A 15-year-old bullied gay teen who hanged himself two weeks ago died yesterday (3 February).
Jadin Bell was taken to Portland hospital in Oregon on 19 January after he hanged himself on a playground at an elementary school.
Bud Hill, a close family friend, said the teen had complained of homophobic bullying a week before and had talked to a counselor at his local high school.
‘He was different, and they tend to pick on the different ones,’ he said.
Bell was a sophomore, and a member of the cheerleading squad.
‘If someone was down and out he would walk into a room and say a couple quick words and everybody would just forget about their problems and smile,’ Hill said. ‘He just had a gift.’
More than 200 people attended a vigil two weeks ago in honor of the teen.
After the event, friend Jody Bullock said: ‘He is amazingly sensitive. If he saw a wounded butterfly he wanted to heal it… He is an amazing young man who is smart and very social; he has a personal and a presence that you want to be a part of.’
In September 2010, the It Gets Better project launched in response to the number of gay teens taking their own life. Since then, it has inspired more than 50,000 videos which have been viewed over 50 million times.