"There's a little bit of pressure and demonstration that you are there raising awareness," said Honicker, who adds that he is lucky to have his parents' support.
"It alleviates the pressure," he said. "You are dealing with homophobia from all directions -- your teachers, your peers, your administration, your church or family."
For Carl Walker, whose short life was memorialized at a three-hour, standing-room only service on Monday, support came too late, but his mother hopes his story will help others.
"I am determined for the rest of my life to advocate on behalf of students who are voiceless and silent," she said.
"I have been homeless, but Carl and I made it through," said Walker. "I was a victim of domestic violence, and we made it through. The one thing we couldn't get through was public school."