Joshua David Pacheco, 17: Bullied Because of Being Gay
Tuesday, November 27th, I received this from the creator of Wipe Out Homophobia. It was sent to him from one of his members:
Today my friend’s good friend, a seventeen year old boy by the name of Josh, killed himself after being continuously bullied for being gay. Josh had his whole life ahead of him, but the ignorant and hateful words of others caused that to be taken away from him. How many people need to die before this world realizes that something is wrong with the way we are treating people?! The constitution states that every human being has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Josh was as human as any of the rest of us, yet he was stripped of all of those rights. This needs to change. No matter gay, straight, or anything else, we all are human, and therefore must all stand up for equal human rights. Please, think before you speak, and make an effort to stand up for those around you. Together we can put a stop to this. Rest in peace, Josh. ♥Josh was a junior at Linden High School. His mother describes him as:
“…very sensitive, to others’ needs and feelings but also to his own,” He gave his whole self fully to any person he could.”
Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough as boys from his school constantly and severely bullied Josh until he couldn’t take it anymore. In talking to the person who originally alerted me about this tragedy, Rachelle, I was able to learn from one of his close friends, through Rachelle, some of the horrors he had to endure.
All I know is that he was bullied in our theatre class by three boys. He felt very uncomfortable. One even went as far as to tell him he spent a lot of time on his knees. He wouldn’t tell everyone who all of them were.
“That, in and of itself, does constitute bullying although it doesn’t really seem as though it would be enough to push Josh, or anyone over the edge”, is what some would probably say to those charges. And, on one level, I guess it would make sense. However, when you add that to other direct information, coming from one of Josh’s friends, it’s a lot easier to understand why he felt he had no other choice:
[members of] the Linden football team pushed him around, [urinated] on him and taped him to his locker.
That action is reprehensible and repulsive. More to the point, there are obviously people – or, at least one person! – who knows about this. It is incumbent upon that person, or those people, to come forward with any and all information they have pertaining to this. Those boys who did this need to be held accountable. Their actions caused another human being to end his life. It’s not enough to say that their karma will take care of it. They need to be dealt with in the here and now. Anything less is unacceptable.
“Josh would never give us names. He was so intimidated by these kids who picked on him,” Josh’s father, said. “If he would have given me or the school details, we would have handled it. Don’t be afraid to speak out. You need to tell people what’s going on.”
This has gone on far too long! We’re all aware of the devastating effects bullying can have on people, especially teens! The “STOP BULLYING!” conversation has been going on long enough, and in enough different forums, that I’m fully, 100% convinced that a.) it’s impossible for any human being with a shred of intelligence to not know what’s going on and what it’s causing; and, b.) those who continue to engage in these actions are simply, and clearly, saying that they just don’t give a rat’s ass about the potential outcome. And, with that being the case, and seeing the death toll continue to mount, explain to me, slowly so that I can understand it, why these people are not being held accountable?
“He told me he felt like he wasn’t good enough. He said if he lost weight he would be happy,” Joshua’s mother said. “But he wasn’t. Then, he said if he came out [as a homosexual], he would be happy. Then, it was if the kids at school stopped teasing him. He came to me and said he still didn’t feel happy. I realized then it wasn’t something, being a mom, that I could fix.”
These “kids” are being allowed to engage in actions that are completely devastating lives. Not only are their actions leading to suicides, there are countless families and friends whose lives are being decimated. How is it fair that they are continuously given a free pass? In this case, where there is at least one person who knows for certain who was doing this to Joshua Pacheco, it is imperative to bring that information to the light. Knowing that someone taped another human to their locker and urinated on them is simply not something to be kept secret, especially now that we know what those actions have led to.
What we’re seeing today is a generation of young people who simply don’t care about people around them or, in some cases, human life in general. Certainly not the entire generation, but enough to have an impact. And, we’re seeing the drastic consequences on a near-daily basis. One of my treasured associates had this to say, just moments ago as a comment on yet another post about yet another teen who had been bullied to the point of ending his life:
The several known kids who bullied Jamey Rodemeyer, who died 9/18/2011, were subjects of a criminal investigation. The result: five-day suspensions from school. They had hard evidence of online posts telling him to kill himself, AND, the kids were still bullying him after his death. His sister went to a school dance not too long after Jamey’s death, and when Jamey’s favorite song came on, the bullies began chanting “You’re better off dead! We’re glad you’re dead!” This whole situation has long since reached the point of being unbelievably horrible. Yet this country is like the proverbial frog in a pot of heating water–we’ve gradually gotten so used to the deadly situation that we don’t even notice death.
You know we’ve become a desensitized society when the youth of our society have no problem committing acts that they know can lead to another person’s death yet continue doing it. Often times even after their victim has ended their life. How is it that we’re okay with this being who we’ve become as a people?
Written by Ron Kemp
December 2, 2012 at 10:11 pm
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