Via Andres Duque at Blabbeando, the mother of murdered gay teen Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado shares her grief. (Mercado’s mother is pictured above with activist Pedro Julio Serrano. They are recreating Mercado’s signature salute, seen below.)
“When my son told me he was gay, I told him, ‘Now, I love you more’. I want to tell the world that hatred is not born with human beings, it is a seed that is planted by adults and is fostered creating a climate of intolerance and violence. We must change our ways and understand that anyone… could have been my son. And I want everybody to know that Jorge Steven was a very much loved son.”
Mercado’s body was found burned and decapitated last week. Juan Martinez Matos, 25, has confessed to the murder and appears to be planning a “gay panic” defense. Memorial vigils in Mercado’s honor have been taking place around the nation. New Yorkers will gather today at 5PM at the Christopher Street Pier.
BELOW: Clip 1 -Puerto Rico-based activist and National Gay & Lesbian Task Force staffer Pedro Julio Serrano speaks at a rally in San Juan. (Subtitles by Andres Duque.) Clip 2 – A photo tribute created by Mercado’s friends, who knew him as Steven.