May 27th 1997 – April 14th 2012
Kenneth Weishuhn was an American teenager who was driven to suicide by a homophobic bullying campaign at school.
Kenneth was born in Sheldon, Iowa in 1997 and attended South O’Brian Highschool alongside his sister. After coming out in March 2012 Kenneth suffered a malicious bullying campaign through a facebook hate page. The bullying proved so overwhelming Kenneth chose to end his life prematurely.
Kenneth’s suicide caused national outrage and began a policy of zero-tolerance towards bullying in schools across America. Unfortunately, due to a lack of evidence, nobody has been prosecuted for the hate crimes that lead to Kenneth’s death and his sister had to spend the rest of her school days at the same school with those who bullied her brother to death.
Hate crimes against LGBTI+ people are still common across the globe with hate crimes rising every year. LGBT people are more likely than straight cisgendered people to be attacked, sexually harassed and discriminated against. Statistics for the LGBTI+ community show that they are more likely to attempt suicide than most other groups, with 44% of gay or lesbian youth considering suicide at some point in the UK.
Kenneth’s death was a national tragedy which should have been prevented, with no repercussions a message was sent out that LGBTI youth’s lives are worth less than straight people’s education.
Kenneth was found hung by his stepfather in their garage this day, 2012.
A prayer for Kenneth Weishuhn:
Lord God and Father of us all, we cry out to you for the suffering of Kenneth. We cry out in anguish at the despair he and so many other young people feel throughout the world and ask that you might comfort and give courage to those who feel that suicide is the only way out. We cry out for open hearts and changed minds and an end to homophobia everywhere and dream for a day when suicide is no longer considered a viable option. We ask this in the name of Your son who shared in our pain and anguish. Amen
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