A gay teenaged college student at Oakland University in Michigan killed himself, authorities reported. Corey Jackson, 19, hanged himself on Oct. 19th and his body was found in a wooded area of the university campus.
Although, there's no evidence that the student suffered anti-gay bullying, authorities believe it was something deeper than that.
"We have no indication that bullying-type activity was occurring," said
the university campus police chief, Sam Lucido to the university's newspaper. "We have talked with two
people--one who was a student--who were close to Corey Jackson and they
have said that was not an issue."
In recent weeks, at least nine teens have killed themselves recently after enduring anti-gay abuse, in some cases for years on end. Jackson was said to be a fraternity member - belonging to Tau Kappa Epsilon. A gay fellow student, Nicholas Brewer, told the media that although his home town of Detroit "isn't the easiest place to be gay," but that, "I was fortunate enough to have the support and love that has kept me happy and alive to find out that it does in fact get better."
Zac Willockx told the university's newspaper that "Jackson's suicide hit so close to home. Everyone is still in shock." The freshman added that bullying might have been a factor in Jackson's death: "I don't know if there has to be much bullying for someone to do something like that. It could be like self-imposed feelings because you have been told since birth you should be one way."
"Any death in the campus community diminishes us all," a statement written by the university's president, Gary Russi, said. "We know there will be no quick antidote for the pain that Corey's sudden death has caused, and that only time can heal the sorrow felt by his family and friends. In our mourning, I am hopeful that we will not focus on the manner of Corey's death, but rather celebrate the life he lived and the people he touched."
A vigil was planned for 10:00 p.m. on the evening of Oct. 20. Local businesses provided hundreds of candles for the vigil, an Oakland Press article reported.
"He was like a brother to me," friend Justine Roy told the newspaper. "I had just heard from him Monday night when he texted me, telling me he loved me, which I didn't think anything of since it was a common occurrence. He and I had plans to go to dinner tonight, and we had been planning a much anticipated trip to the cider mill. It's all so surreal."
"I'm not sure what was going in Corey's life to make him do this, but coming from another college student, I'd think just life itself," said another friend, Ashley Ross. "Everything changes so fast, and you go from having no worries to just about every kind of worry." Added Ross, "He just knew how to make people smile and laugh, and every time you were around him, you felt warm and loved."
This definitely shows that we never know what's going on in our brothers, friends, sisters, relatives lives. People could be suffering and we could have no idea.
My thoughts and hugs go out to Corey's family and friends.
We will miss you, Corey...