FRESNO, Calif. -- Monique Ortiz seemed to be carefree and happy on the night of Sanger High School's prom in May 2009. She clowned around with friends and made goofy faces in photos.
But not long after attending the dance with her good friend Jose, and two weeks before graduation, 17-year-old Monique shocked her family and friends by fatally shooting herself in the head on the patio of her Fresno home.
No one can say for sure what led her to her suicide. But those who were close to her said the standout soccer player -- a pretty girl with her mother's dimples -- was dealing with relationship problems and also had struggled for years to reconcile her family's strict Christian values with her homosexuality.
Monique's suicide is not an isolated event. In the Valley and across the nation in recent months, teen suicides have raised questions about the extra pressures facing nonheterosexual young people.
Read more: http://www.fresnobee.com/2010/12/18/2203524/some-valley-teens-sexual-identity.html#ixzz18ap8jvSL