A Scottish mother who lost her daughter to suicide this year has called for better education about LGBT issues in schools, a lack of which she says caused her daughter to take her own life in an interview with The Herald.
According to mom Kelly Moorhead, her 14-year-old daughter Chloe Orr was relentlessly bullied at school and feared being called “dyke,” which happened often.
“She was embarrassed, and she did not want to be judged,” said Moorhead. She told the paper she discovered her daughter’s body hanging in the garden shed on the last day of the school year, with Chloe’s twin sister unfortunately also in tow.
“She hated being judged. She felt like if she was telling her innermost feelings she would be judged. It’s sad to watch. She hadn’t even been out a year and now she’s dead.”
Moorhead described Chloe as “fun-loving” and said she’d only come out as gay 12 months before her death. She said she was “so proud” that Chloe had the courage to come out at such a young age, but quickly became worried about the way “off-the-cuff” remarks from other kids at school were affecting her daughter.
“My Chloe used to get told ‘You choose this life,'” she said. “That’s something a lot of people think, adults included, not just children. A lot of them are just picking up the adults’ attitudes. If the parents are that way inclined then their kids usually are as well.”
Moorhead added: “Until my daughters came out I had no idea these kinds of attitudes still existed in this day and age.” She said Chloe’s strength had also inspired her twin sister to come out as bisexual.
In a three-page letter Chloe penned before her death, the teenager said: “I can no longer live in a society where I am not normal or accepted by the majority of this world. I didn’t decide one day that I wanted to be ridiculed and pointed at for simply being me and attracted to women. Who would want that for themselves? Nobody. I’m dying to tell someone that it is a never-ending battle.”
Moorhead said she believes her daughter would still be here if her school bullies were dealt with properly, something that LGBT-specific education in schools could have helped.
“I think it’s essential this issue is brought into schools, and made a part of the lessons in class,” she said. “It can’t be an option, it needs to be part of lessons. You could easily bring it in as part of the PSE class for example. It could have saved her life.”