I read the tragic story of Tyler Clementi yesterday and was absolutely heartbroken.
It started with a Twitter message on Sept. 19: “Roommate asked for the room till midnight. I went into molly’s room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay.”
That night, the authorities say, the Rutgers University student who sent the message used a camera in his dormitory room to stream the roommate’s intimate encounter live on the Internet.
And three days later, the roommate who had been surreptitiously broadcast — Tyler Clementi, an 18-year-old freshman and an accomplished violinist — jumped from the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River in an apparent suicide. [via NY Times]
It’s an absolutely gut wrenching story. How could these two other students do something so mean-spirited and heinous…?
It’s easy to point the fingers at these immature conspirators or at the obvious vitriolic antics from WBC…
And then I wondered of my complicity in my oft silence about bullying, gay teen suicides, and prejudice particularly against the gay community.
When the issue of GLBTQ come up, it’s easier to keep the conversation about theological and biblical interpretations and – well – about the issue of the subject in hand but in the meanwhile, we forget there’s people behind the issues.
There’s always people behind the issues.
Which people? These human beings:
- Raymond Chase was 19, an openly gay sophomore studying culinary arts at Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island. He killed himself Wednesday after a fellow student in his dorm wrote, “You are gay, get out of Barlow [Hall] before you regret it” on his dry erase board.
- 18-year-old Rutgers freshman Tyler Clementi threw himself off of the George Washington Bridge on Sept. 22, after his roommate had broadcast secret video footage of his sexual encounter with another man over the Internet.
- On Sept. 23, Asher Brown, 13, shot himself in the head at his parent’s home in Cypress, Texas.
- On Sept. 19 in Tehachapi, Calif., 13-year-old Seth Walsh hanged himself from a tree and died Tuesday after nine days of life support.
- 15-year-old Billy Lucas of Greensburg, Ind., also took his own life earlier in the month. [h/t]
But regardless of interpretations and views, we should all agree: This needs to stop!
But when we are silent, we are complicit.
I was moved by Ellen’s appeal: