Jess Origliasso, one half of pop duo The Veronicas, has attended a rally in memory of Tyrone Unsworth — the Brisbane teen who ended his own life last week after being severely bullied for his sexuality.
The singer returned to her home town for the LGBTQIA+ ‘Safe Schools’ rally, and shared how the news of Tyrone’s death hit her “too close to home” — particularly in light of her own upbringing.
“I grew up in musical theatre from the age of five, where boys were encouraged to explore female characters, wearing makeup and dresses, and the girls encouraged to explore male roles, with facial hair and suits,” the 31-year-old wrote on Instagram.
Today I attended an LGBTQIA+ ‘Safe Schools’ Rally here in my home town of Brisbane, in honour & memory of 13 year old Tyrone Unsworth. A boy who committed suicide just a week ago, after he was severely bullied for years at a school that I grew up 2minutes from. When I heard about his death it hit too close to home. I grew up in musical theatre from the age of 5, where boys were encouraged to explore female characters, wearing makeup and dresses, and the girls encouraged to explore male roles, with facial hair and suits. It was always a supportive creative environment and exploration, and a very ‘normal’ upbringing for me. I realised as I became older, how lucky I was to have that experience growing up. Kids, like Tyrone are bullied & and made to feel like outcasts for their sexual or gender diversity and interests. Bullied to a point that he felt his only option was to leave this life. My heart breaks to know my best friends growing up were exactly like Tyrone, but that I couldn’t help him. Here in Australia marriage equality is still not legal. The ‘Safe schools’ program is still not a mandatory inclusion in our school system. The LGBTQIA+ community are still fighting for the education and safety of our community. To be free to live lives with the same rights as everyone else! It devastates me that more is not being done to change this, NOW. I had the chance to meet Tyrone’s grandmother today, in this photo. She told me he was a fan of my music. I, like many others, wish I could have known Tyrone, and done anything to make sure he was still here today. We must all pledge to continue to fight for a change. A revolution of the mind. Of love. And acceptance of diversity. We all bleed red. We are all capable of great love and great sadness. We all wish to be loved and free to be ourselves. Please Australia, it’s time to do more. Tyrone should still be here with us today. If only we had schools and legal rights that show all LGBTIQA+ youths, and bullies that the LGBTQIA+ community, and their diversity is as normal as a diverse choice in music. RIP Tyrone. Your light will continue to shine on this issue until we have reached a greater outcome. ????????️????