Victime d'une « constante intimidation homophobe », un adolescent australien se suicide

Victime d'une « constante intimidation homophobe », un adolescent australien se suicide

>> Teenager killed himself after 'constant bullying' about his sexuality

Le 22 novembre dernier, Tyrone Unsworth, 13 ans, originaire de Brisbane en Australie, a choisi l'acte du désespoir, laissant dans le deuil sa famille et toute une communauté, qui dénoncent le harcèlement constant que subissait le garçon, comme 75% des jeunes australiens LGBTI, pour 80% en milieu scolaire, selon « The Safe Schools Coalition Australia ».

Tyrone était délicat, sensible, aimait la vie, les animaux et plus particulièrement « la mode et le maquillage », d'où les moqueries qu'il collectionnait depuis l'âge de 5 ans. Mais lorsqu'on passe de « fée » à « pédé, pédale », et qu'avec les injures cumulent les violences physiques, « l’intimidation est mortelle », a rappelé sa mère, Amanda, indignée sur le Courrier-Mail, accusant les bourreaux d'avoir poussé son fils « à bout ».

La police de Queensland a confirmé qu'une enquêté était « en sub-buzz-29302-1480033801-1cours d’instruction », après l'hospitalisation récente de l'enfant, victime d'une nouvelle agression. « L'incident » impliquerait un autre élève mais ne s'est pas déroulé dans les couloirs du lycée, qui mis en cause, soutient toutefois n'avoir jamais constaté ni été informé du calvaire que traversait l'adolescent. « Il ne nous a jamais prévenu. Nous aurions réagi autrement », a déclaré dans un communiqué la directrice de l'établissement.

Depuis le mois de février et la campagne contre le programme de prévention anti-intimidation « Safe Schools » menée par plusieurs instances conservatrices, dont le « Australian Christian Lobby », un lobby chrétien qui estime que sensibiliser les jeunes aux problème de l'homophobie revient à les endoctriner pour normaliser des activités sexuelles contre-nature et à risque, « les violences liées se sont multipliées en milieu éducatif », indique Micah Scott, responsable de l'association Minus18, dédiée aux jeunes LGBTI australiens.

« Les effusions d'intox et mensonges y ont largement contribué. Et comme personne ne se renseigne vraiment, tout le monde adhère aux élucubrations et rumeurs. »

En août, plus de 17 000 personnes ont signé une pétition demandant au gouvernement de la Nouvelle-Galles du Sud de supprimer le programme de prévention contre les discriminations, déposé par le député libéral Damien Tudehope et déjà adopté par quelque 300 écoles, affirmant qu'il s'agissait « d'une atteinte aux droits de tous les parents ».

La lutte contre les discriminations fondées sur l'orientation sexuelle et l'identité/expression de genre n'est toujours pas une cause nationale : mais nos enfants en meurent, a insisté la mère de Tyrone, déplorant le manque de volonté des politiques malgré les tragédies qui se suivent. Elle appelle à une mobilisation, exprimant son soutien à toutes les victimes et leur famille.

« Nous n’abandonnerons jamais », a-t-elle ajoutée, en partageant sur les réseaux une photo de son fils, souriant, pour inviter toutes les personnes qui souhaitent se recueillir et assister aux funérailles le 1er décembre prochain à Albany, sur la côte méridionale, à ne pas éviter « les couleurs », même les plus vives, « Tyrone les affectionnant tout particulièrement ».

Terrence Katchadourian
stophomophobie.com

>> The mother of a Brisbane teenager who killed himself says he did so after being bullied about his sexuality.

Tyrone Unsworth, 13, was a year 7 student at Aspley state high school in Brisbane. He died on Tuesday.

Amanda Unsworth, his mother, remembered him as an ambitious, loving boy interested in animals and fashion. She told the Courier-Mail that « a lot of people started picking on him » over his sexuality.

« He was a really feminine male, he loved fashion, he loved make-up and the boys always picked on him, calling him gay boy, faggot, fairy; it was a constant thing from year 5, » she said. « I feel like these people who were bullying Tyrone are the cause of why he is not here any more. They pushed him to the edge. »

She posted an image of herself holding the front page of the Courier-Mail, showing a photo of Tyrone above the headline « Bullied to death », on Facebook on Friday.

« We Love and Miss you so much Tyrone, » she wrote. « We will stand up and fight to get as much awareness help and support for others out there, SAY NO TO BULLYING. »

Tyrone Unsworth had been hospitalised less than a month ago after an incident allegedly involving another student. Queensland police confirmed to the Courier-Mail that their investigation into the alleged assault was ongoing on Thursday.

His funeral will be held on 1 December at Albany Creek. His mother requested that attendees wear brightly coloured clothes.

Aspley state high school’s principal, Jacquinta Miller, said in a statement circulated by the Queensland department of education there were concerns about the wellbeing of Tyrone Unsworth’s peers following « this tragic incident ».

The school did not tolerate bullying, she said, and asked the community « refrain from inflaming what is already a complex and challenging situation ».

Miller had told the Courier-Mail that neither Tyrone Unsworth nor his family had reported any allegation of bullying to the school. « Neither the student nor his family ever came to us to say there was a problem of any kind. »

« If they did, we absolutely would have stepped in. »

Her statement clarified that the recent incident reported to police occurred outside of school hours.

The Safe Schools Coalition Australia extended its sympathy to those affected by Unsworth’s death, which it said was evidence of the impact of bullying and discrimination faced by all LGBTI young people.

It pointed to research that said 75% of same sex-attracted young people aged between 14 and 21 had experienced some form of homophobic bullying or abuse because of their sexuality, or perceived sexuality. Eighty per cent said it was while they were at school.

In Queensland, school principals are free to decide whether their schools join the controversial Safe Schools anti-bullying program. A number of schools that had opted in were previously listed on the Safe Schools website but the list was removed after they began to receive abuse from opponents.

The education department did not respond to questions about whether Aspley state high school was a member of Safe Schools, but it said schools were free to « adopt aspects » of the program at individual principals’ discretion.

It also said the department had a « comprehensive framework of policies and procedures » to assist schools in creating safe and supportive learning environments.

Janet Rice, the Greens’ LGBTIQ spokeswoman, told Guardian Australia that Unsworth’s death was an « absolute tragedy ».

« Nobody should have to question the value of their life because of their sexuality. This is why programs like Safe Schools are so important. My deepest condolences go to Tyrone’s family and friends. »

Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek tweeted that Unsworth’s death was « absolutely heartbreaking », adding : « Every single child deserves to feel safe at school. »

A campaign against the Safe Schools program, which aims to support LGBTI young people at school, has been led by conservative politicians in tandem with the News Corp press for much of this year.

The Daily Telegraph on Friday published an opinion piece by the NSW Labor MP Greg Donnelly about his « absolute » opposition to Safe Schools, which he said was the « indoctrination” of children with « extreme » ideologies and « passing the whole exercise off as an anti-bullying exercise ».

Andre Charadia and Alex West, the co-convenors of Rainbow Labor New South Wales, condemned his piece as « out of touch and out of step », saying, « He is a lonely voice on the wrong side of history. »

Later on Friday, the Australian Family Association, which has campaigned against Safe Schools, posted to Facebook about the « horrible news » of Unsworth’s death.

« Activists are already saying it may not have happened if the schools used the SSCA ‘Safe Schools’ program. However, SSCA is not about bullying. In fact it sexualises kids and normalises risky sexual activity and disease. Schools need genuine anti-bullying programs not confusing sexual ideology. »

In August more than 17,000 people signed a petition urging the NSW government to scrap the program lodged by the Liberal MP Damien Tudehope, who said it represented « an attack on the rights of all parents ».

The SSCA has reportedly trained more than 18,000 staff in the program at nearly 300 member schools.