Minn. Student Gets Death Threats After Coming Out on Facebook
A high school student from Circle Pines, Minn., says he received a death threat Tuesday, six weeks after coming out on Facebook, Fox's Minnesota affiliate station, KMSP-TV reports.
Ryan Eichenauer, a senior at Centennial High School, said he found an anonymous and threatening letter in his English class Tuesday, which sparked a police investigation.
"I'm really proud to be out and be myself. I get to do what I want without having to hide anymore," he told KMSP-TV. He added that the letter won't send him back in the closet.
"I know there are going to be people in life who don't agree with it. But that's who I am," he said.
Just before New Year's Day, Eichenauer posted a video on Facebook to tell his friends and family that he has attractions to men.
"I don't like the term 'coming out' because I'm not coming out. I am letting the world in," he says in the clip. He also says he doesn't believe in labels and has been and always will be attracted to girls.
The letter Eichenauer found Tuesday is the second threatening letter he has received since posting the video on Facebook. The student says the letters "make me sick."
KMSP-TV reports that the letter attacks the teen's sexuality and says, "I can't wait for the day that I get to walk over your grave and if you don't put yourself there, I will be glad to. Just do us all a favor and do it soon. Kill yourself already."
Part of the letter also reads:
I see there are many others who also want you dead. Good. And it's not just the two of us who have decided to speak up. It's everyone. [...] like you don't deserve to live in this world. Innocent people die every day, but the scum of the earth like you gets to live? [...] that. That is about to change. No one likes the fact that you are alive. No one likes the way you show your sexuality. You are a [...] sinner. Someone should do something about it...I will. I am not a coward. I protect the house of god from [...] like you."
Eichenauer reported the letter to the police, saying that his "emotions are overwhelming" and that he is "a little scared."
"It's harassment.. We take harassment very seriously. And it was threatening," principal Tom Breuning told the news station.
Breuning told KMSP-TV that the school district, along with police, have launched investigations into the incident.
"Whoever is behind it, it's unacceptable. And the safety of all our students is of paramount importance to us," Breuning added.
Eichenauer said after finding the first letter, he cried a lot, even though the first letter was less threatening than the second.
"Is this what I am going to get forever, from now on?" Eichenauer asked.
Watch Eichenauer's video below: