Blaze Bernstein was a college student attending the University of Pennsylvania. He was currently on winter break when he messaged Samuel Woodward and who later picked him up. Eight days later, the 19-year-old’s body was found in a shallow grave in Orange County’s Borrego Park, DNA was connected to Woodward.
This news impacted me emotionally because since when has a person choosing to express their love for another person created so much hate? Hearing what happened between two students who once went to the same high school makes me think that students need to be taught how to be respectful and have an open mind.
There has been a lot of violence against LGBTQ people, and with Blaze Bernstein’s death, it feels like it will never end. “In 2017, advocates tracked at least 28 deaths of transgender people in the United States due to fatal violence, the most ever recorded…2018 has already seen at least one transgender person fatally shot or killed by other violent means” said the Human Rights Campaign.
One of my cousins, Jazmine came out to me last year. At first, she asked me not to say anything because she was afraid of what our family would say but over time, she has become comfortable in her own body.
Reading the news about Blaze Bernstein, makes me worried that if she ever comes out publicly, something like this might happen to her.
Over the years, hate crimes against LQBTQ members have increased tremendously. This topic definitley impacts me because everyday LGBTQ members have to deal with discrimination from people who are against loving the same gender.
As a teenager, I want other teens like me to put themselves in other people’s shoes so we can avoid thinking hateful thoughts that can lead into hate crimes.