The mother of a teenage boy who died by suicide in California is grieving publicly after his death. She says he was bullied relentlessly by kids who teased him because he was gay.
In the aftermath of her son Salvador’s death, Eunice Rios posted a video on TikTok explaining her grief, San Diego NBC station KNSD reported.
She said that she had hoped to shield her son from the bigotry of the world. Unfortunately, she thinks that the spitefulness of young bullies led to her son taking his life in August.
“I support the gay community, always. Always. Love is love. But as a mom, it was not easy to accept that my son was going to be exposed, go through all these ordeals because the world is so mean,” Rios explained. “My son, he experienced embarrassment, humiliation, pain.”
She told the television station that her son suffered relentless bullying at the hands of cruel classmates at two schools who targeted the teen.
The things that those who tormented her son said to him were too difficult to read, she said.
“I don’t want to know because I don’t want to read the messages, and I will never read the messages because this is the reason I think he took his life,” she stated.
Rios said she contacted the San Diego Unified School District to file a complaint with the agency.
The district did not respond KNSD’s request for comment.
After burying her son, Rios intends to keep his memory alive by continuing to engage in activism. She is determined to make sure that the LGBTQ+ community is treated with respect and dignity in the wake of his tragic death.
If you are having thoughts of suicide or are concerned that someone you know may be, resources are available to help. The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 is for people of all ages and identities. Trans Lifeline, designed for transgender or gender-nonconforming people, can be reached at (877) 565-8860. The lifeline also provides resources to help with other crises, such as domestic violence situations. The Trevor Project Lifeline, for LGBTQ+ youth (ages 24 and younger), can be reached at (866) 488-7386. Users can also access chat services at TheTrevorProject.org/Help or text START to 678678.