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Seth Walsh’s “Daily Gauntlet”

Jim Burroway

October 7th, 2010

The mother of Seth Walsh, the Bakersfield-area teen who committed suicide in response to a daily dose of bullying in school, quietly mourns the loss of her son. She is refusing to speak to the public, as are Seth’s friends. But Seth’s grandparents have opened up, and the world gets to see just a bit of the incredible kid that we lost:

Judy and Jim still laugh over his tastes. He colored his hair blond on occasion and wore it with a long swoop that partly covered his eyes. Judy took him shopping once, and he went to the girl’s department to find pants with tapered legs. He added a vest, and a few months later she noticed the style everywhere.

…He was a gentle child, they say, who preferred to “relocate bugs” rather than kill them, who made sure his younger brother got his share of Easter eggs and who once apologized to a bed of flowers when he picked one and placed it on the grave of the family dog.

But the Walshes realize that Seth’s gentleness made him a target, and they recall listening to Wendy (Seth’s mother) as she shared her worries about Seth and what he had to endure.

The teasing and bullying began in fourth grade. At first it was because he was different — more comfortable with girls, not interested in sports, neither aggressive nor assertive — and then it was because he thought he was gay. Once classmates found out and the news spread, the abuse became more focused and cruel.

When Judy learned from her daughter that Seth was gay, she became concerned for the challenges that lay ahead of her grandson.

“Life is hard enough,” she says, “but this makes it harder.”

“Especially in a small town,” Jim says.

The Los Angeles Times’ profile is a must-read.

Comments

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John
October 8th, 2010 | LINK

Please, click the link to read the entire article. If you have a heart, it will be painful but read it, anyway.

Regan DuCasse
October 8th, 2010 | LINK

I read it this morning. Fresh grief. TERRIBLE grief over this cutie pie of a boy whose light would have been a balm to the world.

How many families have buried, ‘the gay one?’
How many?

Whether actually, figuratively, spiritually, physically or literally?

How many?

Can anyone in those anti gay organizations calculate the damages financially, and so on to those families?
What connection or support ‘the gay one’ might have represented to that family were they still whole?

There are elder parents with one less in the family who would have gentled them into their sunsets.

There are siblings without that one, who might have brought more support and interest to their lives.

Do these anti gay people ever consider the needs of the individuals over their abstract political needs?

The war on gay people has casualties not only in the adult world. But toddlers, and adolescents have died because of it too.
The worth of the gay life is only calculated by sex, NOT the worth of the whole person, the whole of their families.

How impossibly arrogant that this is so. Who decided that a gay life is worthless enough, even before it’s really begun?
Who decided?

Someone decided FOR Seth’s family. Someone decided FOR him that he deserved to be treated worse than a dog.
And we know where it began, and are having a hell of a time ending it.

How many?
We know that orgs like TVC, FRC, NOM and so on, couldn’t have cared less about Seth, or Lawrence, or Sakia…or Scotty Joe.
And how they left us.

I’m done with the empty words, and false sympathy by people from these groups.
Their children listen, the adults that teach these children are listening.
And to their end, Seth Walsh is gone.

And who do we have left? The heartless little savages who assaulted him for being a nice, gentle kid.

Our society trades down to those with their false sense of supremacy and teaching that dominance and control are moral.

Someone has to pay for this. I’m done when young gay children do, for the false sense of supremacy that straight people and their little savages think they have.

patrick
October 8th, 2010 | LINK

How insightful and eloquent.

kat
October 9th, 2010 | LINK

I understand the cruelty of children, but what I do not understand is how any adult can read this story and say to themselves, “he deserved it”. How could you possibly think that such a gentle, kind, soul deserved to experience such suffering and shame? How could you possibly think that suicide is a fitting end to such a wonderful life?

It sickens me that any person could look at this little boy and try to justify not only their own hatred and ideology but the pain that he felt and his family is now feeling. There can be no justification for that which drives young people such as Seth to suicide.

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