Rashawn & Beyond: Anti-Violence News for Queer People of Color

The Rashawn Brazell Memorial Fund aims to establish a sustainable tribute to Rashawn that promotes critical thought about the impact of violence and intolerance, particularly upon queer communities of African descent.

Through this blog, we provide action alerts, event postings and breaking news as a means of informing these communities in ways that enable them to combat racism and homophobia.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

National Suicide Prevention Week

by Steven Emmanuel

In lieu of National Suicide Prevention Week the Rashawn Brazell Memorial Fund highlights five stories, domestically and abroad, of gay youth and gay young adults who have committed suicide because of the homophobia they have endure.

Eleven-year-old Jaheem Herrera’s body was discovered by his 10-year-old sister, Yerralis, hanging from a closet in their Atlanta home. Herrera was constantly being bullied at school, often harassed because of his feminine demeanor. Herrera’s mother, Masika Bermude, complained several times to the school board, but her demand for intervention often went ignored. Herrera committed suicide on April 16th.

After months of persistent bullying Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover committed suicide. The athlete-student was found by his mother, Sirdeaner L. Walker, hanging from an extension cord in the second floor of their Massachusetts home. Walker-Hoover would have turn twelve two days later.

Eric Mohat, 17, was a music and theater lover. In 2007, on the day he shot and killed himself, he was told by a classmate, "Why don't you go home and shoot yourself, no one will miss you." Earlier this year his story resurfaced, after his family filed a lawsuit against his school requesting the school start an anti-bullying program and demand the death of their son be recognized as “bullycide.”

Daniel Cudd, 23, and Roger Irons, 21, both United Kingdom natives, were found dead in separate incidents in their hometown of Falmouth, Cornwall. Cudd and Irons succumbed to the hostility and torment they faced for being gay. Cudd was discovered life-less at his home and only 48 hours later Irons was found hung from a park tree.

National Suicide Prevention Week was established by the American Association of Suicidology.

To learn more about National Suicide Prevention Week please visit

To get counseling please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.


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