Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Bullied Gay Teen Dies 9 Days After Suicide Attempt

Seth Walsh, posted by teen friends on Facebook

Tehachapi, CA – A 13-year-old gay teen boy, bullied beyond endurance, died nine days after hanging himself from a tree in his backyard.  Seth Walsh, a former student at Jacobsen Middle School, was tormented incessantly for years by school bullies for being gay and bisexual, according to KGET-TV News.  The bullying and name-calling got so bad that Seth’s parents pulled him out of Jacobsen and independently schooled him, but the bullies follow Seth with their mission to harass him.  The torment shifted from school to a park nearby Seth’s home in Kern County, California, according to friends.  They say he never fully revealed how desperate the verbal attacks made him feel, but instead kept his despair bottled up inside himself until he couldn’t stand another day.  On Sunday, September 19, he quietly went into the backyard, and hanged himself from the limb of a tree.  When Seth was found hanging from the branch, he was unconscious and barely alive. Parameds rushed him to a nearby medical center where he hung onto life supported by a ventilator and other heroic measures.  Nine days of struggle later, on Tuesday, September 28, Seth died.  Classmates from Jacobsen Middle School said to KGET-TV that though the school administration had an anti-bullying program in place, nobody at the school offered Seth any real guidance or protection from the bullying they knew he was going through.  Tehachapi police investigators interviewed students suspected of teasing and bullying the 13-year-old for being gay, but now say that nothing they did to Seth constituted a crime.  They will not be charged in his death, though the intensity of their torment was likely the factor most responsible for Seth’s desperate attempt to kill himself.  Police Chief Jeff Kermode told KGET, “Several of the kids that we talked to broke down into tears. They had never expected an outcome such as this.” A memorial service for Seth was held at the First Baptist Church of Tehecapi on Friday afternoon.  Towelroad reports that suicide prevention counselor Daryl Thiesen does not believe that acts of contrition and sorrow by the kids responsible for bullying Seth, or an outpouring of grief from the school and community now, will break through what Thiesen calls the “culture of silence” surrounding anti-gay bullying in the schools. Students who know about bullying incidents, or teens who are the victims of school bullying, are driven into silence about it out of peer pressure and the fear of being labeled “snitches” or “tattlers.”  From all reports, Seth was a sweet-natured youth who loved life and just wanted to be allowed to live it.  Deeply ingrained homophobia in the school and the town influenced those prone to bullying to harass this ordinary, loving, so-so-very-young kid to death.  It is good that friends and neighbors are rallying to support Seth’s family now.  What must be done to prevent further senseless loss of life among our young is an all-out effort to teach tolerance, acceptance, and anti-violence in our schools, churches, and families.

October 1, 2010 - Posted by | Anglo Americans, Anti-LGBT hate crime, Bullying in schools, California, gay teens, harassment, hate crimes prevention, Heterosexism and homophobia, Law and Order, LGBT teen suicide prevention, LGBTQ suicide, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, Slurs and epithets | , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. I am so sorry for u im sure ur kid would have been a very nice kid right now i am 13 and gay too and im scared to but dont wprry about me. Im fine and u will be with him some day. Im so sorry nobody knows wat ppl r actually goin through until they r gone. This story made me cry… I wish he didnt hang himself bc every1 has a reason to live…

    Comment by Jake | March 21, 2011

    • good so good i respect ya boy

      Comment by erik guy | November 27, 2011

    • Same

      Comment by Ari | January 15, 2012

    • i am 13 to and i been bullied a lot , it makes me sad but i don’t care i am who i am and nobody can change that about me ,and i live in Fresno to as the kid did i wish i could find him and tell him to don’t do it and maybe be his best friend i will because people say i’m nice the reason because i’m nice to everybody and don’t jug is because i been hurt a lot and some times they get to me and makes me think should i kill my self but i don’t because i think about my friends and how much the love me and care about me 🙂

      Comment by jose | July 13, 2012

      • Jose,

        Please take care of yourself! When things get hard to bear, remember to reach out to adults you can trust. If school bullying is going on, reach out to teachers and school administrators, and tell them what is happening!

        The Trevor Helpline is a free call, and you can reach out to them anytime! Their number is 866-488-7386. Since you are online, please visit their wonderful website and hear Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter!) speak to you. http://www.thetrevorproject.org/

        You are so important, Jose. Remember that!

        Your friend,


        Comment by unfinishedlives | July 13, 2012

  2. very nice cute boys

    Comment by ameer | June 7, 2011

  3. That is sad i mean how can people bullie
    It is soo horible
    Starve a bully and feed your soul

    Comment by Ari | January 15, 2012

  4. Hey ma name is Abby and am gay and am glad to be sorry to hear about steth

    Comment by abby | February 12, 2012

  5. WOW … you should never judge a person by the way he/she looks,acts,or ANYTHING!!!!!! Its just really wrong and hurtful. I mean what if you just cam home from bullying some gay kid and your lil brother or sister comes up to you and says i like boys or i like girls what would you do make fun of them?!?!?! I dont think so !!!!!!! Its better to just let people be who they are …. Let them do whatever they want to do because surely they have a life… And if you have a life too you would stop bullying!!!!!!

    Comment by Jazmin | March 10, 2012

    • really true thanx

      Comment by Jazmin | March 10, 2012

    • I totally agree!

      Comment by Ashley | April 4, 2012

  6. And Im only 12… Iv never been bullied but i know the pain others are feeling just by the look on their face … I cant stop bullying by myself but if we come together im sure we can find a way…. And i know most of the bullies in school usally get bullied by their parents!!!! But listen yall dont have to take it on the kids at school take it on yourself or go see a school counsler !!!! and i know i might of spelt these words wrong but com’on im 12 !!!!!!!

    Comment by Jazmin | March 10, 2012

  7. Im eighteen and bisexual. I want to know where you got ur pride wristband?

    Comment by ben best | June 19, 2012

  8. I hate how bullies just bully you and, at the end when you kill yourself they start feeling sorry…. I too have been bullied. I’ve been bullied since Kindergarten and know I’m in middle school and still getting bullied they are teasing me just for being Bi… I had to move schools 4 times… 😥
    Bullies are just full of BULL

    Sorry for the boy that died…
    He is a very cute guy😞

    Comment by Just. some. boy | November 25, 2013

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

%d bloggers like this: