Joel Burns, gay suicide victim Zack Harrington’s family plant tree in his memory in Norman, Okla.

Posted on 05 May 2011 at 3:14pm

Friends and family gathered in Norman, Okla., last Friday to plant a tree for Zack Harrington, the gay teenager who committed suicide last fall. The family has ordered a bench to be placed in the park with the tree.

“Zack’s tree planting went well,” writes Van Harrington, Zack’s father. “About a dozen family and friends attended. Joel Burns was able to visit with us prior and come to tree planting.”

Burns, the openly gay Fort Worth city council member, traveled to Norman to attend the tree planting. Of all of the gay teen suicides of late, Zack’s affected Burns the most, he said, because it took place after the teen attended a City Council meeting and heard an outpouring of hatred against the LGBT community.

Zack’s death inspired Burns to make his “It Gets Better” speech that went viral on YouTube. Burns can be seen in the above photo in the back row.

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