Lead Them Home always attempts to increase understanding about gay teen suicide by highlighting local cases of gay teens that have died by suicide. We explore who died and why they died. We look at the pain they experienced in order to elevate our understanding of risk factors that gay teens face.

The goal is not to assign blame. The goal is to reveal the dangers gay teens face.

Every leadership team we work with is deeply grieved by the reality of kids’ dying. They would do anything to have had a chance to intervene and stop this kind of tragedy from ever occurring.

A few leaders, however, feel uncomfortable and possibly a bit defensive. They do not lack compassion, but they do not know “the inside story” about why a kid really died. “He did not get accepted into medical school” or “Her girlfriend broke up with her.”

It is true that a young person may attempt suicide following a defeat or rejection. However, we must understand that a history of bullying significantly magnifies suicidality. Personal defeat or rejection may be the final trigger, but these painful life experiences usually are NOT the final trigger for most young people who do not have a history of bullying.

The point is not to question the truth of “the inside story” — but to remind us that a history of bullying makes a young person highly vulnerable to giving up when a defeat or rejection occurs.

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