Bekett Noble Obituary, Death – Bekett Noble, a student at Redeemer University has sadly and unexpectedly passed away. Bekett Noble, believed that the educational institution could change. Noble had been writing to university staff and faculty for years about the daily microaggressions directed at LGBTQ+ students. Noble attended staff meetings, bringing up the issue and pleading for help. They founded Genesis, a queer student support organization, and they served on an LGBTQ+ relations committee comprised of faculty and student Senate members. “I advocated in any way I could,” Noble explained in an email.
They had worked with Redeemer officials “gently and carefully” to “look at the negative effects of how LGBTQ+ students are treated and how to effect positive change.”
Despite the fact that some staff and faculty were willing to listen, no change occurred because Redeemer officials were “unwilling to change” for the benefit of donors.
Noble realized “nothing significant was going to happen” when he looked around. They soon discovered that conservative religious organizations have “harmful effects” on queer people’s mental, physical, and academic health. “Things need to be shared more bluntly because they are incredibly serious,” Noble said, adding that “someone was going to die” if change did not occur soon. But nothing changed, and Noble committed suicide on November 23 in the university counsellor’s office. Noble sent an extensive email message to various university officials on November 24 at 8 a.m. outlining his beliefs, fears, and suggestions for assisting queer and trans students still enrolled at Redeemer University.
“I never expected to be the first to crumble under the weight of everything we go through to get a Christian education while embracing who God created us to be,” they said.
Noble stated in the email that they have “a lot of experience dealing with suicide in my life” and are “capable” of dealing with it. “However, it appears that I miscalculated.” The news devastated Megg Markettos, an Ancaster resident whose family had supported Noble. “Bekett was like a family member to us,” Markettos explained. “One of the most wonderful people you’ll ever meet and become acquainted with.” “Our and the community’s loss is significant.” Markettos, who presided over Noble’s funeral, hopes that their death “gives Genesis a voice” in the community.
Shannon McBride, Redeemer University’s communications manager, stated in an email that the institution learned of a “tragic death” of a student on campus. “The community has been deeply saddened by this tremendous loss,” she said.Classes were canceled on November 24, and the university’s flag was lowered to half-staff. The police have been notified, and the university has offered to help.McBride stated that the university is currently unable to provide any additional information. Despite repeated requests, Hamilton police did not provide Hamilton Community News with information about the investigation. According to McBride, Redeemer has made mental health services available to students, faculty, and staff, and the “community is grieving and supporting one another through various opportunities.”
Transgender and sexual minority adolescents are at an increased risk of suicidal ideation and attempt, according to the June 2022 issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Trans youth are at a high risk of suicide, according to a Trans Pulse study, with 47% of trans people aged 16-24 considering suicide in the past and 19% attempting suicide. Suicide can be motivated by rejection from family, violence, or harassment. In their email, Noble suggested that the university start supporting its LGBTQ+ students by creating a safe space similar to Mohawk College’s Social Inc., such as a room for students to hang out and build community; training for staff and faculty on trauma-informed care of marginalized populations; proper counselling services; and changing policies that currently promote the idea that LGBTQ+ people are sinners because of their sexual orientation. “In my opinion, they are the bare minimum for the university to adopt,” Noble said.
Noble stated in an email that counselling services were a “lifeline” before the university changed its name from Shalem Mental Health Network to Christian Counselling Centre, and that cutting them with no discussion of how they might be restored was “the beginning of the end.” “At a minimum, I hope that this forces people to take this issue seriously and implement change so that LGBTQ+ students can be properly supported through a trauma-informed lens.” Noble urged the university community to assist President Dr. David Zietsma in “implementing some of his visions” for Redeemer’s future, calling some of his ideas “positive” in their efforts to bring a divided university together.
“It didn’t have to come down to a student committing suicide,” Noble explained. “Do not let it happen again.”