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Jamie Lazarre
(1984 - May 24, 2002) Canada

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High school student

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Lazarre was born and raised on the Nak'azdli reserve near Fort St James, about an hour and a half west of Prince George, British Columbia. He moved to the city in 1998, hoping to find a community that would accept him and stop harassing him. It didn't work. The harassment at Prince George Secondary School was too much to bear.

The harassment was so severe that he needed friends to escort him everywhere, and even that offered no guarantees that he would make it to class without getting hit or having full bottles of water thrown at his head. One person even tried to set his locker on fire.

The harassment didn't stop there. Going to the bathroom became a terrible ordeal. Signs on the wall warned, "No faggots allowed" and if there were other boys in the bathroom they would push him out and yell at him.

After leaving his hometown in search of a more accepting place, after four years of of constant anti-gay harassment and bullying in school and on the streets, to which high school staff turned a blind eye, after coming out to his family, Jamie Lazarre hung himself. He was 18 years old.

He left behind two legacies: a note begging his friends to make sure his death wasn't in vain and a network of people who love him so much they're determined to fight homophobic harassment in Prince George. It won't be easy. Prince George has a big problem with homophobia in the schools. And it's made worse by an administration in denial. But that won't stop Lazarre's friends.

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