A new comment on our original item about the Saturday night WS Bridge suicide is worth home-page exposure. As we wrote in the original item — we all need to talk more about preventing suicide, which kills more people in our area each year than murder. And to the point raised in this case, King County’s website points out that LGBT youth are at especially high risk. Here’s the comment in full (late afternoon update, we have removed the name at the request of someone who voiced confidentiality concerns, until and unless we hear otherwise):
(posted by “The Gay Curmudgeon”)
The young man was a volunteer at Lambert House, “a center for Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning youth and their allies”
If only we were more accepting of our youth, if only we could do more
to tell them we care, if only we could do more to protect them from
diseases like HIV, if only…
FROM: Ken Shulman, Lambert House Executive Director
TO: Lambert House Volunteers
Dear Lambert House Volunteers:
I am deeply saddened to tell you that [name deleted for now by WSB], a long-time Lambert House youth, committed suicide on Saturday night by jumping off of the West Seattle Bridge. [name], who was 21, first came to Lambert House when he was 15. He considered Lambert House to be very important to him and for other LGBTQ youth.
[name] gave an HIV-prevention education presentation to the Lambert
House Boys Group two weeks ago based on his personal experience becoming infected with HIV. It was [name]’s hope that he could educate other gay males to avoid becoming infected. On his physician’s advice, [name] started HIV anti-retroviral medication last Saturday. He reported having immediate side-effects including a rash and severe nightmares.
On Saturday, June 30, at 4:00 p.m. at Lambert House, [name]’s friends,
including Lambert House graduates, current youth, and others, will hold
an all-ages memorial celebration of [name]’s life. Any Lambert House
youth and anyone who knew [name] is welcome to attend.
I cannot express how saddened I am by this loss.
~The Gay Curmudgeon