NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, By Lindsay Goldwert, Friday, January 13 2012, 3:00 PM
He wanted to believe it would get better. But for a young, gay filmmaker, the wait had become too painful.
Only a month ago, Eric James Borge completed an ‘It Gets Better” video for the Trevor Project, an organization that works with gay teens to prevent suicide.
This week, the 19 year-old from San Joaquin Valley, Calif. took his own life.
While no details have been released regarding how Borge died, the story he tells in his video reveals a life of taunts, mental abuse, physical attacks and alienation from his peers and family.
He said the horror began in kindergarten and never stopped.
The other students always seemed to know he was “different” and honed in on him as a target for abuse.
Junior high school was no better.
“I could not talk or go anywhere without someone saying or doing something,” the well-spoken, sad-eyed teen teen reveals in his video. “I was stalked, spit on, ostracized and physically assaulted.”
“My name was not Eric, it was f—–t.”
He gave an emotional but steady account about how the bullying took a toll on his health and caused him migraines.
High school was an unbearable torment, capped off with an attack by another student with a teacher present in the classroom.
Overwhelmed, Borges said he dropped out, finished his studies on his own, and attended college.
But higher education proved to be no respite for the desperate teen, which he described as a “nightmare.”
Upon raising the courage to come out to his family his sophomore year of college, he was told by his religious parents that he was “disgusting, perverted, unnatural and damned to hell.”
During that time, he claimed his mother attempted to perform an excorcism on him in order to cure him of being gay.
He revealed that his family had thrown him out of the house two months earlier.
Still, he said, despite losing his family, coming out was worth it.
“I came out in an attempt to educate others about the consequences of homophobia, and the adverse effects it had on my life,” he said.
He said could have never known the joys finding supportive friends after feeling so alone for so long.
Borges’s suicide has devastated his friends and coworkers at the Trevor Project.
“We are deeply saddened to hear about the tragic death of Eric James Borges, and our heart go out to his family and friends, and his community,” Laura McGinnis, communications director at the Trevor Project said in a statement.
All over the internet, people who never knew Borges are mourning the loss of a person who only wanted to be treated with decency and respect.
Many say that his video had inspired them to come to terms with who they are and to take the leap to come out.
All the more tragic is the way that Borges ends the video, with words he appears to be trying so hard to believe.
“You will loved and be loved,” he promises the viewer. “Don’t ever give up, don’t ever for one second think that you’re not a valuable and beautiful contribution to this world.”