By Lucas Grindley
Originally published on Advocate.com January 17 2012 3:35 PM ET
Parents of Jeffrey Fehr say their 18-year-old son killed himself New Year's Day because of a school life in which he was tormented by antigay bullies.
"We will second-guess ourselves forever," his father told The Sacramento Bee, which recounted what led up to the suicide in its report today. "But we do know that for years and years, people knocked him down for being different. It damaged him. It wore on him. He could never fully believe how wonderful he was, and how many people loved him."
Fehr was out to friends and family, and he was a former captain of his high school cheer team. Fehr was being treated for depression and attending Sierra College, but his parents told the Bee that the bullying appears to have left too deep an impression.
Fehr was teased for being different beginning in the third grade, then called "fag" for the first time in sixth grade, and high school is described as "pure hell."
"A bully might say something and forget about it in 10 seconds," said Steve Fehr. "But people like Jeff never forget those words."
The grief for their loss speaks for itself in a series of photos from a memorial service where friends and family grieved. Read the complete story from the Bee.
The Trevor Lifeline is always available at (866) 488-7386 for those who need support or are considering suicide.