A gay 21-year-old student in Australia has committed suicide after a video showing him protesting a drag queen storytime event went viral.
Although himself homosexual, Wilson Gavin was also a staunch conservative and had previously opposed same-sex marriage.
He killed himself following the uploading of a video on Sunday showing him and several other protesters shouting “drag queens are not for kids” at a Brisbane library event.
The protest against the Rainbow Families Queensland event was covered by numerous media outlets, with the protesters then being widely criticised on Twitter and Facebook.
Speaking two years ago about his opposition to same-sex marriage, the strongly religious Mr Gavin said: “They’re not going to stop at marriage. Their goal is to tear down the family and every traditional institution in Australia. They just hate everything that I love - they hate me because I’m a conservative. And they hate me more because I’m a gay, and I can say to them, ‘I’m gay. I’m not a homophobe, I love gay men! You can’t call me a homophobe just because I oppose same-sex marriage, just because I’m against your agenda. You can’t shout me down the way you can most people. You can’t shout me down by saying I’m a bigot and I’m a homophobe’.”
In a statement released on Thursday, Mr Gavin’s family said: “We respected the unwavering strength of his convictions and desire to make the world better. And we admired Wil’s drive to contribute, so often in ways not many knew about - like serving at a soup kitchen every Saturday or the year he spent teaching kids in Mongolia.
“He would regularly give the last note in his wallet to a homeless person on the street. Wil worked tirelessly for causes without personal gain, gratitude, or in some cases, loyalty.”
They continued: “We know he regularly got the ‘how’ wrong and occasionally got the ‘what’ wrong. This made us angry with him too.
“To the LGBTIQA+ communities and Rainbow Families Queensland - we love and support you.”
Commenting on the tragic event, Rainbow Families Queensland said that LGBTQ+ people were at high risk of suicide, which is why it promoted programmes such as drag storytime.
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