Ogden OUTreach, a support network for LGBT Utahns, issued an emotionally powerful press release on the tragedy, which was republished by gay alt-weekly Q Salt Lake:
On Monday, April 23, 18-year-old Alex Smith spoke on a community panel at a screening of “Bullied,” telling the packed room about the bullying his boyfriend, Jack, experienced at school. What no one in the room yet knew, including Alex, was that Jack had already taken his own life.
The death of Jack Reese is the latest known suicide of a gay teen in Northern Utah. One official says, off the record: “It happens here about once a week,” but then quickly adds, “but officially, you know, it doesn’t happen here.”
OUTreach is hosting a community response: “A Community Stands up – Northern Utah Addresses LGBT Bullying and Suicide.” It will take place May 1st, 6:30 pm at the Ogden Amphitheater, 343 E 25th ST, Ogden, UT. The purpose of the event is for the community to stand in solidarity with (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) LGBT youth, to speak out and express grief and outrage at yet another loss of life in Northern Utah and to witness for the need for immediate change in schools, churches and society.
While we of course have faith and believe OUTreach and Q, we’ll let you know when a mainstream news outlet confirms the death of Jack Reese. Stay strong, Alex Smith.