Man Down: 14-Year-Old Gay Tennessee Boy Commits Suicide
14-year-old Phillip Parker is dead. What killed him? Years of anti-gay bullying, a school that simply did not care about his torment, and a state trying to ban all mention that gay people even exist.
More than 100 people gathered in Gordonsville on Saturday night, grieving the loss of Phillip.
“He was fun, he was energetic, he was happy,” said Gena Parker, Phillip’s mother.
To his many friends, Phillip was known as the boy who told everyone they’re beautiful.
“He kept telling me he had a rock on his chest,” said Ruby Harris, Phillip’s grandmother. “He just wanted to take the rock off where he could breathe.”
Phillip’s family said they reported their concerns over their son’s bullying to Gordonsville High School on multiple occasions, but the bullying by a group of students just got worse.
“That’s my son,” said Phillip Parker, Phillip’s father. ”I love him. I miss him. He shouldn’t have had to kill himself to be brought to life.”
An official with Smith County Schools told Channel 4 they are now planning how to handle a crisis situation with students Monday. Friends added they are planning to set up a memorial fund in Phillip’s name but haven’t made the arrangements just yet.
It’s worth mentioning that last week marked 30 Rock‘s “ripped from the headlines” episode about Tracy Morgan’s real life homophobic Tennessee meltdown. You may recall that Unicorn Booty broke the story of Morgan telling an audience that he would stab his own son to death if he ever dared come out. GLAAD has been all but throwing themselves a parade after negotiating the storyline into this season of the Tina Fey-penned show.
For the record, Tracy Jordan saying gay people are inclined to stare at themselves naked in the mirror is not the same thing as Tracy Morgan threatening to kill a gay child. GLAAD’s posturing on this is embarrassing and insulting.
Another gay teen is dead in the place where all of this ugliness went down, and the LGBT community’s so-called biggest defender against defamation is sending out press releases asking if we heard Tina Fey say their name on TV.
May Phillip rest in peace, and may GLAAD get their priorities straight.