A 13-year-old Queensland boy took his own life on Monday after enduring years of bullying because of his sexuality.
Tyrone Unsworth had been tormented since he was in Year 5, his mother Amanda told The Courier Mail. “Tyrone ended up gay and a lot of people started picking on him.”
The abuse culminated in a particularly brutal physical attack where Tyrone was hit with a fence post, which meant he needed surgery to his jaw.
After the attack, the frightened boy said he was too terrified to return to school.
"When he came out of hospital he was a different boy ... he just kept telling us all 'I don’t want to go to school, I don’t want to end up back at hospital'," his grandmother Twiggy Jones said.
"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," Amanda added.
A memorial Facebook page was set up to commemorate the teen. “People need to learn that their thoughts, words and actions DO AFFECT other people,” wrote one commenter. “Nobody, no adult, no child has the right to make someone else feel inferior.”
His mother Amanda wrote: “Seen my baby boy today was so hard. I just wanted him to wake up and come home with me. I know your pain-free now son and they cant pick on you anymore, but this shouldn't of had to happen.
"All of this Because of BULLIES thinking there tough heroes. Now I don’t have my SON. Never, ever will I get to see my beautiful boy alive.”
Tyron’s aunt Rebecca wrote on her Facebook page on Thursday: “Today was so hard seeing you just lying there not moving but I now know you want me to let you rest in peace. No more pain, you're free. I will always hold you so close to my heart never forgotten at all. Love you Tyrone Unsworth xxxxx”
“This is why we need Safe Schools. Tyrone Unsworth was just 13. Our thoughts are with his devastated family,” wrote the The NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights lobby on their Facebook page.
Tyrone will be laid to rest on December 1. His anguished family have asked that wellwishers wear bright clothes to commemorate their bright, funny, fun-loving little boy.
For support and information about suicide prevention, call Lifeline on 13 11 14