NEWPORT, Wash. — Hundreds of people marched through the city of Newport Saturday afternoon, marking the first-ever pride rally held in the town.
Organizers were honoring the life of Jason Fox, who would’ve turned 20 years old over the weekend.
“Jason was 19-years-old, bullied in his hometown for being gay, and ultimately his life was taken by the people who bullied him,” explained Joe DiJulio, a co-organizer for the march.
Fox was found buried in a shallow grave six months ago in October.
His family and friends believe his death was an act of hate and that he would still be alive if he wasn’t a proud member of the LGBTQA community.
“Kids aren’t supposed to die before their parents, you know? He was supposed to bury me, not the other way around,” stated Fox’s mother Pepper. “He would have never given up on me and I'm not going to give up on him. My love for him is all I have left."
The march on Saturday took place in two states, as the crowd walked into Idaho before returning to the city park in Newport.
Support for Fox has come from across the world after a viral TikTok with his mother pleading for justice.
“They took everything I had to look forward to,” said Pepper. "I don't get to see him buy a house or fall in love for real.”
Dustin Jolly, a co-organizer for the march, believes this is the first of many events to showcase support for LGBTQA people living in Newport.
“We’re going to make sure that Jason's murderers know that they didn't kill a secret,” said Jolly. What they did kill was a 19-year-old young man that wanted to be a nurse," Jolly said.
Five men have been arrested in relation to Fox's death. The Pend Oreille County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the possible motive.
The trial against the suspects is scheduled to begin on May 3.