Suicide victim endured anti-gay bullying

This time in Buffalo, NY.

Parents carry on anti-bullying message: wivb.com

Jamey Rodemeyer’s parents believe years of bullying drove their son to suicide. The Williamsville North freshman took his life Sunday, he was only 14 years old.

Jamey Rodemeyer posted a message online hoping that others would be inspired by his struggle with bullying. A part of the message reads, “That’s all you have to do. Just love yourself and you’re set. And I promise you, it’ll get better.” 

Soon after coming home from a family camping trip, Jamey was found dead Sunday. His parents say he was always under pressure because of struggles with his sexuality.

Jamey’s mother Tracy Rodemeyer said, “So he hung around with the girls a lot, so then the teasing started happening like ‘Oh you’re such a girl or you’re gay or whatever and that bothered him for many years.”

For religious conservatives reading this: Isn’t it past time to become part of the solution? Criticizing anti-bullying programs on ideological grounds doesn’t help kids or your ideology.

More on the situation:

Death catches attention across nation: wivb.com

Print Friendly

  • David Blakeslee

    Vulnerable and impulsive. A fragile sense of self.

    Brutal and self-absorbed. Terrified of being targeted themselves.

    It is the Lord of the Flies.

  • http://www.cominout4christians.net Dave

    For religious conservatives reading this: Isn’t it past time to become part of the solution? Criticizing anti-bullying programs on ideological grounds doesn’t help kids or your ideology.

    Yes it is far past time ..

    Dave

  • Ken

    “For religious conservatives reading this: Isn’t it past time to become part of the solution? Criticizing anti-bullying programs on ideological grounds doesn’t help kids or your ideology. ”

    yes, and that is the problem with them. The are more concerned with pushing their ideology than helping these children. I have YET to see a single “anti-gay agenda” parent propose a plan to actually address the problem of teen suicide. All they do is look for ways to assign the blame.

  • Mary

    This hurts all of us. I am reflective of my own journey and in no way is it easy – whether you accept being gay or work to live without that aspect in your life. This poor boy. We as adults struggle with many of the same issues. How can he be prepared to hold himself up against ridicule? His isolation is the society’s subtle cue that he is “not welcome.” We need to remind all people, of all faiths, beliefs and backgrounds that they are welcome at the table.

  • Joe

    I must admit, I find this post a little skewed.

    You’re a psychologist, so you must see that there is more going on here than just some bullying.

    The kid just came home from a family camping trip, not from a bad day at school where he was made fun of, or picked on.

    The parents just lost their child-to suicide-so of course they want to blame something. But, to automatically jump to bullying seems like a stretch. He just made a video about the support from his friends and “how it gets better”?

    To use this as a segue to shame religious conservatives is just wrong.

  • Mary

    Joe – watch this child’s eye moevment and positioning.

  • Robyn

    This young man was told “he was born this way…he had to live with it”. It is very possible that this is what pushed him over the top. His body language in clip shows much distress as he claims “support of friends, and how it gets better” ?? Now, we will never know.

    Bullying is always wrong. There may be more to this than most are assuming.

  • http://wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Joe – Well, I don’t know what else was going on, do you?

    The boy himself said that bullying was an issue and this is one of too many cases where gay is used as a club. The post is a reflection of this case and too many others.

    What is wrong is the search for loopholes to vindicate anyone who is protecting ideology over solutions.

  • Michael Bussee

    In his “Keeping Them Honest” segment on Tuesday night’s show, Anderson Cooper points a finger at right-wing homophobes and bullying-denialists as he pays respect to Jamey Rodemeyer, the Buffalo teen who was bullied to death.

    Watch the video:

    http://instinctmagazine.com/blogs/blog/anderson-cooper-pays-respect-to-the-buffalo-teen-who-was-bullied-to-death?directory=100011

  • alan

    To all of you who question if anti-gay bullying is causing suicides, let me just speak directly from my experience. I never identified myself as gay and never had ANY contact with another man until I was an adult nor ever saw any gay porn. But from seventh through eleventh grade, I was rumored to be gay, so I was shunned. I was laughed at. I usually didn’t have anyone to eat with in the cafeteria. On trips on the school bus, I always sat alone. I can tell you that I OFTEN thought of suicide.

  • Michael Bussee

    “This young man was told “he was born this way…he had to live with it”. It is very possible that this is what pushed him over the top.”

    WRONG.

    LGBT kids don’t kill themselves because they are afraid they can’t change. They do it because they are scared that no one will love and protect them if they don’t.

  • Richard Willmer

    Joe

    Some (though by no means all) religious conservatives are ‘part of the problem’ because they put ideology ahead of humanity – something that is ‘counter-christian’ in the view of many of us Christians.

  • Maris

    Every time I see his picture it just breaks my heart. When will we learn before it’s too late to save a life?

  • Eddy

    Joe said:

    The kid just came home from a family camping trip, not from a bad day at school where he was made fun of, or picked on.

    …and then inferred that perhaps there was more going on…perhaps some family issues. While I agree that most anything is possible, I think that Joe overlooks the fact that although Sunday is two days from Friday, it’s also only a day away from Monday–and perhaps the dread of yet another week of bullying. And a safe and pleasant time camping with the family could have magnified the sense of how unpleasant school was with a regular occurrence of bullying.

  • Mary

    LGBT kids don’t kill themselves because they are afraid they can’t change. They do it because they are scared that no one will love and protect them if they don’t

    WRONG.

    Every individual has a set of circumstances to manage. While some of his were gay issues – we cannot be certain as to how exactly he was interpreting those issues and how he was managing them. We do know he didn’t manage very well, in the end. But to satisfy your own self experience by placing it on this individual is what causes many suicides – being misunderstood and not having support and connections with friends.

  • Lynn David

    The highest highs or being seemingly carefree can sometimes turn into the lowest lows when one is reminded of old doubts. I remember times when I forgot about being bullied and then some one simple thing that brought it all crashing back. A person’s vulnerability is not often in plain sight.

  • http://wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Mary – You don’t know that Michael is wrong and I don’t know that he is right. But we do know that the boy said he was harassed in an anti-gay manner and that the harassment made him depressed. It is a plausible belief that the harassment led to his depression. You have to theorize against his own statements to come up with something else.

    Having said all of that, I will not let arguments go on about this without actual evidence. Conjecture back and forth using one’s own life as the evidence is not sufficient and does not honor this boy’s memory.

    So think before you type.

  • ken

    Joe# ~ Sep 21, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    “I must admit, I find this post a little skewed.

    You’re a psychologist, so you must see that there is more going on here than just some bullying.”

    “some bullying” ? Are you trying to imply you have knowledge of the extent that this boy was bullied? Your tone here implies it wasn’t that significant, What do you base that on?

    “But, to automatically jump to bullying seems like a stretch.”

    Do you know anything about bullying and suicide? There are (far too) many documented cases where bullying was the primary cause in a teen suicide, esp. glbt teens. Now, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t other contributing factors (home life, significant life events, low self-esteem etc), but in many cases, had the bullying not occurred, those teens would still be alive today. it is not “a stretch” to recognize how bullying likely played a factor in this boy’s death, it is a sign that Warren (and others) are knowledgeable about teen suicide.

    “To use this as a segue to shame religious conservatives is just wrong.”

    No it isn’t, it is a very sad example of the callousness of christian conservatives (of whom I consider YOU, Joe, to be one) and how they are more concerned about their ideologies than children who are killing themselves.

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    News flash to Joe .. umm the video you claim he just made was from May when school was ending .. .. its September now .. with school now back in session. A lot can happen between the “just now” of May and the present.

    I agree that there can always be other factors .. but when a person has spent a long time talking about how he is bullied .. it is a bit disingenuous of you to assume some other factor is the cause and not what is staring you in the face

    Note to Robyn ..How ironic that you believe that the concept of accepting one’s self is the cause of suicide. If you look at what appears to be his twitter page .. you will find he is saying what appears to be a goodbye to Lady Gaga (one person who did show she accepted him) with thanks .. I doubt he felt as indebted to the bullies that treated him like crap. His last blog entry also indicates his ongoing problems with bullying NOTa frustration with the inability to change.

    We need to meet people where they are .. not where we might think or assume they should be. .. Jamie is still speaking through his blog, his twitter account and other resources .. I hope we are listening.

    Blessings,

    Dave

  • StraightGrandmother

    I just wish things were different. It is so sad, it literally breaks my heart, it’s so sad, so extreemly sad. Thankfully the younger generation is different than their parents, it will be to late for Jayme Rodemeyer who apparently was Catholic, it is to laate for him and his parents. But even young people who strongly identify as Evangelical Christians are accepting and affirming of sexual minrities. I remember so many of these tragic deaths. I remember a toddler, I think it was in New York who was beat to death by the mother’s boyfriend who was trying to toughen him up because the boyfriend thought the 2 year old acted to girly. Everyone of these true stories is so sad, and even the survivors like Alan who commented here, even though they survived it must be really difficult for them to see and read that it is still going on, it must bring back bad memories for them.

    God Luck with the Goldren Rule Warren, as for me I would like to see that codified into law.

  • Mary

    Mary – You don’t know that Michael is wrong and I don’t know that he is right

    Only me huh?

    • http://wthrockmorton.com Warren

      Mary – I was responding to the pointed nature of your comment, given the evidence presented by the boy himself.

  • Michael Bussee

    “The real, deadly toll of bullying gay kids” ~ CBS News

    The Rodemeyers refuse to grieve in silence.

    “They have to somehow get the power away from the bully, and I don’t know how you do that, and that’s the biggest question in my mind. Because, if the bully doesn’t have power, he’s nobody,” Tim Rodemeyer says. For a young kid of 14 1/2, he had a big message, a huge message that shouldn’t even have to be a message. It should just be common decency to not make people feel worthless and useless on this planet, that they don’t deserve to be with other people,” Tracy Rodemeyer says.

    Tracy Rodemeyer will bury her son in a t-shirt with a message of acceptance and defiance. It reads simply: “Born this way.”

    http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cbsnews.com%2Fstories%2F2011%2F09%2F21%2Feveningnews%2Fmain20109797.shtml&h=oAQCgd8z3AQAxwLdI9GdRmjlEmTYkK0Ao9Aw3GRUe3SIBHg

  • Jayhuck

    An Orthodox prayer for the departed that I wanted to share

    “Be mindful, O Lord, of all those who have fallen asleep, especially Jamey Rodemeyer; pardon all his transgressions both voluntary and involuntary, whether in word, or deed, or thought. Shelter him in a place of brightness, a place of verdure, a place of repose, whence all sickness, sorrow and sighing have fled away, and where the sight of thy countenance rejoiceth all thy Saints from all the ages. Grant him thy heavenly Kingdom , and a portion in thine ineffable and eternal blessings, and the enjoyment of thine unending life”

  • Ken

    Robyn# ~ Sep 21, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    “This young man was told “he was born this way…he had to live with it”. It is very possible that this is what pushed him over the top.”

    I have yet to hear of a case were a gay teen committed suicide because he/she was told “you can’t change.” I know of far too many that were caused by bullying, or rejection (by friends and family) for being gay, but none simply because they were told “you can’t change your orientation.” And I do know of at least one adult case where he tried and failed to change orientation and committed suicide (and I suspect there are more).

    Nor have I seen anything in this particular case that would indicate the inability of the vast majority of gays to change their orientation had anything to do with his suicide.

  • Teresa

    Eddy said:

    While I agree that most anything is possible, I think that Joe overlooks the fact that although Sunday is two days from Friday, it’s also only a day away from Monday–and perhaps the dread of yet another week of bullying. And a safe and pleasant time camping with the family could have magnified the sense of how unpleasant school was with a regular occurrence of bullying.

    Excellent insight, Eddy. I remember “only a day away from Monday” very painfully.

  • Joe

    Joe – Well, I don’t know what else was going on, do you?

    No, we don’t. That would be the point.

    Going with just the facts in this post, we do not have enough information to make a call one way or the other.

    The kid was gay-the kid was bullied-the kid committed suicide……and we automatically say a+b=c…..I’m not looking for a loophole, nor am I jumping to conclusions.

    If bulling was the only issue, it would seem that overweight kids and adults would make up the largest percentage of suicides. From my own personal observations, I think they get the lions share when it comes to bulling and/or harassment . Yet I don’t see that in the news.

  • William

    Joe, I would just like to point out a difference here. Yes, children do get bullied for being overweight.

    But there are no “family” organizations, at least to my knowledge, that want to obstruct measures to prevent such bullying on the grounds that they would send the message that being overweight is “normal” or that they would be promoting overeating as a “lifestyle”.

  • Ken

    Joe# ~ Sep 22, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    “Going with just the facts in this post, we do not have enough information to make a call one way or the other.”

    There is plenty of information on glbt teen suicides to make reasonable conclusions about this boy’s suicide.

    “The kid was gay-the kid was bullied-the kid committed suicide……and we automatically say a+b=c”

    No, what is being said is that the bullying was a significant contributor to the boy’s suicide, not the ONLY contributor. Further, if the bullying had been stopped (or significantly reduced), this boy (and many others) most likely would still be alive. FINALLY, the main point Warren (and I and others) have been making is that conservative christians, who are too wrapped up in their own ideology, OBSTRUCT efforts to reduce/eliminate bullying which is a major contributor to glbt teen suicide.

    ‘If bulling was the only issue, it would seem that overweight kids and adults would make up the largest percentage of suicides. ”

    You are correct, bullying isn’t the ONLY issue (who here said it was btw?). GLBT teens also face discrimination. Overweight teens don’t see so-called “christian leaders” blaming them for the attacks on the Twin Towers, or hurricanes, or earthquakes. etc. Overweight teens don’t have school boards eliminating ALL extra-curricular clubs just to prevent them from having a social/support group. Overweight teen don’t have to worry that one day their parents might discover they were in fact overweight and kick them out of the house.

    So you are correct, bullying isn’t the ONLY issue in glbt teen suicide. However it is a significant one. And if it were removed (or at least significantly reduced), it would greatly reduce the number of teen suicides (and probably not just for glbt teens). And it is also the factor that, one would think, all christians could get behind (teaching kids to be kind to their neighbors). Quite sadly, but not surprisingly, this is not the case.

  • Eddy

    My one big concern is that we throw everything under the ‘gay’ label…as in, ‘he was bullied for being gay’. While that may be true, a deeper underlying truth is that he was bullied ‘for being different’. (A story I read today reveals that he had suicidal ideations in the 5th grade–that’s age 10 or 11. That’s pre-puberty for most boys. And for the bullying to have already been severe or constant enough to provoke suicidal ideation…).

    Sorry, folks, but one of my pet theories is that intolerance of difference is one factor that leads many to conclude that they must be gay. Yeah…I know…it’s just a theory. Like ‘you’re born that way’…that’s still a theory too.

    Still his suicide is a tragedy…as ALL suicides are. I’m just hoping that we don’t miss any larger messages that may be out there.

  • alan

    Eddy,

    I concluded that I was gay because I was sexually and romantically attracted to men, always, as long as I can remember. It’s not like people called me gay and then I thought, “Hey, I guess I should look at guys and see if I can come up with some attraction.” I have NEVER been attracted to a woman sexually or romantically.

  • William

    Eddy, one of my pet theories is that the main factor that leads people to conclude that they must be gay is that they discover that the people who erotically “turn them on” are people of their own sex, whether they like it or not and even if it’s something that they’d never expected; and that even their erotic dreams – over which, of course, they have no control – are about others of their own sex.

    Yeah…I know…it’s just a theory. But it certainly fits my own experience.

  • Eddy

    LOL. Yep. Pet theories sure abound on this site.

    Now, back to the issue of the boy being suicidal (as a result of bullying because he was gay?) when he was 10 or 11. Did you realize that you were ‘erotically turned on’ by people of your own gender at that age? Were you having erotic dreams about them at that age?

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    Eddy .. I think WIlliam and Alan were being a bit sarcastic of your theory .. but I trust you know that … I don’t know your age (for us older folks puberty was later) but these days puberty is happening at a younger and younger age so 10 or 11 may not be that young for it to happen with this young man .. A quick check of the internet showed that puberty could start as early as 9 for guys but typically starts around 12.. Additionally I think it would be false to assume that orientation (which is more than just about sex) is only known by everyone during (or after) puberty. Some may know earlier .. especially since sexual orientation is broader than the narrow window you have described.

    I am not one to jump on the emotional bandwagon when a suicide occurs and try to use it to make claims to further personal ideals.. However .. its pretty clear how this young man viewed himself and its pretty clear that his peers viewed him similarly and bullied him because of it. Can’t we let it rest at that and recognize that there is room for improvement in our school system for students who are bullied especially in this area?

    Dave

  • Eddy

    Dave asked in closing:

    Can’t we let it rest at that and recognize that there is room for improvement in our school system for students who are bullied especially in this area?

    Which begs me to repeat the statement I closed with when I brought up this other possibility:

    I’m just hoping that we don’t miss any larger messages that may be out there.

  • Lynn David

    Eddy…. Now, back to the issue of the boy being suicidal (as a result of bullying because he was gay?) when he was 10 or 11. Did you realize that you were ‘erotically turned on’ by people of your own gender at that age? Were you having erotic dreams about them at that age?

    As ‘erotic’ as a 10 year old who was just entering into puberty might be ‘tuned on,’ yes & yes.

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    when he was 10 or 11. Did you realize that you were ‘erotically turned on’ by people of your own gender at that age?

    By 11, yes!

    It strikes me as incredibly sad and tragic that we can’t seem to come together on this issue. Kids who are gay are killing themselves due to bullying they receive because of their orientation, and some who are not gay but are suffering bullying because they are perceived as gay and are killing themselves as a result – yet the conservative Christians want to forbid any speech that they don’t like regarding gay bullying. They have much for which to answer!

  • Patrocles

    Some ideas,

    first, I think that most little boys are attracted to masculinity but only a part of them has that attraction “sexualized” later on. So, memories of early SSA may be erroneous.

    Secondly, I appreciate the cautious way Warren has spoken over harassment in which “gay” is used as a tool (which isn’t the same like harassment out of homophobia).

    Thirdly I’m quite positive, nearly enthusiastical about the “Golden Pledge” movement which is the right thing to do (if broadly used and not only for gays).

    At fourth, I’m definitely a conservative. In a small way, I want to to conservate traditional masculinity as one of the most charming and attractive traits in humanity. But mostly, I want to conservate freedom of speech – once the glory of the United States, thereafter apparently the glory of the “western world”, then ridiculed and shunned by the “cultural marxists”, until most people have forgotten why it was intitutionalized at all. And I’m definitely against any anti-bullying campaigning which hasn’t a clear and robust preconception about the uses and the importance of freedom of speech.

  • Jayhuck

    Patrocles -

    first, I think that most little boys are attracted to masculinity but only a part of them has that attraction “sexualized” later on. So, memories of early SSA may be erroneous.

    What does this mean in your world?

  • http://www.exgaywatch.com Emily K

    It doesn’t matter if this boy was gay or not. He was bullied for being PERCEIVED as gay. This should tell Christian conservatives that there is an absolute NEED for anti-bullying measures.

    Even the straight kids are victims here.

    How is this not getting an unequivocal response of support? Why is it bullying for being gay is the only thing where people get wishy-washy? This affects all kids, gay and straight.

    There was an incident a couple of years ago when two (STRAIGHT) brothers were expressing physical affection to each other, as was typical in their home country (I forget where, it was in South America) and they were brutally assaulted because the attacker thought they were a gay couple. One died from his injuries.

    Hatred for gays affects anyone of any sexual orientation.

    Besides, I’d rather not live in a world where “masculinity” is equated with coldness.

  • http://www.exgaywatch.com Emily K

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/09/nyregion/09assault.html

    Here is the article re: the straight brothers. They were walking arm-in-arm and leaning on each other, possibly for balance, as they were a bit tipsy. They were from Ecuador.

  • Richard Willmer

    Emily said “It doesn’t matter if this boy was gay or not. He was bullied for being PERCEIVED as gay. This should tell Christian conservatives that there is an absolute NEED for anti-bullying measures.

    Couldn’t have put it better myself!

  • Lynn David

    Patrocles……. first, I think that most little boys are attracted to masculinity but only a part of them has that attraction “sexualized” later on. So, memories of early SSA may be erroneous.

    You may wish to believe it but I have talked with many a gay man who has said they understood something was different about themselves as early as age 5 only to understand that once puberty kicked in.

    I don’t think you remember such a thing wrongly in your life because you easily recognize that it sets you apart from the greater part of males.

    At fourth, I’m definitely a conservative. In a small way, I want to to conservate traditional masculinity as one of the most charming and attractive traits in humanity. But mostly, I want to conservate freedom of speech – once the glory of the United States, thereafter apparently the glory of the “western world”, then ridiculed and shunned by the “cultural marxists”, until most people have forgotten why it was intitutionalized at all. And I’m definitely against any anti-bullying campaigning which hasn’t a clear and robust preconception about the uses and the importance of freedom of speech.

    So are you saying that a child’s right to free speech should preclude learning a lesson about socially acceptable forms of interaction?

  • Eddy

    LOL. My comments do not deny the reality of anti-gay bullying; they are an invitation to consider that there might be an even bigger picture where kids, even kids who would one day identify as gay, are bullied–just as hurtfully–deserving just as much concern and compassion. The age at which this victim was already in psychological care with suicidal thoughts, if those thoughts were inspired by bullying, would indicate, if the boy had normal resilience, that he had experienced MAJOR bullying at an age where he and his bullies were likely pre-puberty. Forgive me that I thought that aspect merited some thoughtful examination. You may now return to your ‘one note’ discussion.

  • Robyn

    Eddy: You are right. There is so much here that needs more thoughtful examination. Bullying is wrong…everyone agrees.

    The problem is, neither side will back down, and children will suffer. Christians will not re-write their bible, nor will they cancel out 2,000 years of ideology. The gay lobby is not about to back down on their ideology either.

    So, without a huge debate on who is more right or more wrong…is there a middle ground that would get things started? A safe place at school? An on-sight counselor?

    I don’t know what….I am asking.

  • Richard Willmer

    “A safe place at school” and “an on-sight counsellor” sound like good things to me.

    As for Christians ‘rewriting’ the Bible: well, it was the Church that decided what to include n the Bible in the first place, and the Church also has a responsibility to help its members understand this collection of texts in the most appropriate way. The ‘christian problem’ in this situation is really one of interpretation, and there are, within the Church, different interpretations of both passages of Scripture and the Bible as a whole. One hears some (so-called?) christians appearing to argue that, for example, bits of Leviticus ‘justify’ being nasty to gays (with ‘mere bullying’ at the ‘thin end of the wedge’), while others see such a position as profoundly contrary to the teachings of Christ. There are also those in the Church who agree completely with what might be termed the ‘gay rights position’ and support same-sex marriage etc.

  • ken

    Patrocles# ~ Sep 24, 2011 at 4:29 am

    “And I’m definitely against any anti-bullying campaigning which hasn’t a clear and robust preconception about the uses and the importance of freedom of speech.”

    I’m a huge free speech advocate as well. And I do see how with ANY movement, there are people who take things to far, and can have a chilling effect on free speech. And I am just as vocal in pointing that problem out as I am about discrimination. I think that is the case with Dakota Ary in Fort Worth (Warren has created a thread on that very topic).

    HOWEVER, I would much rather have schools go too far in cases like Dakota Ary’s then not far enough in cases like Jamey Rodemeyer’s. Because in the Ary’s case, we can go back in fix the problems (which is what has happened), but there is nothing we can do to help Rodemeyer now.

  • Jayhuck

    Robyn

    The problem is, neither side will back down, and children will suffer. Christians will not re-write their bible, nor will they cancel out 2,000 years of ideology. The gay lobby is not about to back down on their ideology either.

    Forgive me, but it seems that the only ones here with a clear-cut agenda are those conservative Christians who oppose actually identifying gay kids when talking about bullying. There are plenty of Christians, conservative and otherwise, along with gay and other anti-bullying groups that have proposed very reasonable and by most accounts, proven methods for dealing with the bullying, yet they are opposed by a small but vocal minority of conservative Christians who don’t want schools to actually use the word “gay”.

  • Jayhuck

    Emily,

    Here is the article re: the straight brothers. They were walking arm-in-arm and leaning on each other, possibly for balance, as they were a bit tipsy. They were from Ecuador.

    Good lord! I hadn’t heard about this.

  • Eddy

    Jayhuck–

    Please clarify this recent piece of drivel that serves as an ‘ad hominem’ attack on me i.e “the only ones here”…are…with.. Since I’m the “only one” recently in this exchange representing a slightly different viewpoint…you are either drivelling or hiding behind a generalized characterization of me that isn’t true. Which is it, sir?

    For the record, my first comment on this topic was the one that suggested that this boy’s anticipation of Monday’s bullying might be greater than the reality of Friday’s. For the record, I’ve made no comments suggesting that the word ‘gay’ be eliminated from bullying programs. I brought up a possibility that doesn’t even exclude gay…it simply incorporates some others who share the same victimization. Where and when will your unfounded assumptions stop?

    Robyn–

    Thank you. It’s a conversation that I strongly believe needs to happen. I’ll continue to be concerned for gay kids–and for all the other victims of bullying.

    Forgive me, but it seems that the only ones here with a clear-cut agenda are those conservative Christians who oppose actually identifying gay kids when talking about bullying.

  • ken

    Patrocles# ~ Sep 24, 2011 at 4:29 am

    “And I’m definitely against any anti-bullying campaigning which hasn’t a clear and robust preconception about the uses and the importance of freedom of speech.”

    I’m a huge free speech advocate as well. And I do see how with ANY movement, there are people who take things to far, and can have a chilling effect on free speech. And I am just as vocal in pointing that problem out as I am about discrimination. I think that is the case with Dakota Ary in Fort Worth (Warren has created a thread on that very topic).

    HOWEVER, I would much rather have schools go too far in cases like Dakota Ary’s then not far enough in cases like Jamey Rodemeyer’s. Because in the Ary’s case, we can go back in fix the problems (which is what has happened), but there is nothing we can do to help Rodemeyer now.

  • Patrocles

    Ken,

    point made.

    Lynn David,

    I remember well that, at the age of six, I was infatuated with Charles Heston (as the young Moses). I’m just not sure how far I really was “different”. (You see: If you have a bunch of boys in your neighbourhood and along comes your neighbour, the dashing young policeman, home from work, how much boys will run to him – the gay boys or all boys?)

    I got a feeling of being “different” when I realized, between 6 and 10, that I fell back behind the other boys in masculine development (strength, power, handiness etc.) and that partly because I didn’t really try.

    But I didn’t really feel “different” in matters of sexual orientation before puberty (when I showed some comrades images of naked men instead of women and they didn’t react as I had expected.)

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    That message had nothing to do with you. When I said “here” I meant the ones who are directly involved with this issue, and who are opposing anti-bullying measures in the schools. I could have probably worded the post differently so it reflected that, and I see why you would think I was speaking about you, but I was not. “Here”, in this instance, was not meant to reference this blog.

  • Eddy

    Very strange and confusing…to step into an exchange between others and offer an opinion that seems to be on the very point they are discussing…but then not be connected at all–and make no mention of the fact that your observations are simply ‘out of the blue’ and ‘not connected’ after all. And, as for the new meaning of “here”, well…I’m simply without words.

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    The comments are not “out of the blue” and I’ve rarely witnessed you to be “without words”. I promise though, they are *not about you*!

  • Eddy

    In the world I live in, people don’t normally interject a statement that has been made numerous times into a current conversation unless they feel it somehow applies to what’s currently being said. Given that I have protested numerous times that it is distracting-and a bit of a detour-when one commenter shifts to discussing people or notions that are not being represented by those actually present, I simply don’t by your rationalization.

    I will accept that you didn’t stop to think that the criticisms would very easily be personalized but I think it reflects your ‘knee jerk’ reaction to ideas you disagree with…throw out a smokescreen to disparage the idea. It’s a form of thought censorship common to this website.

    In any event, I’ve learned why I’ve found actual communication on this website to be generally fruitless and non-productive and will once again take my leave… (until such time that I forget the futility again and pop back in. :-) )

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    Just let it go please!

  • Jayhuck

    “Thought censorship”? Smokescreen? Good grief.

  • http://www.exgaywatch.com Emily K

    I remember well that, at the age of six, I was infatuated with Charles Heston (as the young Moses). I’m just not sure how far I really was “different”. (You see: If you have a bunch of boys in your neighbourhood and along comes your neighbour, the dashing young policeman, home from work, how much boys will run to him – the gay boys or all boys?)

    Well, the straight boys (and not all the gay boys), mostly likely, wouldn’t have crushes on him and swoon over him the way you apparently did Heston.

    It sounds like to me from your various comments that you’re gay/bisexual (er sorry, “same sex attracted”) and very uncomfortable with it, as you think this makes you “less than a ‘real’ man.” You’re very ideologically “conservative,” and being gay somehow puts you at odds with this conservatism you try to uphold.

    Maybe if you didn’t assign such discomfort with same sex attraction in the first place you wouldn’t feel so uncomfortable with it and try to make excuses for it like “I didn’t develop masculinity early enough” and “well LOTS of boys feel that way and it doesn’t make them GAY, right??”

  • Joe

    Still his suicide is a tragedy…as ALL suicides are.

    That comment can not be stressed enough!

    This comment:

    For religious conservatives reading this: Isn’t it past time to become part of the solution?

    Which is the only reason I made a comment on this post…

    I take that as an off-handed way of implying that they are somehow the problem. I disagree.

    In Texas, Rick Perry just signed off on a host of anti-bullying laws. I think he would be considered a religious conservative.

    I think the problem is bigger than that….We hear a lot lately about gay kids killing themselves “because of bullying”.

    What really gets my interest, is that it appears gay victims of bullying seem to commit suicide on a larger scale than most others. Why is that? For me, that is the real issue.

    Warren…has said that having a “homosexual orientation” does not necessarily equate taking on a gay identity. An identity hard enough to handle as an adult. Yet, we don’t seem to have a problem with trying to get kids to embrace that phenomenon at an earlier and earlier age.

    I think for young kids, the backlash, might just be to much for them to handle.

    It’s something to look at.

  • Jayhuck

    Joe,

    What really gets my interest, is that it appears gay victims of bullying seem to commit suicide on a larger scale than most others. Why is that? For me, that is the real issue.

    First of all, I don’t know that it is true that gay victims of bullying commit suicide on a larger scale than most others. Do you have some evidence? I’m willing to believe this might be true I’m just wondering if it, in fact, is.

    Regardless if it is in fact true, there have been ample reasons given why gay people *may* be more likely to commit suicide as the result of bullying. I believe Ken offered several either on this thread or on another one.

    It is important to be aware that some of the kids who have committed suicide as the result of being bullied for being gay, did not in fact identify as gay.

  • Richard Willmer

    Maybe it is those boys who are unsure or confused about their sexuality who are most at risk? LGB persons, including young ones, who are confident in who they are often strike me as really rather resilient, despite all the nasty things things that are said about them in some quarters and the rejection they may have suffered.

    We all, to a greater or lesser extent, need a ‘safe space’ in which we can ‘come to terms’ with ourselves (even if such a ‘coming to terms’ is just a staging post on the road of personal growth). Anti-bullying measures can thus play a very important part in allowing young people the chance for orderly and healthy maturation.

    Of course, we should not label all ‘conservative’ Christians as homophobic. Theologically, I’m pretty conservative myself (and regard an over-emphasis on a literal interpretation of the whole Bible, and a lack of appreciation of the mystery of the Godhead, as most unfortunate and undesirable innovations!). I suspect Jayhuck might identify with these feelings on my part! Jayhuck?

    And, yes Joe: you are quite right to emphasise the tragedy of any person taking her/his own life.

  • ken

    Joe# ~ Sep 25, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    For religious conservatives reading this: Isn’t it past time to become part of the solution?

    “I take that as an off-handed way of implying that they are somehow the problem. I disagree.”

    The religious conservatives ARE a significant part of the problem. I suggest you take a look at the Anoka-Hennepin discussion to see how.

    “What really gets my interest, is that it appears gay victims of bullying seem to commit suicide on a larger scale than most others. Why is that? For me, that is the real issue.”

    I already posted why glbt youth may be even more susceptible to suicide here.

    “Yet, we don’t seem to have a problem with trying to get kids to embrace that phenomenon at an earlier and earlier age. ”

    The school efforts I (and most other I believe) support are for getting ALL kids (not just gay ones) to recognize there is nothing wrong with being gay. And especially, for the gay kids to accept that so they would be less likely to be ashamed of who they are, and hopefully, less likely to attempt suicide. And attempting to stop prejudice is better if you address it at an early age.

  • Robyn

    I think we have to “work the problem” with the cards we are dealt. Changing anyone’s ideology is an enormous, maybe impossible task. I would be very interested to know the anti-bullying laws, that Perry has just signed off on. Anyone know?

  • Jayhuck

    Robyn,

    I think we have to “work the problem” with the cards we are dealt. Changing anyone’s ideology is an enormous, maybe impossible task. I would be very interested to know the anti-bullying laws, that Perry has just signed off on. Anyone know?

    I think we actually can go beyond the ideology issue and ask everyone to put in place anti-bullying laws that have been demonstrated to be effective.

    As for Perry, I do not know but I plan on checking in on that this evening

  • Robyn

    http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/parents/safeschools.html

    This is what we are doing in Ontario Canada. This might spur some ideas.

  • Jayhuck

    Testing – last post didn’t appear to go through but neither was there a message that suggested it was waiting for approval in some queue – hmmm

  • Jayhuck

    Robyn,

    I’ve been trying, unsuccessfully now (4 times) to post a link for you about the Bill Perry signed. Every time I try to post the link the post is failing to show. I thought I’d let you know you can Google the issue and see several articles re: the Bill. Good luck

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    Is this the bill you are looking for ?

    Dave

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    And this bill ??

    Dave

  • Robyn

    Thank you for sending links.

    HB 1942 seems to offer much. It is a preventative approach, with policies that improve peer relations. It calls for meaningful intervention, clear rules, and most important of all…support and protection for victims.

    Lets hope things move quickly and good results are seen.

  • Jayhuck

    Robyn,

    Lets hope things move quickly and good results are seen.

    Hear, Hear!

  • Michael Bussee

    Teen’s parents: After suicide, he’s still being bullied: At school dance after his wake, they allege, chants of ‘We’re glad you’re dead.’

    TODAY’s Ann Curry sits down with the parents of 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer, whose recent suicide has gained attention from around the world. Watch the video:

    http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/44684938/ns/today-today_people/t/gay-teens-parents-bullying-continued-after-his-suicide?GT1=43001

  • Michael Bussee

    From the link, above:

    “Jamey spoke openly to his parents about the bullying he endured as a sixth- and seventh-grader at Heim Middle School, but became more withdrawn about it when he entered high school, according to his parents. One of his last online posts, discovered by his parents after his death, read, “I always say how bullied I am, but no one listens. What do I have to do so that people will listen to me?’’

  • Michael Bussee

    LA Dodgers’ ‘It Gets Better’ Video: “It Doesn’t Matter Which Team You Cheer For”

    The Los Angeles Dodgers are the latest sports team to lend their support to the It Gets Better Project against gay teen bullying and suicide.

    The ‘It Gets Better’ video features coach Don Mattingly, James Loney, Matt Guerrier, Jamey Carroll, A.J. Ellis, Rod Barajas and Hiroki Kuroda saying, “you are worthy,” and “you’re not alone, we’re on your side” in English, Spanish and Japanese. For an industry where gay role models are few and far between, that’s saying a lot.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/27/la-dodgers-it-gets-better_n_984173.html?ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false#sb=1007385,b=facebook

  • Michael Bussee

    Anderson Cooper, Rodemeyer Parents Confront Bullies – By Diane Anderson-Minshall

    “At the funeral, perhaps the priest summed it up best, when he said, “Imagine that of all things, that by the time we’re 14, we are now expected to fully know our sexual orientation, verbalize it and defend it to anyone who gets in our face. How demanding our world has become. How relentlessly impatient we are.”

    http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2011/10/04/Anderson_Cooper_and_Rodemeyer_Parents_Confront_Bullying/

  • Michael Bussee


    Another horrific gay teen suicide caused by bullying, I’m so sad to report.

    Gay 15-year-old Ottawa, Canada teen Jamie Hubley killed himself on Friday. Bullying was apparently to blame, the Ottawa Citizen reports. And like the recent bullying suicide of Jamey Rodemeyer, Hubley documented much of what happened to him online: Jamie Hubley documented the final month of his life in heartbreaking and painful detail.

    http://www.towleroad.com/2011/10/hubley.html#ixzz1b3dQQeqH

  • Michael Bussee

    Thinking about all those we’ve lost. Let’s be careful out there. Children will listen.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gey1PtXYwLI

  • Jesseka Norris

    Hi. I’m Jesseka, I’m 14 years old, and I’m gay. I get bullied all the time fro being gay, and I’m pround to be gay. My mom has kicked me out for bieng gay disowned me. My mom is currently dying with cancer as well. I just want to be there for my mom. Now I wish I could have just been there for Jamey. He should be proud of it. Gay marriage was just passed in New York. Hearing this made me just cry my eyes out, and I don’t even know him. We’re starting a foundation here in New York called she will be loved. We do charitable events too start raising awarness. The next local event should be happening soon. Please add me on Facebook, under Jesseka Lynn. The page will be up soon. Thanks a lot! R.I.P Jamey.

  • Michael Bussee
  • StraightGrandmother

    OMG Michael Bussee, OMG!!!

  • stephen

    Michael B,

    that’s pretty stunning. Thanks for those links. For those who haven’t seen them yet the videos are best understood in the order posted.

  • Michael Bussee

    Tell Me, Christian, That You Hear This Boy

    Tell me, please, how you love this kid. Tell me how you understand his pain. Tell me how when he cries, you cry.

    Tell me how you want to do everything in your power to make sure that no one, ever again, feels free to in any way victimize a young gay person. ~ John Shore

    http://johnshore.com/2011/12/03/a-gay-boy-cries-out-tell-me-christian-that-you-hear-him/

  • StraightGrandmother

    DITTO JOHN SHORE!!!!

    I can tell you John, I do hear his pain and feel it, when he cries, I cry. If I could, I would take all his pain and put it on me, I really would, I am sure all of us here would do that if we could.

    I do John Shore want to do everything in my power to make sure this never happens again. That is one reason John Shore I have talked here about your new Kindle Book (Just re-named I notice)

    UNFAIR: Why the “Christian” View of Gays Doesn’t Work [Kindle Edition]

    $9.95 and if you don’t have a Kindle you can download a free app from Amazon and read it on your computer.

    I have to stop myself now because those of you who are regulars know very well how terribly I “loose it” when I see young people suffer or commit bullycide. If I don’t stop I’ll write something bad that will bet me banned. I am both crying, this is so heavy on my heart, and equally I am outraged! We all know that this persecution is taught in our churches and synagogs. Our Christian/Jewish/Muslim children are taught that homosexuality is an abomination. The children do nothing more than apply what they have learned in their homes and in their churches.

  • Michael Bussee

    Sadly, another one.

    Tennessee Teen Takes His Own Life After Years of Anti-Gay Bullying That Students Say School Ignored: VIDEO

    http://www.towleroad.com/2011/12/tnteen.html

  • Michael Bussee

    Update on Jonah Mowry, the gay teen who posted the video about the pain he was experiencing when he made his first video. “It gets better and you can be happy…”

    http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fabcnews.go.com%2FGMA%2Fvideo%2Fbullied-teen-jonah-mowry-happy-15120338%3Ftab%3D9482931%26section%3D1206833&h=OAQGV5w3FAQEccJICRX4s1HC4gIaDZsZicCv7e9vEIJhhhQ


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X