Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

News

September 16, 2010

Lucas Family Speaks Out About Attention From Student's Death

Greensburg — Annie Lucas is angry.

As she stood in a back room of a funeral home clutching a box containing the ashes of her son, Billy, she said she was furious at what has happened in the wake of his suicide.

Facebook pages, websites and emails are being circulated with Billy Lucas' name attached to it. One local high student, they said, is trying to ask for donations in his name. Abby Lucas, Billy's sister and spokesperson for the family, said they want no money from her brother's death and people should not give to anyone using his name for whatever gain.

"We have not asked for money and we will not ask for money," Abby Lucas said.

Anyone looking for donations, she said, does not have their permission or approval to do so. If people wish to make monetary donations in Billy Lucas' honor, she said a memorial donation should be made to the Orlando (Fla.) Humane Society, one of his favorite charity organizations from a city they left five years ago to move to Decatur County.

They are maintaining Billy's email address, theeventer4ever@aol.com, for those wishing to contact them.

In the days following Billy's death, Annie Lucas feels things have spiraled out of control. Abby Lucas said while the girl who set up the memorial page on Facebook has been respectful, others have not. They feel people may be trying to benefit, either monetarily or politically, from Billy's passing.

An issue that has struck a cord revolves around questions about his sexual orientation. The LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi, and Transgender) community has latched onto the story in recent days and, his family does not wish to have Billy become Òa poster childÓ for their cause.

"He's not gay. He was not gay," Abby Lucas said.

His mother said he was too young to know what he was.

"I know everyone has these assumptions. But they're not true. I know he was bullied," Annie Lucas said. "It wasn't (that he was gay). He was bullied for everything. I don't want Billy to have a label."

Both Abby and Annie Lucas felt his dark skin and Asian Indian heritage made him a bigger target. Both said the tone of Billy's skin made him stick out immediately. Now, they feel too many people are stressing his sexual orientation, and they feel it wasn't his biggest issue.

They asked for those who are trying to spin this as an issue of homosexuality to stop attaching Billy's name to their cause.

"I don't want this to turn into a gay activist thing. I don't want it to turn into anything," Annie Lucas said. "This is a private thing."

 

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