Eleven-year-old Michael Morones is a passionate boy. He idolizes his Uncle Jimmy, who is a proud member of the Bronies. The term Brony is a portmanteau that refers to fanboys of My Little Pony (“bro ponies”), although girls can be Bronies too.
Michael’s favorite character is Pinkie Pie, a hyper excitable pony. The little boy, who has ADHD and rarely sits still for a minute, feels a connection to bouncy Pinkie Pie. His Uncle Jimmy taught him to be proud of his interests, and the boy has frequently worn Brony dogtags and Brony bracelets to school.
A group of his peers at school have been taunting and bullying the boy about his fandom. His stepfather, Shannon Suttle, said, “Michael was upset because the kids were calling him gay for liking a girls’ TV show. His mom and I, well, we told him that it didn’t matter what other people think. It only matters what he thinks.”
On Thursday, January 23, Michael had another rough day at school. That night, he attempted suicide by hanging himself.
Michael is in the pediatric intensive care unit in a North Carolina hospital. He has damage to his brain, his heart, and his lungs and has not yet fully awakened.