Before 16-year-old Anthony Stubb went missing on November 25, he spent the say with his girlfriend, Charlotte Mason, 18, and their four-month-old daughter Lily. His body was found weeks later on January 14, hanging in the woods near his home.
Stubb’s mother, Denise Machin, blames her son’s female classmates, who harassed him about his sexuality.
“Anthony was getting bullied by girls for two years. He would get shouted ‘gay boy’ at, get slapped in the face, come home with his school jumper ripped and even got his phone stolen. He would be upset but pick himself up and go back the next day,” she told The Sun. “I spoke to his teachers about it, but Anthony begged me not to get involved because it was making it worse and he’d get embarrassed.”
Though Anthony had been with Charlotte for two years, his mother always suspected he might be gay. She had learned he had flirted with men online, but hesitated to bring it up. “He was still with Charlotte and I was worried he was confused about his sexuality,” she said. “I kept it to myself as I didn’t want to embarrass him or scare him off talking to me.”
After they learned that Anthony would become a father, Denise finally confronted him, telling him that it was okay if he was gay. “He shouted that he wasn’t gay and loved Charlotte, but eventually confessed he might be bisexual. I told him I knew he loved his girlfriend but that he needed to be honest with her.”
When Lily was born, Anthony moved in with Charlotte’s family and things seemed to be going well. According to Denise, he was looking forward to going to college and focusing on being a good father, but she added, “I think Anthony was very good at hiding how he really felt and making everyone believe he was OK.”
After he disappeared in November, Denise and Charlotte responded to a suspicious text on his phone and “our fears were confirmed as the person said they were male and then said something sexually explicit. Anthony was obviously experimenting, finding out who he was.”
When the police found Anthony’s body, Denise was partially relieved from the suicide note he had left in his backpack. “Well, I’m gone but not completely,’” it read. “I will be watching over you and making sure you make the right choices. And don’t forget me, I’m in heaven looking down. Please don’t grieve and try to move on as best you can, I love you all so very much.”
He left his XBox to his younger brother, but didn’t leave any explanation as to why he had taken his own life.
“I think his feelings for the same sex left him struggling to know what to do about it,” Denise Machin said. “I think it got on top of him — coping with these feelings, being a dad and being good to Charlotte. I think there should be someone in schools to support teenagers who may be going through this confusion.”
“There was no one there for Anthony,” she added. “I just feel sorry — I feel like I let him down.”