On this day one year ago 15 year old Lawrence “Larry” King was shot and killed as he sat in his 8th grade classroom. He was murdered for having the courage to openly be who he had known he was for years. Larry came out when he was just 10 years old. It took me until I was 20 years old and living 1,200 miles from my family before I would take that step. Larry had courage beyond my understanding and despite the awful, turbulent home life he was experiencing he had the conviction to be himself.
Larry’s 16th Birthday would have been 1 month ago and my heart is broken that he wasn’t here for it. Any death at that age is nearly impossible for me to understand, but for someone like Larry to have lived and survived through a very rough childhood to only then to have his life cut short simply for being something other than heterosexual, is almost too much to take.
I have read accounts of Larry’s last few weeks and from what I gather Lawrence had started to self-identify as female, going by the name Letitia King. Whether Larry was a gay boy or Letitia, self-identifying as female makes no difference. Whether Larry or Letitia, this young life should be remembered an honored for the courage that was shown by just being true to what was inside.
So Larry…Letitia, I honor and remember you today. Your death broke many hearts, but through that pain many more hearts were changed from fear and anger to reconciliation and love. Rest in peace.
Lawrence “Larry” “Letitia” King
January 13, 1993 – February 12, 2008
Rest In Peace