Clovis Bully Victim Honored on Spirit Day - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Clovis Bully Victim Honored on Spirit Day

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By Norma Yuriar

Fresno, Calif.  (KMPH News) – The national outpouring of emotion over the suicide of a gay college student also pierces the heart of valley family.

Chloe Lacey was just 18, when she killed herself last month.  Her family says the Clovis teen was a target of anti–gay bullying.

Chloe was born Justin.

In response to the tragic suicides of gay and transgendered teens, people around the valley took part in spirit day Wednesday.

"We should use their deaths, their very unfortunate, untimely deaths as a way to remember that we need to treat others as human beings and not anything less than," Chloe's friend Zoer Zyndel said.

The Buchanan High School graduate committed suicide in September, ten days before her 19th birthday.

"People don't think that when they make remarks at school that it affects people, but it does," Zyndel said.  "Sometimes it results in death."

"It's just a sad situation for anybody that's bullied, I don't care if you are gay, straight, black, white.   If you are bullied it's wrong," Brandon Jackson with Trans–E–Motion said.

To shed light on the issue people lit candles on the corner of Blackstone and Shaw in northwest Fresno – many wore purple, the color symbolizing "spirit" on the rainbow flag.

Earlier in the day, Fresno State University students and some faculty members also wore purple.

"As a mom, parents need to speak up and teach their kids to be kind and to be loving and not to bully other kids because of their sexual identity," Francine Oputa said.

Chloe's premature death follows a series of suicides among young people in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi killed himself after his roommate streamed his gay rendezvous live on the internet.

In Chloe's case... her mom is now working with schools –educating students to stop bullying.

"You are going to see a lot of her because now that her baby is gone, she's going to live life fighting for her baby," Jackson said.

Organizers of Wednesday's vigil say Chloe's mom is in the Bay Area taping a segment that will be aired nationally focusing on Chloe's story.

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