|Jamey Rodemeyer 1997 - 2011|
I know you've seen this photo a lot in the past few days. Jamey Rodemeyer committed suicide last week after years of being bullied, despite making an "It Gets Better" video of his own and despite a supportive family. Jamey was 14 (my eyes are filling up as I write this, so please forgive a typo or two). Jamey should be just discovering the world, not leaving it. I haven't written about it until now, because I knew I wouldn't get through it.
Why is this still happening? This must stop, friends.We can't let the bullies and the uneducated and the fearful win. Who knows what great works could have been lost? Who knows what this young man could have (and should have) become? But we'll never have the chance to find out. Jamey won't find out how wonderful the world can be. And Jamey's family will never see him graduate, go to college or find the love of his life. I don't understand how hate alone can kill. And I understand less why we still allow it to happen. School districts need to develop effective programs for dealing with bullying for students, teachers and parents. Parents need to talk to their kids and support them and fight for them when they've been wronged. And the parents of the bullies need to be held accountable for their children's actions, as well. Write to your elected officials; attend PTA meetings and parent/teacher conferences; listen to and love your children, no matter what.
And if you're a young person dealing with bullies, please know you are not alone and please talk to someone. If you think there's no one to talk to, I promise there is. The Trevor Project provides toll-free 24 hour support for LGBT and questioning youth. Call them at 1-800-4UTREVOR. That's 1-800-488-7386. Hell, email me or leave an anonymous reply and I will find someone or someway to help you. Your life is too precious to let bullies take it away.
The rest of you can help, too. Volunteer at or donate to an anti-bullying or suicide prevention organization and write your elected officials.
I'll get back to nonsense (and the latest design changes) tomorrow. Until then, watch (and share) these: