An outpouring of support for 15-year-old Nigel Shelby, his family, and LGBTQ youth has come in the wake of Shelby’s death by suicide after he was allegedly bullied for being gay.
The support is not just financial, although a GoFundMe account, which was set up to help Shelby’s family with funeral and other expenses, has surpassed $28,496 in donations.
Visitation and memorial service arrangements have been announced for Shelby. Visitation is on Friday, April 26, from 3:00 pm – 8:00 pm at Serenity Funeral Home at 2505 University Drive NW in Huntsville.
His memorial service is on Saturday, April 27 at 12:00 pm at The Rock Worship Center, 3401 Holmes Ave. NW in Huntsville.
After his death, Christie Finley, superintendent of Huntsville City Schools, spoke about the importance of treating others as you want to be treated, and how adults need to be models of this behavior. She said, “In this time of loss in our community, I am reminded of the calling to treat one another as you want to be treated, but these are really only words until we all believe and act in unity…now is the time for us to teach our children and our students the values of acceptance, kindness, generousity, helpfulness, and basically just being a human. So as adults we have to do more than just simply teach these values, we should also model them.”
Local and national resources are available to LGBTQ teens who need support.
Crisis Services North Alabama: If you need to find comfort, compassion and empathy, please call the HELPline 24 hours a day at 256-716-1000 or text 256-722-8219 from 4pm-11:30pm.
CARE Services, Inc.: CARE provides LGBTQ teen social and support groups for ages 14-19.
PFLAG Huntsville: PFLAG Huntsville‘s stated mission is to “serve families, friends, allies, and LGBTQ persons in the Hunstville area through education, support, and advocacy.” They host peer support meetings, socials, and other events.