Ohio Teen In Suicide-Attempt-Induced Coma After Coming Out In School To Intense Bullying

After coming out at school six months ago, 15-year-old Austin Rodriguez (right) started experiencing intense bullying. He kept it to himself, but last Friday it became too much for the Ohio teen to bear, so he swallowed 100 prescription pills in an apparent suicide attempt.

MFMJ reports:

The teenager’s mother [Bonnie] says it was shortly after coming out that her son, who is a straight-A student, began getting bullied at school.

She says at first her son appeared happy and relieved, and then she thought he may have been going through a depression and asked him about it several times, but he never really explained the extent of what he was going through.

Austin Rodriguez is now heavily sedated, and on a ventilator to help him breathe. His mother says her son swallowed more than 100 of his own prescription pills. She has now learned from his friends that the bullying became overwhelming.

Rodriguez says, “I actually didn’t know how bad it was for him in school until he actually did this. And until friends came out of the woodwork saying we knew Austin was going through this, we thought he was handling it a lot better. We didn’t know what to do.”

Doctors are optimistic that he will recover, but the next few days will be critical for Austin.

After hearing one of these news reports, it can be easy to dismiss the work of organizations like the Trevor Project and the “It Gets Better” campaign.

But, yes, while the gay media does pay due attention to each of these tragic suicides and suicides attempts, we have to remember that those suicide support lines are at least helping to make these cases less and less common. Let’s keep our chins up and pray for Austin’s recovery.

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #gayteensuicide #suicide stories and more


  • MEJ

    It’s clear this kids mother was accepting of him, and willing to help him through his troubles. Why did the boy not open up to his mother? What the hell is it with kids?

  • Bill

    Is this going to be yet another story where the bullies’ identities are kept secret? I am sick and tired of reading stories that say that a gay kid “was bullied”. Stop using the passive voice and start naming the people who do the bullying. To this day, we don’t know the bullies of Asher Brown, Billy Lucas, or any of the others. Queerty, get off your ass and do some journalism.

  • Robert

    No.2; hate to break it to you, but Queerty is the gay equivalent of Fox News. They just pull the news pieces from other sites and then pad the rest of the space with an epic amount of fluff pieces. A lot of the stuff is fun to read or watch, but you’d get better journalism on AfterElton.

  • Ron

    @MEJ: Don’t you remember being a teenager?
    Parents don’t know anything, they never went through the same period in life so they can’t understand you, and it’d be way too embarrassing to talk to them about certain stuff.

    As Mark Twain said:

    “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”

  • Oh, ok.

    @Robert: So true, and random commentary based on user comments at the end was ridiculous. Are there even any facts in this “article”?

  • Michael

    At least Queerty has actually reported on this story. The other GLBT sites I read (Towleroad & JMG) didn’t mention it. I live 45 minutes from the site of this story. The nearest television station reported on it quickly and thoroughly, but they only had it on their main page for about 2 hours before it was buried. This morning, the nearest newspaper (edited and owned by right-wing extremists) goes to great pains to avoid mentioning the fact that this kid was gay and bullied for being gay. The entire article uses the generic “bullying” rather than being honest and specific.

  • Edwina Ola DUKE

    poor guy. we’ll be praying for you babe!

  • LOrionmd

    @Ron: Yes, it’s worked that way for generations!

    Glad to see he had made it this far. Yes, he should be okay… well he will recover from coma.

    As to whether he is Bipolar or just frustrated he has such dumb parents and friends is hard to tell.

Comments are closed.