Seth Walsh was a 13-year-old in Tehachapi, California who attended eighth grade at Jacobsen Middle School. He was bullied at school for his style of dress and his mannerisms and that bullying only intensified when he announced he was gay. Time magazine did a piece on Seth’s death, and quotes Seth’s younger brother Shawn Walsh (age 11) who said at his brother’s funeral, “I always wanted to protect him,” said Shawn, as sobs broke out in the church. “I just wish people could have been nice to him like my mom taught me.” According to family members, the school was well aware of the situation, but opted to do nothing.
The Time Magazine article says it best:
On Sept. 19, his single mother Wendy found him unconscious; he had tried to hang himself from a tree in his backyard after another apparent bullying incident. He lingered on life support for more than a week [passing on 29 September]. His death has since shattered emotions in this rural community 120 miles (190 km) north of Los Angeles. Close to 600 townspeople crammed into First Baptist on Friday, Oct. 1, to remember the teen who loved Pokémon, adored french fries above all other food and had an obsession with disco music. The church was so crowded that Pastor Ron Barker had mourners sit on the floor along the entire length of the middle aisle so everyone could find room inside the church. Still, many mourners gave up trying to enter. “Seth had friends that even this building could not contain,” Barker said, smiling even as he knew the crowds in the church were a clear building violation. “My prayer for today is that the fire people don’t show up.”
Subsequently, Wendy Walsh, spoke about her son’s death in this ACLU video:
Time Magazine – Seth Walsh