Karen Ocamb

Daric Richie Apologizes for Gay Teen Suicide Hoax

Filed By Karen Ocamb | June 01, 2011 1:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Daric Rawr, Daric Richie, Derick Goff, Derick Richie, teen suicide, Terrel Williams

Tuesday afternoon I received an email from someone named Derick who claimed to be Daric R. - supposedly the young lover of gay teen Terrel Williams who reportedly had hanged himself in his Beverly Hills home last October.

The story was reported nationally by Perez Hilton and then picked up by other outlets as part of the horrific spate of gay teen suicides shocking the nation. I reported on the alleged suicide, as well, though heavily qualified and asking for input from anyone with more information after several blogs soon started calling the story "fake" and a "hoax." I was subsequently contacted on April 20 of this year by an attorney claiming to represent "Daric Rawr (Derick Goff)" and his family - threatening legal action if the post wasn't taken down. I refused to comply but updated the piece.

Apparently Derick/Daric found me through that blog post and in his email, he made the startling confession that in fact he was Terrel Williams and that he created the deception as a way of coping with his own emotions and family reaction about being gay and possibly transgender. His email was a public apology. I emailed him back and checked with that family lawyer to verify that this was not an Internet prank. I also discovered that the young man has tried to apologize twice before (here and here).

This apology will no doubt outrage some who feel that no one should toy with the pain of gay teen suicide. But it seems to me that the shame of carrying this secret - as well as the original pain that caused Derick to create this deception in the first place - is "punishment" enough. As someone who was once a suicidal teen, I cannot judge him for the way he chose to cope and tried to get attention. I only hope he now gets the help he needs.

Here is Derick's apology:

Hello,

My name is Derick. (Daric R.) the teen that was involved with the situation of Terrel Williams. I have realized it's my time to apologize, and the first step to doing that is coming forward with the truth.

"The Terrel Williams situation was a complete situation that was made up by nobody other than myself. I live with the regrets of what I did everyday, but I'm also learning from the wrong's I've done. I am from the bottom of my heart, sorry for what I did. In my heart, I feel it's time for me to grow up, to share the truth, and now here it is" ~Derick

I'm a young person at heart; mistakes are something I have to live with my entire life, and everyday I learn that becoming smart enough to learn from them is the way I need to go. About a year ago, I lied about a boy named Terrel Williams dying. At the time, I was lost; helplessly confused, left in the shadows of my own problems in my personal life. I didn't know many rights from wrongs, because very rarely was there a person there to teach me them.

In my heart, I know what I did was wrong. And I'm not blaming anyone except myself for everything I did. 'Terrel Williams' was actually me, before I finally turned 15. I disguised myself as someone else to talk about what I've been through as an openly gay teen growing up. I've been pushed into air conditioners, had my things stolen, been made fun of, and sexually assaulted twice. All of those things made me feel in my mind, that whatever I did from that point was always going to be right.

Today, now that I've spent the last year reflecting on my actions that the world has witnessed I know I was in no way right. I've discovered many new things about myself, including things that have helped me realize that I'm in fact not comfortable with myself being gay. Being in large groups of people, during & after the Williams situation; makes me feel as if I'm being attacked. I feel like people are staring at me, because they know what I did; and can't stand to look at me for it.

I did it, because I had hoped someone would connect the pieces and read between the lines. I deep down believe I could've went about a better way to do it, but I can't take it back. One of the biggest factors to my doings of this situation, was the situation between myself & my father. My father & I have always had problems, we never got along, we always fight, and hardly ever see each other, because he can't stand my sexuality; and I refuse to deal with it.

During that situation, I had begun to feel as if I were trans-gender. On the inside, I knew that's what I was. And the fact, that I couldn't share it with my family, made it harder on me. Because of my feeling trapped, I did some pretty wrong things. I hurt thousands of people, and everyday I hope at least one of them will realize that I truly am sorry.

When I was in the middle of this situation, I didn't really know much about being homosexual or the kinds of help you could get from the public. I received death threats, harassing Facebook messages, and still to this day receive hateful Twitter messages.

Today, I live through the moments & events that are results of that situation by myself. When I meet a new person, I hide that part of me.I speak nothing of the Terrel Williams situation, because of how I feel as a person being gay around other people. I have never truly accepted being gay, because of the people I was raised around. In the end, I did it because I was feeling lost, confused, alone, and parts of me felt ashamed for being gay. Everyday I wake up, I lie to myself telling myself I am straight but in reality I'm nothing even close to that. I honestly feel the need to apologize today, because it's the right thing to do, and it's time for me to grow up. I feel the need to let the truth soar. I feel the need to at least, try, for the first time in my life, to accept myself as a person. To accept myself, being gay.


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The up-side is that he didn't pull a trigger or swallow a handfull of pills. I just hope someone is there for him and helping guide him along the way.

How sad. I hope he gets the help he needs.