We shared the heartbreaking story of the deaths of 21-year-old Jeanine Blanchette and 17-year-old Chantal Dubé on Monday. But actually it felt like just Jeanine’s story, because Chantal’s family hadn’t spoken to any news outlets at the time of publication. We’ve since been in contact with some of Chantal’s family and friends.
Multiple news reports including CTV and The Toronto Star (from which we obtained and reported information to you) stated that the Dubés and Blanchettes had received goodbye letters from their daughters, whose bodies were found together on Saturday. According to Stacey, Chantal’s sister, the Dubés did not receive a letter from Chantal. We have since corrected that fact in our prior article. The Dubés found out that Chantal was missing last Tuesday.
Chantal’s sister has shared the following statement with us:
“I just want the world to know that my sister wasn’t ashamed to be a lesbian. She loved herself for who she was and was not diagnosed with anything. She lived her life in happiness. Chantal was a fun-loving girl who had her whole future ahead of her. She will be dearly missed by her parents, her brothers and sister, niece and nephew and by the many, many friends she had.”
We’re not interested in exclusive statements or breaking news, we just knew you’d care about what this woman and her family had to say about her sister. She was a person who was loved and who will be missed, not just a headline or another ‘gay suicide’ story to be considered with the others from last week.
Jeanine Blanchette’s mother told The Toronto Star that Jeanine had struggled with depression, was prematurely released from a care facility several months prior and believes the cause of death was an overdose of prescription medication. Foul play has been ruled out by police as a cause of death.
If you or someone you love are experiencing any thoughts of suicide or even just sad or depressing thoughts in general — even apathy or confusion — or if you are acting as someone’s only emotional support and you are lost or exhausted PLEASE do not hesitate to call The Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or find a local LGBT or teenage support group in your area for face-to-face help. In Canada, call the Youth Line at 1-800-268-9688, or the Gay Line at 1-888-505-1010. Other Canadian helplines and information can be found on this website.