and not only for the echo that would pave his heavenly journey but as a benefactor, leaving the last of his life’s dealings to his icon. Five hundred dollars would go to Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, $500 to the Trevor Project, $521.56 to the Human Rights Campaign and almost $2,500 to his rescuer, Jennifer McGuire for her upcoming same-sex wedding. “I want it to go where it deserves; to life, love and equality.” READ MORE:-  http://gayusathemovie.com/2012/01/gay-teen-suicide-wills-money-to-lady-gaga/

 

ERIC James Favorite Quotes (from FB

QuotationsCarry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.

“To the person in the Bell Jar, blank and stopped as a dead baby, the world itself is a bad dream.” -Sylvia Plath

You wouldn’t worry as much about what people think of you if you knew how seldom they do.

“EricJames, I tried to think of something clever to say back to you…but I got nothin.” –English Professor

“Isn’t it funny that the people who are the quickest to take someone’s basic rights to happiness are always the loudest to scream when someone attacks their right to do so?” – Rob Thomas

“It (the Bible) is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies.” -Mark Twain

“There is one notable thing about our Christianity: bad, bloody, merciless, money-grabbing, and predatory. The invention of hell measured by our Christianity of today, bad as it is, hypocritical as it is, empty and hollow as it is, neither the deity nor his son is a Christian, nor qualified for that moderately high place. Ours is a terrible religion. The fleets of the world could swim in spacious comfort in the innocent blood it has spilled.” -Mark Twain

Born this way and ostracized by so many is cruelty of the worst kind.


13 thoughts on “Suicide of Gay Anti Bullying Activist EricJames Borges

  1. Mel, thanks so much for posting this. It has touched me so deeply I’ve posted it on the White House page and urged the President to speak out on this subject.

  2. Poor kid…what a lousy life of hatred & judgement he endured. Worse, is that the ones responsible are a bunch of psychopaths with no capacity for empathy nor compassion- this will mean absolutely nothing to them.

    Condolences to EricJames’ friends- good to know he had friends. This sort of thing will not end until there is equality for all of us. The tide is turning- but too late for this poor boy.

    RIP EricJames

  3. Tracy, yes, on the one hand I cannot condone the sort of conduct that only aims to degrade a person even further. Unfortunately there is not much elaboration on the term “extreme christianity”… there may even be some agenda here against christianity, forgive me if I’m wrong. The correct approach should be to treat this person with the same respect as any other human being on this planet but also to make him or her aware that we do not approve of a homosexual lifestyle. I need not remind you that both you and I are the products of the union between a man and a woman… that is how God (and nature !) intended it to be. Unfortunately, yes, the tide is turning…for the worse. We can choose to stay out of it or swim along, into the dark abyss of self-gratification where it is all about my own interests and do anything as long as it feels good.

    1. You are misinformed – there is not such a thing as a homosexual lifestyle. Homosexuality is a sexual orientation, which according to scientific data is on the very broad spectrum of human sexuality. Note, I would never refer to a heterosexual “lifestyle.” There is no such thing!

      In the same way, heterosexuality is also on the broad spectrum of human sexuality. That said, as you say in this comment that “God made” your mom and dad who gave birth to you. If you would like to bring God into this discussion, then kindly note that God has and continues also to bring lesbians, gays and transgender people into this world and that is HOW GOD INTENDED IT TO BE too!

      Times have changed and the bible is an evolving document.

      It was written by humans and is not the direct word of GOD who did not put pen to paper. It is subject to language and interpretation.

      Hence modern times allow for other methods of birth. Perhaps God intended gay and lesbian people because God feared a population explosion? Is that addressed in the Bible – NO! But could be a NATURAL consequence of the natural order of gay people. Perhaps! I do not know!

      Then there are lesbians like me. I wanted to have a child and did not want to have my child with a man because on the spectrum of sexual orientation I am designed to couple with the same-gender. So I have two beautiful daughters. One is adopted from a Vietnamese orphanage and the other is a sperm donor child.

      So please Engelbrecht do not come on my site and try and tell me that anything about me or my children is a denial of God’s will nor that we are sinners – nor that we have anything but the absolute right to full equality.

      NO I do not want to hear extreme Christianity – although I have the utmost respect for Christianity and freedom of religion. Extreme Christianity is a fundamentalism which fails to embrace real life. It is defined in my eyes as evangelicalism – through the strict interpretation of bible and then that being proselytized via media and hate language.

      To call me a sinner is to hate me -that is how I see it. When my children hear that they are hearing hate language. You can keep that for the privacy of your church’s and that would be okay. Because then people have a choice if they want to hear it. But to step outside of the Church and call my natural born orientation a sin or a a “lifestyle” (as if chosen by me) is in my eyes a great abomination.

      In the meantime I am glad to have you comment and I thank you! – I invite commentary from all here as discussions of this nature will help us all grow to understand each other a little better.

  4. I am stunned.

    Why in the world would anyone feel it is necessary to “make [me] aware that [they] do not approve” of anything in my life? It is equivilant to me walking up to a person to make them aware that I do not approve of their clothing choice, hair style, need to have 5 children, etc.

    What in the world would we accomplish by walking around making people ‘aware’ of what we don’t approve. I do enjoy respectful discourse from a variety of sides, but to post this comment on a page announcing the tragic suicide of a child is in poor taste.

    I agree with you Melanie and continue to hope for a world where we can grow to understand each other and have compassion.

  5. Parents need to know that children and adolescents are not safe just because they are home. If they have access to the internet (on cell phones or computers), unsupervised, they are as much at risk as if they were hanging out outside the home. Children who isolate are are greater risk for self injurious behavior and suicide. Talk to your children and adolescents and more importantly, LISTEN. Long car rides are often the best place to get them to talk.

    Schools need to take the issue of bullying seriously. Stop thinking of it as simply meeting a criteria or another legislative overreaching demand. Creating an atmosphere of safety and zero tolerance, where bullying is simply understood as unacceptable, is critical to the long lasting change and ensuring youth security and well being. Assemblies with staff will not accomplish this. It’s about culture change. anti-bullying

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