Friends and family are mourning the death of Jack Reese, a gay Utah teen who took his own life last week after allegedly being subjected to anti-gay bullying at school.
Though details of the 17-year-old Reese’s suicide are scarce, his boyfriend Alex Smith spoke frankly about the repeated bullying the teen had experienced at school. Smith, 18, reportedly recalled the incidents at a community event earlier this week at which a bullying film was being screened.
As one official is quoted as telling Ogden OUTreach off the record: “It happens here about once a week, but officially, you know, it doesn’t happen here.”
“Jack loved animals and will miss his cat, Cat,” the obit continues. “He was also very good with kids and loved taking care of them. Jack was learning to speak Japanese and loved anything to do with Japan. He was also very good at drawing and photography.”
A Facebook group in memory of the teen has been established. “His suicide has impacted so many people,” one user wrote. “I HONESTLY hope things will change because of this, but I also wish that it didn’t have to come down to this for awareness to actually be seen in others who decide to bully others for their sexuality.”