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Long Island Teen Commits Suicide After Possible Anti-Gay Bullying

After the recent suicide of David Hernandez, a 16-year-old junior in Long Island, New York, questions are being asked if his sexuality—and bullying he received because of it—was a factor in his taking his life.

Hernandez was discovered dead in home on September 29.  According to the East Hampton Press, “Rumors that he had been bullied at school for being gay have been circulating on the internet, but they have not been confirmed [and] his family declined to comment this week through a friend of the family.”

Hernandez had attended meetings of the East Hampton High School’s Gay-Straight Alliance, including one just days before his death. East Hampton School Superintendent Richard Burns said his department will “continue our thorough evaluation of this sad and complex situation,” but has refused to discuss allegations of homophobia or bullying.

David Kilmnick, CEO of the Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth Network, said his organization was working to create a community center in South Fork where LGBT ?students and their families and friends would feel safe. He explained that its often rougher outside of school, especially for members of the area’s Hispanic immigrant community, which make up 40% of the school district. “They don’t have the support system outside of school…  In churches, which is often an important part of the Latino culture and of their family life, there is not a lot of good things said about gay people and little or no standing on the side of equality.”

According to Kilmnick, the East Hampton School District is further along than most as when it comes to reaching out to LGBT students: It was the first in the region to have a GSA in a middle school and has been eager to adopt policies enforcing tolerance and respect.  “I know some are quick to blame the school district here,” he said “but East Hampton is certainly one of the more progressive ones in addressing these issues and in preventative work.”

Hernandez’s death is still under investigation, but with both his parents and administrators seemingly disinclined to address his sexuality, it’s not clear if we’ll ever have an answer as to why he took his life.  But, as Kilmnick say, “regardless of whether David was gay or not, he should have had a place he could have seen as a lifesaver.”

By:           Dan Avery
On:           Oct 10, 2012
Tagged:

  • 30 Comments
    • NotStr8Acting
      NotStr8Acting

      Whether politically correct or not, the biggest anti gay bullies in my school were latino boys. You mix in unhealthy obsessions with masculinity, with a machismo culture AND catholicism? Holy poo, that is a recipe for disaster. Certainly not all latinos are this way, but latino male youth with the rampant religious/machismo culture subscribe to more outward showing of homophobia. I believe this can be changed ….but only if more Latino LGBT come out….to their families. Denounce the DL culture that plagues some of the latino community. Be open, out, happy and showcase that happiness to your latin family, relatives, siblings, and friends. That’s how change gets created. NOT by allowing the catholic Church to narrate what being gay is for us.

      R.I.P to this lovely boy who I know is in a more peaceful place today.

      Oct 10, 2012 at 12:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dumdum
      Dumdum

      @NotStr8Acting: A more peaceful place? Keep telling yourself that if this makes YOU, FEEL better. We are ANIMALS with a really cool brain. WE WERE NOT MADE BY A MAGICAL BEING. Wake up and smell the stupidity people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PLEASE drop the bomb NOW !!! Maybe the few bugs left over will do better.

      Oct 10, 2012 at 2:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Palto
      Palto

      @ dumdum where does notstr8acting say anything about us being magical beings? He could mean being dead and unconscious could mean being in a better place rather than existing in a world where one is constantly beaten and harassed. What a presumptuous moron you are.

      Oct 10, 2012 at 4:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Aaron
      Aaron

      This ANGERS the fuck out of me. This generation has it so much more easier than when I was growing up. Kids!!! this is exactly what the Republicans/Christian fanatics want. We are killing ourselves off for their happiness and their benefit. I had it so much more tougher than you kids, and I am a BIG softee. But I made it through this life. We live in a severely disturbed, HYPOCRITICAL, and very HATEFUL society, but we MUST OVERCOME their JIBES, TEASING, and BULLYING. They will get their KARMA for what they have done, but you CANNOT prosecute them if your DEAD!!! STOP IT. Grow some fucking balls and FIGHT BACK. I am 2,000000% Gay, I have a wonderful man that I have been with for 13 years, I know not all of you are lucky, but you will be if you LIVE.STOP killing yourselves because you are only making the Republican/Religious HATE Fanatics happy. Seek counseling, call the G/L/B/T hotlines, PLEASE. Life is better when you OVERCOME your OBSTACLES and NOT let HATE win.

      Oct 10, 2012 at 4:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rockery
      Rockery

      @Aaron:

      1 comment? Are you trolling?

      If not please shut the f*ck up, kids have it so much easier? In what way? You’re a supreme idiot, you were probably closeted and anyone can make it through that way, and if not, then if you were bullied, it ended at school! Today bullying via the internet is a 24 hour assuault and can get way nastier, people get very brave behind a computer. Grow some balls? You are disgusting and have a personality disorder, evidenced by your whole comment being about yourself and hope upset you are and how great your life is. Stay angry you idiot you have no clue and you need professional help. You clearly have low self esteem

      Oct 10, 2012 at 5:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rockery
      Rockery

      @Rockery:

      * HOW upset you

      there are typos – but you get the idea

      Oct 10, 2012 at 5:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DrakeScott
      DrakeScott

      It never ceases to amaze me how quick people are to judge others based upon their own world experience, even in the midst of a maligned group. You’d think we’d know better than to assume our internal experience is automatically the same as someone else’s – after all, isn’t that what the “you chose gay” crowd does to us?

      Anyway, I’m SO over reading comments underneath tragic stories about bullying that essentially advise victims to “buck up,” “don’t be a p*ssy,” “grow b*alls,” and other such nonsense. Just because you were fortunate enough to have the self-esteem, support system, and/or ironclad constitution to withstand the pain, don’t be so arrogant in assuming that everyone else was “born this way.”

      I can’t believe it even has to be stated in this “community,” (a term I use verrrry loosely) that Not. Everyone. Is. Just. Like. You. Please, let’s give these kids (and each other) a break.

      RIP, David. I hope you found the peace you so desperately deserve.

      Oct 10, 2012 at 6:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JOHN 1957
      JOHN 1957

      Long Island Teen Commits Suicide After Possible Anti-Gay Bullying …… Possible they say? Don’t they know for sure to post a such speculation. Hernandez’s death is still under investigation, but with both his parents and administrators seemingly disinclined to address his sexuality, it’s not clear if we’ll ever have an answer as to why he took his life.

      Sounds like an assumption, Is that a probable or a possible cause? I’ll wait until they have all facts straight and it’s a definite answer. It could have been a list of things that drove him to the point of break. They should be 100% sure before printing such a headline.

      In the mean time; may the spirit of David find his way in the light to higher grounds where he will find peace away from whatever or whomever tormented him.

      Oct 10, 2012 at 7:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scott Johansen
      Scott Johansen

      @JOHN 1957: Are you this idealistic because you don’t want to confront homophobia or because it feels better to pretend it doesn’t exist. The evidence here is overwhelming. He was part of a gay alliance in school. Was believed to be gay by classmates, and as another article mentioned elsewhere, believed to be out to some. That his parents and administrators didn’t have a press release declaring “THIS CHILD WAS GAY” hardly means that he wasn’t, or that he was assumed to be gay by his bullies. Had I taken my life at his age, my parents be the “Our child is NOT gay” mentality they had, would never- under any circumstance, admit to my being gay. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t gay. Nor does it mean I wasn’t bullied for being gay.
      There’s idealistic, and then there’s just flat out ignoring present societal homophobia our youth face. That does no one any favors

      Oct 10, 2012 at 7:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dumdum
      Dumdum

      I just want to thank all the little people at Queerty and everyone else that made all of this possible. I understand that nothing will ever change. Hate and stupidity will be the norm. TWO STEPS FORWARD THREE STEPS BACK. I will close my garage door, start the engine of my mini-van to sleep perhaps to dream forever. See you all in heaven or hell bitches!!!!!!!

      Oct 10, 2012 at 9:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Aaron
      Aaron

      @Rockery: And another thing that pisses me off is that this new generation has ABSOLUTELY NO FUCKING RESPECT in THEIR ELDERS. You really NEED to RECOGNIZE!!! And have ALOT of RESPECT in your ELDERS ESPECIALLY those who have FOUGHT for YOUR RIGHTS to be Gay/Lesbian/Bi. You are the ones who need professional help.Half of you kids don’t even know who Harvey Milk was, until the movie came out. And how about all of Ancestors who fought way back in the 20’s or 30’s or even 60’s 70’s. I know a couple of High school kids that tell me that in their schools they have gay/straight alliances, back in my day that never existed in any schools. How dare you!!! And I MOST definitely NOT a Troll nor am I TROLLING. Now it truly hurts me that these kids are killing themselves off, and I do know the pain that they are going through, when I was growing up I did think about it everyday, but I just kept living to see it through. And I am very glad I did. One of the BIGGEST things that fuck up this Generation is the ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING MANNERS that you have or LACK there OF. RECOGNIZE and RESPECT those who FIGHT for YOUR RIGHTS to BE.

      Oct 10, 2012 at 10:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Aaron
      Aaron

      AND YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!

      Oct 10, 2012 at 10:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • NotStr8Acting
      NotStr8Acting

      @Aaron: You missed your last pill taking session. It’s got to be a regimen dear. It happens to my grandpa too. He sometimes forgets if he took his pills today at 3 pm or yesterday at 3 pm, and crap hits the fan when he does. Just stay on top of it, or make an alarm on your cell phone remind you to take your meds. For all our sake.
      Thanks

      Oct 10, 2012 at 10:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scott Johansen
      Scott Johansen

      @NotStr8Acting: Buhahahaaha! LOL I was just thinking that.
      Seriously, there should be a disclaimer before logging on queerty “dear posters, please make sure you took your medications today before posting. No one should be sbject to asinine rants by a forgetful pill popper”

      Oct 10, 2012 at 10:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Aidan8
      Aidan8

      @Aaron: So Aaron, you say that you had it way worse than kids these days. And you tell them to grow some “fucking balls” and fight back. Tell me…… how did you “fight back” when you were a teenager?

      Oct 10, 2012 at 10:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rockery
      Rockery

      @Aaron:

      LMAO! “You better recognize!!!” That is so funny! Stop attention whoring, no adult writes the way you do. Are you 16 or something?

      If per chance you are actually an adult being so emo, you are what scares me the most, being a dried up, drama filled, lonely, bitter old queen.

      Oct 10, 2012 at 10:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Faggot
      Faggot

      There is a lot of finger-pointing here: the Hispanics, the Christians (specifically the Catholics), and the Republicans. Yes, that is where the hate comes from! Are you guys serious? There are more haters among the homos than anywhere else. It might be self-loathing, or hatred inflicted on others from a gay who thinks he’s cooler than another — but how many gays like drag queens? Effeminate guys? Not straight-acting gays (whatever that means)? Lesbians? We need to start looking at ourselves before pointing our fingers at others. Personally, I have found better acceptance of gays among the Hispanics, Christians, and Republicans than from most gays. Internalized homophobia is rampant as well as sissyphobia. Gays hate as much, if not more, than those they accuse of hating them. When I see gay men and lesbians socializing on a regular basic (and not as an anomaly), I’ll know that tolerance has spread into the homosexual community too.

      Oct 10, 2012 at 11:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Reality101
      Reality101

      @Faggot: Oh STFU you POS troll with your nasty screename. Upsets you we blame the heteros and religious nuts (especially you SICK filthy Catholics) does it? GOOOOD. Glad it does. You and you fake religion have the blood of our kids on our hands. Me and many others take GREAT pride in calling you all out. And will gladly and vocally do it in all forums, hetero too. No more Mr. Nice Gay. Those days are over.

      Oct 11, 2012 at 1:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scott Johansen
      Scott Johansen

      @Faggot: That read like one bitter, homophobic, ignorant, homophobic, self hating, homophobic, jaded, homophobic rant and ramble. But then again, with a handle so vile, what would one expect? You’re trying to project your own issues with gays on others gays. I don’t believe for one second you are openly gay. Absolutely closeted gay, and identify more with heterosexuals (i.e want their approval) and perhaps came out into the gay community and wanted to lecture gays on how to be.

      Listen here, gays aren’t going to be lectured by some hetero worshipping, lost, self hating, suicidal dirt bag who would sell us under the table for one pat on the back from a breeder. So spare us your preaching. We can sniff your self hating kind from a mile away and your type is THE LAST type to preach to us about who we need to be as a community. You have so much built up anger and resentment about being gay that you take it out on self accepting, proud gay people who are comfortable in their own skin. That’s not our problem, but we will call peeps like you out and all your issues, when we see you. Call your daddy and tell him you like c-ck. Get it over with, because it’s clearly upsetting you.

      Oct 11, 2012 at 1:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • NotStr8Acting
      NotStr8Acting

      @Faggot:
      You don’t even believe what you wrote dear. How do you expect us to?

      You got more acceptance for being gay by republicans and catholics than by gays? You’re clearly religious, and only a calculating religious individual would write that sentence. I’m not religious and proudly denounce your faith. But I’m pretty sure your little Bible says something about lying, no?
      You see what you want to see in the gay community. You highlight the worst because that’s what you want to witness. The reaction you have received by gays is not because you are gay, but because you sound like an intolerant, pompous, highly ignorant individual who wants others gays to celebrate your anti gay ignorance. I’d assume you’ve gotten a mouthful before by other gays who’ve taken issue with your blanket statements, generalizations, and blatant anti gay agenda with what you spew. If I met you and you spilled that drivel painting gays the ones responsible for hatred, you would get more than a mouthful from me, you’d get a verbal papsmear. Your kind approaches the gay community as if you are a well adjusted gay and have something insightful to say. Instead, it’s transparent to everyone around you (but you) that you have a clear homophobic agenda in regurgitating cliche conservative talking points about how bad gays are. Your motive is to divide and conquer. As others expressed above? do you think were stupid? do you think we as a community have not encountered your type before? do you think you writing what you wrote says more about gays or more about you, and your multitude of inner conflicts? Resolve them. Then come play Dr.Phil for us, and all the evils that is the gay community.
      Until then, you’re no different than you conservative, republican, catholic bunk buddies you so eagerly defend above. All of whom have really f*cked up wrap sheets themselves.
      Want us to elaborate on them? We can….

      Oct 11, 2012 at 1:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Reality101
      Reality101

      @NotStr8Acting: gangg. remind me to never get in an argument with ya. lol. you throw it down!! articulate too.
      agree 100%. but listen, we know his kind. let’s not even bother.

      Oct 11, 2012 at 1:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • USC Trojans Fan
      USC Trojans Fan

      @Faggot:
      $1,000 bucks says it’s YOU who takes issue with fem gays.
      It’s YOU who bashes masculine lesbians
      It’s YOU who bashes gay pride
      It’s YOU who bashes all the things you claims gay dislike.
      Something about your post comes off shady. That you have words like ‘homos’ and ‘f*ggot’ in your vernacular tells me you’re the kind who logs on here and bashes on fem gays for “making us look bad” and probably are very judgmental toward identifiable gays, and yet in a topic like this, it gives you a perfect platform to then pretend it’s not coming from people like you, and instead pin it against other gays.
      Either way, it’s blame the gay. In a post celebrating fem gays, you’d blame the fem gay. Then turn around and pretend you’re one who wants to galvanize the community.
      We’ve seen it all dude. We know trouble when we see it. You sound like a complete shady internet character concocted to make gays appear bad, and I’d be willing to bet YOU are behind the divisive comments on here that target those same gays you pretend to be so happily standing up for in this post.

      Oct 11, 2012 at 2:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • USC Trojans Fan
      USC Trojans Fan

      @Faggot: You have a blame gays mentality that is prevelant in self hating gays. you take issue with those other groups being generalized but have no issue whatsoever generalizing gays in the most grotesque manner. why? because in your mind, gays being blamed for the worlds problem and homophobia is acceptable, but dare speak of any other group with observations and it’s inappropriate. thats your homophobia showing. how come i happen to know dozens of openly gay people who don’t fit your narrow description? who are loving, amazing, kind, accepting of all LGBT and well rounded. those are the gays I focus on because those are the gays who are everywhere in our community. You not seeing that is your problem. stop projecting your personal issues on the entire community. it sincerely only makes you look bad.

      Oct 11, 2012 at 3:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rockery
      Rockery

      @Reality101: @Scott Johansen: @NotStr8Acting:

      FAILURE LOL

      Oct 11, 2012 at 8:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ken A.
      Ken A.

      I live in East Hampton and its pretty gay friendly. I went to school here as well and never really had problems. Sure you had a few that used slurs and such but there wasn’t a lot of bullying in this town. I came out in the middle school David H. attended.

      Oct 11, 2012 at 10:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JOHN 1957
      JOHN 1957

      @Scott Johansen:

      I know the demon homophobia and bigotry first hand. We are here to post our opinions and feelings on particular articles not to get into a battle of wits with each other. Idealistic? Not in the least bit. I’m going by what the article stated “possible anti-gay bullying” not confirmed. I don’t assume on any level.

      Short synopsis; I’m 54 years old and sexually active since I was 4 (raped). The heterosexual pedophiles that did me would then exclaim that boy is so sensitive he’s probably going to be a faggot when he grows up. I know bullying first hand since the age of 5 very well. The first people being so called family friends and older male relatives who had betrayed me as a baby.

      I’m out since I was 10 and my best friend of 12 was my first partner, we were together four years. When I came out to my mother at seventeen, the first thing out of her mouth, we’ll get you the best shrink money can buy! Gee Thanks!
      I went to an all boy junior high school, I was heavy, bullied and called a fag every day, I considered committing suicide or running away. One day a bullied followed me all the way home calling me a fat faggot, I finally broke jumped him and cleaned the street with him, after that he said I was crazy and never came near me again. I know homophobia and bullying first hand, it’s ugly and evil.

      I wrote a letter to Senator Charles E. Schumer on the subject of school bullying and suicide before certain laws went into effect. To my surprise he answered me and he forwarded a copy to president Obama. who then wrote me a letter, I was in shock and in disbelief. I fell on my ass! If you’d like, send me your email address and I will be more that happy to forward you the letter. I don’t lie and could really give a rat’s ass who believes me or not.

      Homophobia is an ugly evil illness, and some people need to have it beaten out of them. Sometimes we don’t want to fight but we have to, to survive. I find our gay peers do it to each other on many levels as well, which makes no sense.

      I learned to accept and love myself aeons ago.
      _
      Peace and Blessings Brother.

      Oct 11, 2012 at 1:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scott Johansen
      Scott Johansen

      @JOHN 1957: I hope you come back and see my post here. Your words were beautiful, I’m glad you are a member of our diverse and amazing community. You are strong, and I hope you continue to inspire our gay youth. Thanks John

      Oct 11, 2012 at 6:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • streeteditions
      streeteditions

      I admire (NOT!) how many of you forgot to mention David Hernandez in your “relevant” comments!
      Our children are killing themselves!!! Stop your venal bickering. Do something about it! VOLUNTEER!! DONATE!!!!

      Oct 12, 2012 at 12:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mada
      mada

      I also grew up in East Hampton and went to school there. It is so isolated from New York City that there are fewer outlets for all kids out there. Despite it being gay friendly, there are very few exclusively gay things advertised out there (that don’t involve some kind of summer drinking event). I was not bullied as much in High School, but I did noticed more of an enmity towards more effeminate boys. I also observed, more noticeably, that the Latino population expanded in a relatively short amount of time. I think it’s very hard for the school to understand and adapt to things so quickly. Hernandez, being a double minority, was definitely bullied. There’s a lot of ethnic tension along with ignorance of homosexuality. I wouldn’t point the finger at anyone personally. The town has a lot of hard pressed issues that get glossed over. Residents face a lot of problems, particularly like higher than national average living expenses due to the over-development of vacation homes. People out there are economically stressed, which is partially why I left. I would hope that something like this would teach his classmates though, and knowing that place, I know it will. It is a very progressive place.

      Oct 13, 2012 at 2:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jmmartin
      jmmartin

      Ever notice how many of these suicides are by young people who obviously would not make trouble for a single soul. It seems to me that Christians would be more tolerant toward the sexual minorities given their prophet’s pronounced and widely disseminated doctrines of pacifism. Is this what He predicted when he said that only as little children would we led into the Kingdom of Heaven?

      Oct 14, 2012 at 5:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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