Burns began by showing photographs and names; suicide after suicide of young teenage boys who are dead because of bullying about their perceived homosexuality.
His voice thick with emotion, Burns told their stories:
Asher Brown, a 13-year-old Cypress, Texas boy who shot himself.
Justin Aaberg, a 15-year-old Minnesota boy who hung himself.
Seth Walsh, 13, whose mother found him hanging by a rope from a tree at their California home. Doctors couldn’t save him.
And then, Council member Burns talked about what happened to him when he was 13… years before he came out as a gay man.
“I was cornered after school by some older kids who roughed me up. They said that I was a fag, and that I should die and go to Hell where I belonged,” Burns said, adding that he had never told anyone before that moment that he had considered taking his own life.