A young gay film maker who just weeks ago created an It Gets Better video and before that a short film advocating for tolerance and acceptance of gay people, reportedly took his own life this week.
Eric James Borges, aged just 19, of Visalia, California, is reported to have committed suicide on Wednesday, January 11, 2012. The reason behind his suicide, if one is known, has not yet been publicized.
Known as “EricJames” to his friends, he was an intern with the Trevor Project and was highly involved in work to prevent teen suicide.
EricJames had, just weeks before this,†composed a video for the It Gets Better project in which he spoke about the bullying, prejudice and ill treatment he had to endure at school and, he claimed, at home too. In a comment under that video EricJames wrote:
My story is always hard to tell, even in a simplistic condensed form, but, “Many LGBT youth can’t picture what their lives might be like as openly gay adults. They can’t imagine a future for themselves. So let’s show them what our lives are like, let’s show them what the future may hold in store for them.”
You can watch that video below:
It seems important to stress that EricJames’ taking his own life does not necessarily undercut his It Gets Better message, though it does of course make it all the more poignant. For many, life does indeed get better. And it can get better for anyone reading this. But one should not underestimate or downplay the struggle to reach that point, and that is why a variety of programs are trying to make it better right now and let LGBT teens and all suicidal youth know that there are people out there wanting to help who can give guidance and support.
Indeed, Eric’s death prompted The Trevor Project to say in a statement (via†New Civil Rights Movement):
We are deeply saddened to hear about the tragic death of EricJames Borges, and our hearts go out to his family and friends, and his community. EricJames was a dedicated, trained volunteer. Our main concern right now is that those affected by his death feel supported and can get the care they need. If you or someone you know needs support, please don’t hesitate to call the Trevor Lifeline at†866-488-7386.
EricJames also created and participated in a beautiful short film called Invisible Creatures, which I urge readers to view below:
A group has been set up on Facebook announcing a memorial event for EricJames. It reads in part:
As much of our community now knows, our student and friend, Eric James Borges, succumbed to suicide on Wednesday evening, January 11. The world has lost a beautiful, gentle, and nurturing soul from his passing, and the COS Theatre Department would like to provide an opportunity for his friends and admirers to gather together to discuss his life and his legacy. We will be showing some of his work, reading from some of his stories, and offering an outlet for folks to ask questions and receive guidance during this difficult time.
Care2′s sincere condolences go out to EricJames’ loved ones.
If You Need Help or Just Someone Talk To…
The Trevor Project runs a 24/7 helpline with trained counselors ready to listen if you or someone you know would like to talk about the issues dealt with in this post.
The Trevor Project Helpline number is 1-866-4-U-TREVOR (1-866-488-7386).
Trevor Project Links:
IMPORTANT: If you live outside America and require information on services in your country the International Association for Suicide Prevention carries information for crisis centers from across the globe. ¬†Please click here for those resources.
Image taken from video under fair use terms.
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