The Alliance for Full Acceptance, We Are Family, and the Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim Synagogue are hosting a candlelight vigil tonight to remember young people who have killed themselves over harassment or their own personal struggles with their sexuality. Communities around the country are holding similar vigils, including one in the Upstate and another at the Statehouse in Columbia.
Local speakers include representatives from the Charleston County School District, the Medical University of South Carolina, and several young people who have been bullied or intervened in a situation where another student was being harassed. The evening will end with a candle lighting ceremony to remember teens who have recently committed suicide.
Also this week, the exhibit Sean’s Last Wish is on display at the College of Charleston’s Stern Center. In 2007, Sean Kennedy was assaulted and killed in a Greenville parking lot after his assailant called him a faggot. Sean’s mother, Elke Kennedy, started the organization Sean’s Last Wish to call attention to South Carolina’s lack of hate crimes protections. Elke will be speaking at 7 p.m. Thursday night in the Stern Center Ballroom.