Christopher Paul Ricksecker (1982-2003)
Even though Christopher was not LDS, his mother is. Chris's death moved the gay and lesbian Mormon community in Salt Lake City, where he resided. Many Affirmation members participated in the vigil held in his memory.
Christopher was born in San Diego on January 22, 1982, and attended Highland High School in Salt Lake City. Life was not easy for Chris; he felt overwhelmed with emotional problems and suffered depression. He committed suicide in Salt Lake City on June 16, 2003. Christopher was cremated at his request, and his ashes were later scattered on the Pacific.
A vigil for Chris was held on July 1, 2003, in Sugarhouse Park in Salt Lake. The service was conducted by Chris's step mom, Sheri Young; Chris's dad, David, also said a few words.
Through a candlelight ceremony, the audience remembered not only Chris but all gay and lesbian people who have taken lives. Charles Milne, GLBT advisor for the University of Utah, helped conduct the candle lighting ceremony and made some remarks. Kristine Clifford said a prayer.
These are some experts for the remarks made by Chris's dad:
"I went to several churches for answers. The answers that they gave me were that gay people are evil and bad. One pastor in a local church told me that gay people are possessed with demons---that they are bad and that they are going to hell."
"Chris wanted to be accepted for who he was, but he could never accept himself who he was and how he felt."
"We don't need special groups for gays or anyone else. We cannot judge gay people and put them in special groups. What makes us better than gay people? We need to save our children."
"We can change the world by accepting people for who they are. I've been very intolerant and judgmental of other people in the past, but I will not be any more."
"Help people stop killing our children," echoed Christopher's step mom.
Family Speaks Out in Remembrance of Son