A gay teen who worked for a US suicide prevention group has killed himself just weeks after making a video for the It Gets Better campaign.
Eric James Borges, from Visalia, California, commited suicide on Wednesday, sadly despite interning for The Trevor Project, a national organization which provides suicidal LGBT youngsters with support.
Last month 19-year-old Borges, who is also an aspiring filmmaker, posted a YouTube video for the It Gets Better campaign, aimed at preventing suicide among LGBT youth.
In the video, Borges, who came out in 2010, recounts his tragic story, revealing how he was raised in an extremist Christian household and endured years of bullying at school.
'I was physically, mentally and verbally assualted on a day to day basis for my perceived sexual orientation,' he said.
'I could not talk or go anywhere without someone saying or doing something. My name was not Eric, but faggot.'
He explains how he was stalked, spat on and physically assaulted.
But things did not improve when he started college and his mother, who by then knew he was gay, performed an exorcism on him in an attempt to cure him.
When he finally came out, his family disowned him and last September kicked him out of his home, telling him he was 'disgusting, perverted, unnatural and damned to hell.'
However, before his sad death, Borges was beginning to transform his life, educating others about gay issues and homophobia.
Condolences have been pouring in from around the world on Twitter and Facebook, where a tribute group, Light a candle in honnor of Eric James Borges Tonight [sic], has been set up.
'I am so hurt by the suicide of Eric James Borges. Rest in Peace, love. We'll be creating a better world in your name,' tweeted _TheatreKid, real name Jeremy Kyle and ambassador for the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network.
While Randall Reynolds, Twitter handle randallr01, posted: 'Humanity lost a beautiful heart & mind in Eric James Borges. May Eric rest in peace & may biogtry fade...'