|Rafael Morelos, 14|
From the story:
Family and friends gathered for a candlelight vigil on Friday evening to remember 14-year-old Rafael Morelos, who hanged himself on Sunday, Jan. 29. Rafael was openly gay, and friends said he was bullied because of it....
Rafael’s mother, Malinda Morelos, said said she did not know that her son was bullied until students at another vigil earlier in the week told her.
“Almost all the kids here told me he was being bullied,” Morelos told the Wenatchee World.
Morelos said she had known for several years that her son was gay, but that he kept his feelings to himself — she said she she had no idea what he was going through.
“He told me he got shoved and punched in the face in PE in the locker room at Cashmere,” said Lexii Mullin of Wenatchee, a friend of Rafael Morelos.
“He was tired of people saying that his little brothers would follow in his footsteps and be gay too,” said Maranda Blankenship of Wenatchee.
Classmates “would bully him and cuss him out, and just hated on him all the time,” another friend, Jessica Fisk, told KCPQ-TV. “They would follow him and try to beat him up and try to hurt him.”