Eric James Borges was surrounded with plenty of love and support, especially working with the Trevor Project, which is aimed at preventing suicide among youth in the LGBTQ community.
That's part of why his suicide came as such a shock.
He filmed his "It Gets Better" video about a month ago.
"My name was not Eric, but faggot. I was stalked, spit on, ostracized and physically assaulted."
Eric was 19.
You can see the video in it's entirety on you-tube. In it, he talks about being tormented as a child, and as a teenager. Borges says he was verbally assaulted on a day to day basis for his perceived sexual orientation.
"I came out officially when I was a sophomore in college. My parents told me among other things that I was disgusting, perverted, unnatural and damned to hell."
He had his own struggles, but his friends say that he committed suicide does not devalue his dedication to helping others. Close friend William Vanlandingham says his personal message that "it does get better" still stands.
"He'd want us to keep the positive, because that's what he was trying to do, is make sure that everyone else is safe, and that everyone else would know in time, things would get better."
Despite his struggles, and his relatively young age, Borges had accomplished so much. He was a supplemental instructor at College of the Sequoias, and a published writer. He was a filmmaker as well, and had a short film, also on you-tube, called "Invisible Creatures."
"You have an entire life fit to burst with opportunities ahead of you. Don't ever give up and don't ever, for one second, think that you're a valuable and beautiful contribution to this world. It gets better. With love, from Eric James."
Friends of Eric James Borges want to urge anyone who needs it, to get help.
One way to get educated is next Wednesday, when the Tulare/Kings County Suicide Prevention Task Force will launch the Student Mental Health Network. You can find information about that at KSEE24.com.
If you, or someone you know, is struggling with thoughts of suicide.
Please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
For support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth... Call the lifeline for the Trevor Project at 866-488-7386.