Mom Finds Teen Son Dead After His First Gay Relationship Ends
A young man who had been bullied for being gay, took his own life after his first boyfriend ended their relationship.
16-year-old Zenon Bartlett had just recently made the decision to come out as gay after dealing with years of torment from his peers.
Sadly, his mother found his lifeless body hanging in his bedroom, earlier this week. Zenon had just broken up with his first-ever boyfriend, a young man named James.
According to The Gaily Grind, James told an inquest in Winchester in Hampshire on Wednesday that Zenon had mentioned suicide before.
“He did mention it quite a lot.
“The first time I didn’t think he was being serious because he seemed happy so I didn’t know where he was getting his feelings from.
“There are so many things I wish I’d done, like ringing him so I could speak to him.
“I feel very bad about the whole situation.”
To an investigator, James explained that shortly after their relationship ended, he had discovered Zenon in a wooded area, hanging from a tree, with marks on his neck.
“He never normally went there alone so I asked why he was there. I can’t remember his exact words but it was something along the lines of ‘I don’t want to be there anymore’. I kind of realized what was happening so I rushed outside and went there and found him sat on the log crying quite a lot.
“I sat there for four or five hours with him talking. String was on the branch and he did have a red mark on his neck.
“I had never met his family before. If I had, they would have been the first people I would have gone to. I said he needed to speak to a counselor or a therapist. He agreed and sent me a message saying he called some kind of helpline and said he made an appointment, I don’t know if he followed through."
According to authorities, Zenon had contacted a counseling hotline to talk, saying he didn't want to harm himself again.
Mid-Hampshire Coroner, Grahame Short, said:
“At the time of his death he was making plans to go to college and had ambitions to train as a lawyer.
“In common with all young people of his age, Zenon was in transition between childhood and adulthood.
“He was trying new things like alcohol and tobacco, things adults use.
“More significantly he had established that he was gay and he had formed a relationship with [redacted].
“Leading up to his death there was an incident where his friend found him sitting opposite a tree with a piece of string on the tree. It may be it was a cry for help, it may be it was something else. It may be a trial run for what subsequently happened.
“I find Zenon was a sensitive young man who was affected by the prospect of the end of his relationship. However, he was prior to that already showing signs of emotional stress and probably signs of depression.
“Based on all this I conclude Zenon intended to take his own life and I am sure he knew the consequences of his actions. I record a conclusion of suicide.
“Death in these circumstances leaves all sorts of emotions and feelings of missed opportunity. I would urge you not to go along that route and remember when Zenon was happy the good times with him.”
Zenon's mother hopes that other parents might be better able to spot signs of depression before a similar tragedy might occur.
In a tribute to her late son, Mrs. Bartlett writes:
“In his 16 years Zenon touched so many lives, we are so proud he was part of our family.
“Our wish for this in the future is for people to not be afraid and to talk and get help if they are feeling low or suicidal.”
H/T: The Gaily Grind