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Appalachian holds candlelight vigil Oct. 28 to remember gay teen suicides

BOONE —The recent national rash of gay teen suicides will be remembered in a candlelight vigil on Thursday, Oct.  28, at 7 p.m.  on Sanford Mall on the campus of Appalachian State University. The public is invited to attend.

In the month of September alone, the deaths of six young men, ages 13-19, brought national attention to the bullying and harassment many gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people endure.  As recently as two weeks ago, a high school student in Oklahoma took his own life after attending a City Council debate regarding the recognition of October as Gay Pride Month.

The vigil is being sponsored by Appalachian student organizations including The LGBT Center, the Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA) and TransAction.  Free parking is available within walking distance of Sanford Mall.  Information on local and national resources will be shared.

Organizer Mark Rasdorf, a first-year graduate student at Appalachian, comments, “This national tragedy offers the opportunity for us to come together as a community to remember these young people and send a message of love, hope and tolerance.”  SAGA’s Amanda Kellis adds “In my experience, Appalachian is a great place to be a student and I have appreciated the support of my peers and my professors.”

Speakers will be J.J. Brown, Appalachian’s dean of students, Amanda Kellis, president of Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA), and Caroline Noel, president of TransAction.

For more information, contact Mark Rasdorf at 828-773-2239 or, or

Amanda Kellis at


RESOURCES: or call  1-800-723-TALK