An 11-year-old American boy who tried to commit suicide after being bullied for being a fan of My Little Pony is likely to suffer from permanent brain damage.
Michael Morones’ tragic tale has once again highlighted the consequences of anti-gay bullying.
According to reports, the young North Carolina boy endured relentless bullying from his schoolmates for loving the cartoon show, in particular the character Pinkie Pie.
“Michael was upset because the kids were calling him gay for liking a girls’ TV show. His mom and I, well, we told him that it didn’t matter what other people think. It only matters what he thinks,” Michael’s stepfather, Shannon Suttle, told ChicagoNow blogger Carrie Goldman.
“He said to us that the other kids were telling him he was gay for loving Pinkie Pie and they were trying to make him feel ashamed for being gay. We said that we didn’t care if he was gay or straight; he was our son and we would love him.”
On 23 January, Michael was found hanging off the side of his bunk bed. His parents rushed him to hospital and saved his life but it appears that he has suffered brain damage due to oxygen deprivation.
He remains in hospital and has not yet woken from an induced coma. His parents do not know how severe the brain damage will be and to what extent he will be able to recover.
Hi mother, Tiffany Morones-Suttle, told ABC that she does not believe in retribution against the bullies who teased her son.
“I’ve heard a lot of people say you need to go after bullies and hold them responsible, but you know, I don’t think that’s what Mike would want. I would rather teach people how to do right than turn around than punish, because punishment doesn’t always work,” said Tiffany.
A fund has been set up to help with Michael’s growing medical bills. Over $54,000 has already been raised and his parents plan to also donate a portion to charity.