18-Year-Old Gay Teen Lance Lundsten Kills Himself After “Relentless Bullying” [UPDATED]

UPDATED January 19:
While the initial article from KSAX stated that the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office had confirmed Lundsten’s death was due to suicide, an update to the article now reads, “The Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday that the cause of Lundsten’s death was yet to be determined. Authorities had been working with the Douglas County Medical Examiner’s Office to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death. The cause and manner of death will be determined by the medical examiner after the autopsy process and laboratory testing is complete.”

In a phone call to KSAX, Lance’s father said the coroner had told him Lance had an enlarged heart and had died of a coronary endema; that he believed it was not a suicide, and that he believed there were no signs of drugs or alcohol in his son’s system. However, according to the medical examiner, the preliminary findings show that Lance did not die from an enlarged heart, and that the slight swelling was really due to “an undetermined cause.” A report released by the Sheriff’s Office yesterday said that the cause of death would be determined after both the autopsy and lab tests are actually finished.

So basically: first friends, KSAX, and The Sheriff’s Office thought Lance might have committed suicide because he was bullied over being gay. Then his father told KSAX the coroner had told him (in an unconfirmed-by-the-medical-examiner phone call) that Lance had died because he had an enlarged heart and he didn’t think it was suicide. Then the medical examiner said Lance hadn’t actually died because of his enlarged heart, he was small/young/healthy and that was a secondary finding, and that they’ll release a report when there’s actually a report to release. These things haven’t changed: that Lance was gay, that he was bullied, that his death, how it happened aside (for now), is sad/too soon.

Saturday night, Lance Lundsten, an 18-year-old high school student in Minnesota, reportedly committed suicide due to anti-gay bullying.

The local Sheriff’s Office responded to an emergency call Saturday night and discovered Lundsten in need of emergency medical care. He was transported to a nearby hospital, where he later died. The Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that they believe his death was due to suicide, but has not gone into details.

According to KSAX, on a memorial Facebook page (now closed) friends said that Lundsten, who was openly gay, had been bullied over his orientation. A separate event page says:

“Lance committed suicide after he felt he had no other options. He faced relentless bullying at school. Lance was a senior in high school and was SO close to graduation but could not face the hatred and evil inside Jefferson High School.

I’m just asking you to remember Lance Lundsten when his funeral begins at 7:30 PM (8:30 EST). I’m also asking that you pause and reflect on how you treat others and what you are doing to end hatred.”

Shari Maloney, a facilitator for the Diverse Resource Action Alliance, an Alexandria-based organization dedicated to promoting an understanding of diversity, says:

Bullying is a huge issue, particularly with the youth in our country now. I think because we’re in central Minnesota, and we aren’t as diverse as some of the larger Metropolitan areas are, someone who is different maybe draws more attention and it’s not always positive. […] I think we are a welcoming community, but I think we are also a very traditional community as well. As the world changes, I’m not sure if we’re changing.”

According to an earlier article by KSAX, Senator Al Franken has called Lundsten’s death a tragedy and hopes that new legislation might prevent in-school bullying due to sexual orientation:

“My heart goes out to Lance’s family, and friends and loved ones. It’s a tragic event, not only for them, but for the school, and the Alexandria community and really for all of us. LGBT kids really do need (more) protection. They’re two or three times more likely than straight kids to get bullied. Nine in ten LGBT students said they’ve been bullied or harassed and almost two-thirds say they don’t feel safe in school.”

The Student Non-Discrimination Act, Franken’s proposed legislation, would prevent schools from discrimination due to sexual orientation. It would also prevent them from ignoring instances of harassment. It is worth noting at this point that there is nothing in the Jefferson High School handbook (pdf) that forbids harassment over sexual orientation. If there had been, would Lundsten still be alive? It’s impossible to say. However, anything that works on fixing the poisonous school environment is a good thing. After Gay Teen SuicideGate 2010, Rachel wrote:

“Ten or twenty years ago, the Seth Walshes and Tyler Clementis were just a small-print obituary with no details, no explanation. It’s heartbreaking for us to hear about their lives and deaths, but the fact that we do means that we’re living in a time when people can be honest, when they can tell the truth without feeling like it will only make things worse.”

Instances like this are sad, but they remind us not to get complacent; that bullying is still a problem (in case you somehow forgot) and that it’s not going away just because this one day everyone wore purple or something.

His funeral will be held this evening.

Also anyone in crisis right this minute should contact The Trevor Project‘s 24/7 Lifeline at 1-866-4-U-TREVOR (1-866-488-7386) or The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

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Ryan Yates

Ryan Yates was the NSFW Editor (2013–2018) and Literary Editor for Autostraddle.com, with bylines in Nylon, Refinery29, The Toast, Bitch, The Daily Beast, Jezebel, and elsewhere. They live in Los Angeles and also on twitter and instagram.

Ryan has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. Struggling with words. This is so upsetting.I keep typing out half sentences I can’t finish. How many times does this have to happen before we realize that waiting it out, that it WILL get better, is not a solution for now. What do we do now?

    • *hugs*
      She’ll have to be strong. Thirteen is young. I hope she never has to face even a fraction of what Lance faced. No child deserves that. Best wishes for her.

    • Good on your sister. Good on you. Just do your best and support her. …also hugs, hugs are awesome.

  2. “I’m also asking that you pause and reflect on how you treat others and what you are doing to end hatred.”

    Yes. The simplest of all: Be there for people, ask them how they feel, even if you don’t know them that well. Be nice, it doesn’t cost anything and it might help someone get through the day (I know it has for me, on more than one occasion).

    My heart goes out to Lance Lundsten’s family and friends.

  3. This is a very sad article, I just wish someone stepped in and said to him don’t worry it’ll be fine in the end because you will laugh in the face of your bullies in the end because they’re cowards for making you feel this way. This is such a depressing article my thoughts go out to his family and friends.

  4. Sad that this keeps happening. I would ask what is wrong with the world but there is now answer to that question.

  5. Pingback: 18-Year-Old Gay Teen Lance Lundsten Kills Himself After "Relentless Bullying" – Autostraddle | Vacation travel

  6. Minneapolis was named the gayest city in the country and then this happens in the same state. It just shows that even though community might be strong in some places, we still have a long way to go, especially for teenagers.

    • Makes me think of Seattle vs. rural Washington State. While there are other liberal pockets (Olympia and Bellingham come to mind), most of the state is actually quite conservative. But when people think of the region, they tend to think of Seattle.

      Or, geographically closer to me at the moment, Sydney vs. country New South Wales. Geesh.

  7. “as the world changes, I’m not sure if we’re changing” your world wont change if you refuse to.

  8. this comment has been deleted for violating our comment policy on several levels, including hate speech, impersonating a bigoted homophobic human, slander, trolling, and just generally being an asshole

    • I encourage you to reevaluate your worldview, sir. Ask yourself if a life of hatred is the type of life you would like to lead, and the legacy you would like to leave behind.

      • I do not hate gays as long as they stay in the closet and do not act like gays. The real problem is when they behave like gays. I think they used to be more under control when they were more scared of being bullied. Nowadays they are getting out of hand, but at least some of them are still learning the lesson through bullycide.

        • Correct me if I’m wrong, but you’re saying that gay people should only be tolerated as long as no one knows they’re gay? Being gay isn’t something to be ashamed of, nor is it something that warrants bullying. What are you afraid of that results in encouraging your son to bully gay people?

          • this comment, although actually quite humorous (in a ‘very twisted inappropriate sick joke’ kind of way), has been deleted for violating our comment policy on several levels, including hate speech, impersonating a bigoted homophobic human, slander, trolling, and just generally being an asshole

          • “but gay men are well known to be heavily into eating poop, anal sex, drugs, and on top of that they spread venereal disease.”

            you sound jealous, sincerely. you are probably trying to deal with your own internalized homophobia, so i will spare myself the anger and say that when you are ready to come to terms with your own sexuality, this community will be ready to accept you welcomingly… (with apology, of course!)

          • I hope that if I were to somehow become gay, that someone will bully me when that day comes.

        • Mister, you’re on a lesbian website. Stop trolling and attracting attention to yourself with senseless statements.

          • Exactly. What the hell purpose would there be to coming to a website like Autostraddle and saying something like that other than to be a complete asshole?

          • this posting has been deleted because the poster has demonstrated such a sincere commitment to being a dick.

          • I’m with you — this is definitely a joke. Not a particularly funny one or one by someone with any tact, but it’s definitely some jerk trying to upset the lesbians. Ugh, seriously? Trolls on a post about suicide? Couldn’t you have trolled, like, something about skinny jeans or Glee? This really isn’t appropriate.

          • No, this is not a joke, and although some here are living in denial, I can say that I have spoken to several other parents who have kids at the same school as Gay Lance Lundsten and we all agree. If anything, I hope this steps up the efforts to bully and ostracize gay kids, like in the good old days when society was a lot nicer.

          • well, sir, we are still laughing at you, whether or not you intended to be funny. because really, you’re fucking hilarious.

          • oh damn.. you’re right. i scheduled wayyy too much time being a gay nuisance last week when it should have been devoted to studying and bullying people!

          • this comment has been deleted for violating our comment policy on several levels, including hate speech, impersonating a bigoted homophobic human, trolling, and just generally being an asshole

          • I just want to say – for the record – that you are not a mentally ill freak.

            Meanwhile, wanna hang out and be gay nuisances together? I’m sure it’ll be even more fun that way.

    • Good sir- firstly- go fuck yourself. I mean that with all due respect. Secondly- you are making biased assumptions about gay people. Not all gays have 30 sexual partners. If what you say is even true, which I highly doubt, because you seem like an internet troll, and not someone even remotely connected to the matters at hand, then I would like to know why having sexual partners is bad. Your negative attitude towards sex is outdated. If he was being safe, then let him have his, and you can have yours. Though I doubt your getting any, and quite frankly, I hope you never do. Thirdly, amicable and amiable are both words. They both roughly mean “friendly”. Being an amateur grammar troll over the internet does not gain you any friends.
      I am tired. I am tired of relentless hatred and cruelty. I am tired of quiet condescension, and the lies being spread about the gay community- MY community. So please, rethink your views, or my generation, a generation of fighters, willing to battle for what we believe in, will shift the world around you so fast your head will spin. I have faith in the people my age- slowly hatred is being broken away, bit by bit. Whether you want to end this hatred, or build it up again, is your call. But the hatred will end- of this I am sure.

    • Bullying is a sick sadistic behavior. Teaching your son is in direct conflict with Christian principals, if you consider yourself Christian. I do not consider you harsh. I consider you an accessory to murder.

  9. Gays need to mobilize and arm themselves, and respond to this level of bullying with violence. Passivity has failed and will simply lead to more gay deaths. Consider the Columbine shootings, which allowed nerds and losers to simply wear a trench coat to strike fear into the hearts of bullies of a violent reprisal. It’s time for a gay Columbine. Take the bullies with you next time, Lance.

    • Please don’t even joke about inciting violence as a legitimate reaction to ideological beliefs. You never know who reads your words, and you can’t possibly know how seriously people might take them. I know you’re probably being facetious, but now is not the time to encourage or invite people to be hateful or reactionary.

      Gays need to mobilize towards active support for their peers, and arm themselves with the strength and coping skills to overcome the harassment they face.

    • You see this is why bullies need to go on the offensive right now. Gays are about to become violent due to the gay insanity that runs through their brains. Bully them now before they become a bigger problem.

      I bullied a co-worker who I suspected to be gay. He wouldn’t come out and say it in so many words but I can tell. He has since joined my church so I would say this is a success story beyond words.

      • I personally have mounted a .50 cal MG on top of my El Camino, and I cruise through town blaring Lady Gaga, like an ice cream truck. When the gays come a-running, I switch on the bible music and let ’em have it. I was inspired for this by “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert,” a sick gay movie with a high-heeled shoe on a bus.

    • Please read “Columbine” by Dave Cullen. This is an in depth look at the two young men who perpetrated the massacre and the climate surrounding their actions.

      The two young men were not bullied, but were bullies. There was no “trench coat mafia.” One of them was suicidal and the other was a sociopath. It was an homicidal combination. Please do not perpetuate the myths spread by the media that they collected from scared students.

      …and for goodness sake violence is not the answer. Today a teen brought a gun to school. It was in his backpack. Perhaps he was going to defend himself from bullies, investigators will see. The facts as of now are that he dropped the bag and the gun went off, shooting two other students and injuring them critically. No. Violence is not the way. Education, rational argument, and clear facts will go a lot further than a loaded gun or a knife. Peace.

  10. I do not have words for this particular exchange and my disappointment in it. So. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” ~Martin Luther King

    • ps not @ S. And didn’t we just spend a ton of time agonizing over the role of incendiary language wrt the shooting in Arizona?

        • Lets not let mad Teabaggers fill the air with violent imagery… We need to target the hate and destroy it… We can tell gblts that as hard as it is to be young and queer that soon it will be okay…

  11. Any death from bullying is a tragedy. I’m an educator and believe that no one has the right to bully another person no matter what. And, if you believe that being gay or lesbian is wrong…..wake up and join the real world. Hate is wrong on all fronts and is unfortunate that even parents drive their own children to hate and be bullies. How can it be wrong to be yourself? To be judged simply for being who you are? I am saddened to the core.

    • this comment has been deleted for its tired, backwards reference to bestiality and incest as comparable to homosexuality on a post about death

      • It’s not ok to have sex with someone’s dog or child because neither of them have the capability/maturity to consent.

        I hope to God that this is just some troll making shit up. No legitimate Christian would encourage their son to bully someone who is different.

        What happened to all of that “love your neighbor as yourself, judge not lest ye be judged” stuff?

        • this comment, has been deleted for violating our comment policy on several levels, including hate speech, impersonating a bigoted homophobic human, slander, trolling, and just generally being an asshole

      • Sir, I am not gay and I think it odd for you to believe so simply from my comments. For your information, there is actually a very small percentage of gay or lesbian people who take part in the things that you seem to know quite alot about. There deviant sub-cultures among all groups of people. Among “straight” people there are very disturbing sub-cultures who take part in very strange behaviors. Please be careful of making generalizations. Everyone can see that you are a hate monger and it is certainly apparent that you have very little tolerance for almost everyone.

        • This comment has been deleted because it’s one of the douchiest, most offensive, ridiculous comments ever posted and we don’t just throw around the word “rape” up in here

  12. just kidding guys. I was just upset because i lost my tegan and sara cd so i decided to act like a dickwad, but i found it now. yay the gays!!

          • Haha, I forgot that violence was the go-to solution for anything you find “wrong.” Of course it’s up to you to choose what’s right and wrong. And of course a beating would make someone reconsider their identities, they obviously didn’t know themselves well enough.

            Knocking sense into someone, how literal.

          • Violence has solved more problems in human history than any other method. Just look at World War II. The only way we saved the Jewish people (whom I admire) from genocide was through violence. We bullied Hitler, and he committed bullycide! Also I have heard that he was probably gay, so it was a twofer.

  13. I am sick and tired of this S***. It makes me so aggravated and also pained to know that so many fellow gays fall victim to vicious bullying and do not stand up for themselves in the face of this ignorance. I carry a bag of fluids with me (for protection as it makes me feel safe). I know that if I am ever cornered by a hostile group, I can at least make one of them feel the shame of living with my stigmatized disease. I know this is not a Christian thought but I am at a breaking point personally and too many have paid with their lives.

  14. this comment should be deleted altogether for violating our comment policy on several levels, but we have to leave this part in:


  15. Pingback: World Spinner

  16. It saddens me to see oppression and hate steal the air and fire out of someone, especially at such a young age. I prayed today for everyone who experiences the kind of pain that comes from people not accepting people’s differences.

    In class today (towards the end of class, of course, when I couldn’t give enough time to discuss it). And someone brought up the whole “It’s not natural” thing. You know, if everyone was gay or lesbian how would the reproduce.

    I was of course insulted and could not seem to take myself out of the emotional reaction in time for me to come up with something. But also upsetting was the fact that I didn’t have an argument quickly accessible for this discussion. I brought up the normal overpopulation, who are you to say what is natural, abandoned children, etc…. But none of them seem to fit alongside the survival of the species reproduction argument. Later on walking home I thought of the fact that nature has shown that diversity is an important tool of survival. But it still seem undeveloped.

    IDK, what do you guys say? I know this is like queer theory 101. But I feel like I failed as the class lesbian by not being able to rise to the occasion in time. I never want that to happen again. My apologies if this came up before, if so a link to those comments would be very much appreciated. Thanks

    • Here’s some things to store in your memory banks:

      Few are the people who would say that *everyone* should be gay or lesbian. We fully acknowledge that we are in the minority. We aren’t going to die out because of gay people because the majority of people aren’t gay.

      Not to mention that actually, we can (and do!) reproduce. How many of us have heard about coparenting arrangements between a gay man/couple and a lesbian woman/couple? Even if we didn’t have modern technology like needleless syringes (the absolute least you need for assisted conception, afaik) a gay man and a lesbian have all the necessary equipment to make a baby.

      Finally, there are species out there in which individuals display homosexual behavior. Some of them have only been observed in captivity, but some have been observed in the wild, too.

      Hope that helps!

    • Yeah. And — I don’t know if this is what happened to you, but I do think it’s easy to start feeling bad about not “rising to the occasion” when you’ve been insulted. But being the only out person in a class does not make that your job. It’s really your teacher’s/ professor’s/ teaching assistant’s — whoever is running the class. That person was the one who fucked up. And even if they’re not doing their job, it doesn’t make it your job. That’s an awful lot to put on yourself. So it’s totally awesome that you want to argue against other folks’ homophobia, but, y’know, if you don’t, that’s cool too.

  17. Other things that are not natural:

    * Birth control
    * Pepto bismol
    * Bypass surgery
    * Living past 40
    * Corrective eye wear
    * The internet
    * Public education

    Although considering that homosexuality has been around about as long as the written record, I’d say it is probably more natural than all of the above.

    • Well, my gay friend, you are confusing different meanings of the word “natural”. In this context, most people mean it as something that is abnormal behavior, which it most certainly is!

      • Yeah, come on now annotations, get your shit straight (or should I say your poop).

        The actual “meaning of the word natural” is that natural = something that is abnormal behavior. We’ve been schooled.

        • I’m going to avoid feeding that fire and just find some nice things smarter people than me have said. Because when someone dies because of any kind of evil or even just negligence, it is sad/fucked up/deserving of respect, you know? From whoever.


          “Happy are those whose own faults preoccupy them too much to think of the faults of others.”

          “Be kind to people whether they deserve your kindness or not. If your kindness reaches the deserving, good for you; if your kindness reaches the undeserving, take joy in your compassion.”

          Bayard Rustin:

          “[Bigotry’s] birthplace is the sinister back room of the mind where plots and schemes are hatched for the persecution and oppression of other human beings.”

          The Buddha:

          “Better than a thousand hollow words is one word that brings peace.”

          Yeah. Especially that last one.

      • You sir are an ignorant jerk. Are you proud of yourself? You come on this website to go on a gay hate tirade after a young man kills himself at a school that you supposedly teach at.
        It’s because of people like you that things like this happen; people kill themselves because of sick bastards like you. As far as I’m concerned you and the other bigots at that school have that young man’s blood on your hands.

        As one Christian to another Christian I can tell you that you are a disappointment to the religion.

        • I am proud of myself, actually. I am proud that I am teaching my son to be a man and not a gay person. Gays are less than people. They have been robbed of their humanity by their compulsive gay behavior.

  18. all i can say is :( then i read the comments (im sure i dont have to point out which) and was like >:O, then i read the fake posts of it and then i was like :). i also refuse to even fathom that what that dude says is actually true/real.

    ALL ABOARD THE GAY BUS TO CANADA! where we carry bags of poo and pee and trade venerial disease like theyre pokemon cards. who can say no to that.

  19. Guys, stop feeding the troll. He is either an insensitive dickwad who finds it hilarious to go on a post about suicide to further mock this victim of the culture of hate and intolerance, or he is for real and he is far beyond any help any of us could give him. The best anyone could do is to implore him to go seek some therapy sessions. Either way, giving him more of the attention that he so clearly craves is not going to help anyone so let’s just ignore him. Fighting with him, even verbally, is just another point for Team Violence.

    It’s sad how no place, even a school or a website, can be a guaranteed safe haven from hatred and evil. My condolences go out to Lance’s family.

  20. I was trying to ignore the troll. I was trying really, really, really hard. Then I find that said troll has taken over the effing thread. What do people get out of this? This is supposed to be a sacred space to remember Lance Lundsten, provide support for each other, and discuss where we’re going to go from here. We can’t even have a corner of the internet? Really? It is absolutely fucking ridiculous that someone could have so little respect for another human being that he thinks it’s hilarious to make inane comments about a dead 18-year-old kid. (I don’t even want to entertain the idea that this guy is serious.)

    This isn’t at all what I even wanted this comment to be. I don’t know. I am upset, of course, that Lance wasn’t able to hang on. Upset that he was in this position in the first place. Upset that we continue to lose these kids. Disheartened by comments like that idiot’s, because even if he is kidding, there are people out there who believe what he has to say.

    How dare you decide that I am less than human! I am not a second-class citizen, and I am sick and motherfucking tired of being treated as such. Forget deserving respect, I demand it. Things have to change now. Right now, because I’m tired of losing our people over stupid bullshit.

    My thoughts go out to Lance’s family, friends, and community.

    • Well I’m sorry but if you are gay you really are a second class citizen. First class citizens are not gay. I’m sorry but that’s just the way it is, I don’t make these rules to be mean to you personally, but let’s face it, attempting to have sex with someone of the same sex is very messed up. Just as messed up as the person who has a foot fetish or is in love with children.

      • Oh, shut the fuck up. No one cares what ignorant, rude, and hateful things you have to say. I’m not really sure if this is a joke to you or what, but do you realize that comments like these are part of the reason kids are killing themselves? Are you okay with that? If you actually take the time to really, really think about it, are you okay with the idea that you could be a partial cause for the loss of a human life? We are all human, and we all demand respect.

        • this comment has been deleted because its author has demonstrated a consistently poor attitude and generally abusive stance towards the community, and has also casually referenced rape a completely inappropriate number of times.

    • I want to discuss where we are going from here… I have made a modest proposal to start a big campaign to tell gblts that “Soon it will be okay”… If you are good with web sights I can use your help to start this major campaign…

      If we all work together we can let everybody know that being gay is really hard and bullying just makes it worse…

  21. Well, ain’t you a downer.

    I’m Gay, and i got to Discovery school, the middle school of douglas county. (same city/school district as lance)

    I didn’t know the dude, but he commited suicide because he was bullied. He was openly gay. and lets look at the facts, just for posting career’s sake:

    1/10 people are gay
    it’s not a mental illness
    It’s not determind by birth

    and I can tell you one thing right now. Anyone in that 2011 class is crying their f*cking as* off right now because of what happened. it’s too small of a school to be not noticed. most saw the bulling and alot of people didn’t stop it. You’re “son” is just as guilty as the next guy when it comes to lance’s death, as he just stood their. did nothing. there is NO WAY that anyone in the class didn’t notice it going on. cause it always happened.

    in the locker room
    in the class room
    in the lunch room
    and on the cell phone.

    we need to step up and stop this meaningless killing from happening. I am in 8th grade, and over 15 people are gay, including myself. and to tell you the truth, Lance wasn’t that type of person, to ‘Spread disease’ and ‘have butt secs
    cause it just pains me to see that you would even think of that.

    There’s a facebook group called wear purple for lance, and it happened today. over 1000 people wore purple in the district for his memories. it’s not a happy thing to just goof around and make comments like that.

    If this was your son, you’d be thinking twice, wouldn’t you.

    • this comment has been deleted for violating our comment policy on several levels, including hate speech, impersonating a bigoted homophobic human, slander, trolling, and just generally being an asshole as well as ONCE AGAIN throwing around the word “RAPE”

    • Alec, I’m sorry for the loss of your friend. Hang in there and know that it does get better after high school. The bullies are cowards, and you and your peers (gay or not, those who are bullied) are better people.

      Don’t suffer in silence. Report violence, stick together, help each other out, find allies among your teachers, parents, and in your community. Be strong. Stay alive.

      Safe Schools Hotline – (web contact form, 7 days/week). Information, referral and advocacy for students, families and educators struggling with antigay/ lesbian/ bisexual/ transgender bullying, harassment or violence in a public or private elementary, middle or high school.

      24 hours a day – the phone line is answered at the Sexual Assault Hotline and they will have a Safe Schools Coalition Intervention Specialist volunteer get back to you within 24 hours; Ph: 1-877-SAFE-SAFE(1-877-723-3723) . Contact form: http://www.safeschoolscoalition.org/contact/?id=10

      • I think you are giving bad advice, even to non-gays. No one likes a tattletale. I guarantee that a kid who tattles about someone being mean and saying hurtful things to him will never live it down. Everyone will consider him a weak little victim. Bullying is just a normal part of how boys and girls socialize while growing up. Those who seem weak are tested to ensure the strength of the community. Do you want a society of weak, emotionally unstable bully victims? I don’t!

    • Hang in there, Alec. Ignore Mr. My Posting Career up there. He doesn’t know what the fuck he’s talking about. I’m fairly certain he’s an internet troll who doesn’t even have a kid at the school Lance went to. You sound like you have a good head on your shoulders, but I know it’s hard dealing with bullying regardless. Stick with your friends and make the best out of what you have. It gets so much better once you get out of school. Being gay is just another part of who you are. One day, the idea of discriminating against someone because of their sexual orientation will be a distant memory that the new generations will find outrageous. I know it has to be hard to lose someone in a small district even if you didn’t know him personally. Please, use some of the resources Missy posted above. Things can change now. Most important of all, be strong and stay safe.

  22. i’m flabbergasted and i cant believe how ignorant and narrow-minded some people can be.
    (sigh sigh sigh)

    other commenters have pretty much say everything i wanna say about this tragedy: bullying is wrong and it doesnt fucking solve anything

    • this comment has been deleted for violating our comment policy on several levels, including hate speech, impersonating a bigoted homophobic human, slander, trolling, and just generally being an asshole

  23. Yet another tragic loss of life.

    It saddens and angers me that acknowledgment of a tragedy has turned into a fire fight.

    It strikes me as odd that a certian someone is so fixated on the number of sexual partners that this young man had.
    When I was at high school (which was only 5 years ago) there were plenty of heterosexual people who had had MANY more than 30 partners. Many of whom then contracted STD’s.
    And (in my experience) more often than not homosexuals are more likely to be screened for STD’s and have a better understanding of sexual health.

    Sexual orientation does not “define” a person. It does not make them instantly “good” or “bad”. Bigotry, hate, love, kindness, cruelty and so many other things are what build a person. Who someone sleeps with is NOT the be all and end all. “Moral Fibres” have nothing to do with sexuality.

    Always remember that you do not get to choose who your words affect. Please pause for a moment to conisder how you would you feel if you helped your own child to commit “bullcide”. I’m sure you would feel like a million dollars…

  24. YOU GUYS! “MY POSTING CAREER” IS NOT BEING SERIOUS! He’s just fucking with you.

    His name is “my posting career,” does that mean anything to anyone? Jesus Christ. I don’t even know what to do with this comment thread at this point.

    • Well pardon me but I am being serious. I am parent to three children whom I intend to protect from this anti-bullying movement. I’m sorry you find this whole thing to be a big joke. I and other parents of children at this school are not laughing.

    • I appreciate the descriptions for the removed comments. :)

      Also, I’m trying to learn not to react to trolls. Really, I know better by now. :/

      • But please don’t get rid of all of them. It opens a lot of eyes seeing ignorance like that. Think of it as the “Westboro Baptist Church Effect” minus the brightly colored, flamboyant signs.

  25. I am a friend of Lance. With all the trolling this thread has gotten by disgusting homophobes (who can all bite me) people have lost sight of the fact that Lance was a human being, not a bullying statistic or just another promiscuous gay teenager sorting out his confusion. But I was more than a friend, Lance and I were off and on lovers when we shared gym class. I too have been subjected to relentless bullying, and am just glad that my parents and brother have given me the support that Lance’s parents could not or would not give him.

    For me the difficult decision to come out was even tougher for the fact that I was in a relationship with my brother. Believe me, this hit just about every taboo out there and even the most understanding parents in the world would have problems with it. The best thing we can all do is give guidance to the gay people we know because who knows which of them will be the next statistic?

  26. Im a long time reader of AutoStraddle but I could not stand by and let MyPostringCarrer make fun of this tragedy… If MyPostringCarreer knew the pain and suffering we have to endure by being nonheteronormative they would grimace…

    I think we should start a movement or a web sight to tell all gblts that bullying is wrong and that being a gblts outside of school is okay… We could tell everybody that “soon it will be okay”… that would be a good slogan…

  27. Honestly I have to lay some of the blame on his parents. They nonsupporting of his budding homosexuality, which is crucial for stable teenage development. This is in stark contrast to the fact that they obviously wanted a gay son because they named him Lance.

  28. Excuse me, but I am a senior at Jefferson High School. I knew Lance Lundsten. He did not commit suicide. Nor was he bullied for his sexuality. The media screwed up and I hope everyone stops talking about this. HE WAS NOT OPENLY GAY! He diclosed that information in his private facebook account. This has got to stop. Please send an apology to his family, or to our local newspaper for wrongly stating your opinions.

  29. It might be wise to have some kind of option that would not let write-in/anonymous comments be posted and/or need to be approved by a moderator/AS staff on future gay teen suicide posts (I really hope this suggestion doesn’t even have to come to fruition, simply for lack of another gay teen suicide).

    It would avoid the haters and the trolls.

    • that’s actually not possible to do on just one post. we’d have to change the comment settings for the entire website.

      BUT we do have a system that unfortunately totally failed — writers are supposed to keep close watch on their comment threads to shut this stuff down before it gets out of hand, and if not the writers than our two comment moderators/”community managers” are supposed to be on top of it and if not them then SOMEBODY ANYBODY and if not ANYBODY then usually Laneia and I will be incidentally on top of it, even though usually we aren’t really tops.

      unfortunately there was apparently a massive system failure and laneia and i didn’t notice this thread happening because her computer completely crashed and consequently i was frantically pulling content out of my ass all day with tunnel-vision. SOOOO anyhow don’t worry, i sent an email threatening to punch everybody in the eyeballs.

      as soon as laneia and i saw what was happening here we started deleting shit and blocked the IP addresses of the various trolls coming through. i’m sorry it wasn’t done sooner.

      • No no, please, you don’t have to apologize, it’s really not necessary; I know you guys do everything you can to stem this kind of stuff at the source. I was simply wondering aloud if such a functionality existed. I have to admit once the comments were clearly trolls they became somewhat humorous, in that dry, disinterested way one watches someone drop the same object six times in a row. Except for the rape references, of course those were not funny at all.

  30. I think terracottatoes has a good idea too. It would be frustrating for regular commenters, but overall worthwhile I think.

    Also, did someone just say “private facebook account”? That’s an oxymoron if I ever heard one. If you want everyone in school (and possibly elsewhere) to know that you’re gay, you put it on facebook. That’s what I did.

    • Lol. Private facebook. I agree.

      Also, just because someone isn’t pushed into lockers and have slurs spat at them every afternoon doesn’t mean that Lance wasn’t bullied. Was this Katlin person his ~bodyguard~?? LOL

      I remember in high school, some gay guys didn’t have to be open, people around them could just tell by their lack of interest in girls. Plus, sometimes they were picked on in very subtle ways.

  31. you know what mr. my posting career, you can shut the fuck up. why cant you imagine for one minute that not everyone thinks and feels sexual feelings just exactly like you. are you telling me that when i see another man flexing and being all sexy and i get a boner this is WRONG. Well excuse me sir, since when are my SEXUAL HABBITS any of your BUSSINESS. IF there was any JUSTICE, in the world, it was you who would be bullied for liking women. then maybe you would think twice about encouraging your son to bully people just for the CRIME of being GAY. Some people just really get my goat. Sigh….

  32. I’ve read all the comments and I am very confused.
    Why is there so much hatred against any one. Doesn’t matter if you’re gay or straight, female or male, black or white.. This is just not right.
    Even if this is a ‘joke’, bullying is not ok.. ever.

    On a less depressing note.. The government in Holland wants Amsterdam to be the gay capital again. Woohoo!!
    I feel like I should all invite you to come party with me!!

    Apparantly it does get better ;)

  33. Killed by a coronary edema? How very very sad.

    “I’m here, I’m queer, get used to iHNNGGGH”


  34. I can totally relate to this kind of story. I am a father of a thirteen years old boy, but he confessed to me that he is a gay when he was 12 years old. At first I couldn’t believe that he is gay because he acts like a normal guy, without me knowing it that he is suffering from being bullied because of his identity. As a father I have nothing against with him, and I should protect him from someone who could bring him in danger. From then, I never allow someone to bully him again. In fact, I registered my son to SafeKidZone. It has mobile security application that enables my kids to summon help from family and friends and with direct access to the nearest 911 during emergency situation. For child protective services check out http://safekidzone.com/

  35. I’m also tired of fatophobia in todays society. When will there be justice for size-empowered members of society? The sizism is ridiculous, and everyone should know that life gets better (and bigger as well)

  36. As a young gay Muslim, I’ve had to struggle every day with bigotry, as well as the pressure to “stay in the closet” and pretend to be someone I’m not. My current boyfriend is still very conflicted about his gay identity. The first time we were together I had to get him really drunk, like almost blackout drunk before he’d do anything, and even then he was very passive and at one point pretended to be asleep. He still refuses to acknowledge his gay identity to friends or family.

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