Make it better NOW

Four months ago, Jamey, a boy from the state of New York made an “It Gets Better” video, usually something done by self-actualized queer adults who are happy with how they’ve turned out. But Jamey was just 14 and in his video he admits his schoolmates often call him a “faggot” and that anonymous users had been posting vicious comments telling him to kill himself on his Formspring account after he came out as bi.

Even though he was under so much pressure from the people in his school he wanted to help other kids, wanted to give back some of the support he said he got from people online; that’s why he made the It Gets Better video. But a few months later he was dead.

And it will be hard for the people in charge to deny that there were clear signs that Jamey was not OK. On September 8, he posted on his blog, “No one in my school cares about preventing suicide, while you’re the ones calling me ‘faggot’ and tearing me down” and he put up a separate post letting everyone know it was National Suicide Prevention Week. The next day, he blogged, “I always say how bullied I am, but no one listens. What do I have to do so people will listen to me?”

Yet influential religious groups in the U.S. are trying to prevent legislation against bullying and say bullying isn’t a real problem, that there shouldn’t be laws made for just a few per cent of the population and that efforts to prevent bullying are a part of the “gay agenda” to turn kids queer.

On Saturday night, Jamey posted a lyric from Lady Gaga’s The Queen on his Facebook page: “Don’t forget me when I come crying to heaven’s door.” Then he hung himself. He had just started as a freshman in High School.


89 thoughts on “Make it better NOW”

  1. When I was a kid, I was taught that the purpose of democracy was to protect the minority from the majority. I think Emerson even wrote about the idea of a “majority of one”. Now people think that a democracy is for the mass to ride roughshod over anyone that doesn’t think and act like some imagined majority. It’s one big fucking mess and I don’t think it will change anytime soon. In America, all the signs point to even more misery.

    And in the case of this boy, he already had a social worker and a therapist. I think most of the time, they can even make things worse. And what can they do in any event? The laws make any kind of meaningful help illegal. The therapists are told to drug the kids into a stupor. That is the answer these days. Any older person making suggestions to a gay boy under 16 in America, even in a therapeutic setting, or at school, is treading on very thin ice.

    1. Jeff. I hope you don’t mind me using your words on Nom’s facebook page, they seamed appropriate for the conversation and they really irk me sometimes…

    2. “Any man more right than his neighbors constitutes a majority of one already.” -Thoreau, Civil Disobedience

    3. “Democracy is four wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.”

      those kids who bullied this guy – they will understand what they have done (some day), and they lives will be ruined too! I do blame their parents and school! Situation is not acceptable, Lady Gaga should not be the one to protect human rights. There are a lot of people who have that job – and they just need to do it.

      p.s. Something like this should never happen again. If you are bullied, you need to find the way out – maybe you need to learn to let it go. Things change, maybe no so fast like in reality show Survivor, but they do change!

  2. I thought this boy’s story was touching, and very heartfelt. I read of his demise earlier today at work on a break, and felt a definite sag from the news.
    His was a story not too unusual from others, but it was very nice to see him bouncing back from hate and disrespect to lend his voice to the “It Gets Better” cause. To his friends and family, I am so sorry. To those of you reading this who are enduring hate from others for you being who you are, please seek help / friends / groups / support of some type.
    You don’t need to go away. We want you here in this life, living and making your way and contributing to our world and making a wider path for those that come behind us.

  3. Jameys death is soooo sad. Everytime i read his last tweet I almost start crying.

    “@ladygaga bye mother monster, thank you for all you have done, paws up forever”

    Lady Gaga tweeted twice yesterday. She’ll meet the president. BULLYING HAS TO STOP.

    more important: Jameys is not the first and he’ll sadly not last one.

    rest in peace.

  4. This is so sad. I’m gradually losing my faith in mankind. How can people drive someone into killing himself?
    I vow: If I ever see someone bullying someone else or someone being bullied, I won’t look the other way and I will help. And everyone should do this.

  5. It is interesting to note that the two people interviewed by Anderson Cooper were women. The feminist movement was one of the main proponents of the idea that only people with a penis can rape. Women are viewed as somehow safe. Women’s movements also wanted to bring all children under their umbrella of “safety”, both males and females, making it look as if anyone under 18 is a sexless eunuch.
    I am amazed at how few men are no longer in any fields dealing with young people. And the men that are left seem to be eunuchs themselves, having acquiesced.
    Additionally, I seriously question this “It Gets Better” movement. It is going to take more than words to save us. And trying to convince young people that their utterly tragic situations will somehow improve amounts to a cruel hoax in my view. Each day, many of the boys such as this one see their worlds collapsing into ever more hopeless misery and despair, and all they are offered is the drone of “It Gets Better”, and perhaps some well meaning teacher telling the offending students to stop using the word “gay”. No… this problem is a lot deeper than this. And I think it is one that is beyond the scope of legislation as well. There is the misguided concept that if we pass a law the problem will vanish. In fact, many times the laws exacerbate the problems they are attempting to resolve. I fear it would take a social revolution to sort this out, at least in America.

    1. I would like to respond to your comments about the feminist movement. It seems that it has become very popular to denigrate feminism and so I feel a need to speak up. Feminism and the feminist movement dared to speak up and demand that the world change. These are the same demands made by other movements for social change and as a child and now as an adult these demands gave me hope.

      Feminism dared to say that every person has value; that the construct of society and thought and values has been created by those in power; that women (and children and gays and people from various ethnic and racial groups) do not simply want in the door of the current power structure, but to transform the structure itself. Feminism points out that there are different ways of seeing the world and interacting with one another.

      If feminism is simply seen as male-bashing, or the desire to get what men in power have always seen as their right, then feminism is not understood.

      I don’t know about the “It gets better campaign.” Like any PR slogan it only goes so deep. But to dare to speak out and say that the world-as-it-is is not the only world that can be — that is very powerful.

      1. If a mistreated minority throws another mistreated minority under the bus, the ones who are thrown under the bus should feel free to complain, in my opinion. I think it’s an interesting observation that he made about the women commentators on these suicide cases. I think he’s got a good point — men don’t often come forward to defend boys because they are afraid — myself and many others think this is because the feminist movement has made them afraid, by promoting the idea that men are boorish brutes who impose their sexual will on unwilling women and “children.” The day women stop wanting to marry men (and divorce them) for their money, the sexes will be more equal.

    2. “The feminist movement was one of the main proponents of the idea that only people with a penis can rape. Women are viewed as somehow safe.”

      That’s the opposite of feminism. Have you ever talked to a feminist in your life?

  6. Peter Z,
    While i appreciate your opinion, i’d have to ask: what do you propose we do then? As a young american who works with children on a regular basis, there are only so many paths our current society deem acceptable forms of interaction and prevention. A social revolution would certainly be ideal but i can’t fathom how that would happen when the religious right has such a stranglehold on the American definitions of morality and acceptable behavior. As long as they make up the unfortunate majority, we in the lgbt community, and especially the children whose lives we’re trying to save and improve, are fighting a losing battle. I won’t stop fighting, but the Spartans only last so long against the Persians without re-enforcements.

    1. In the whole world are 2 main problems to be solved:
      – Stop the ignorance and accept all human kind as they are – loving children of the universe.
      – Stop saying it get’s better and do nothing to really get it better.

      I totaly agree with both of you from their point of view but the main problem is a movement can’t help if as you say “there are only so many paths our current society deem acceptable”. I can reply to that what Peter says: “I fear it would take a social revolution to sort this out” and only you the “young american” can really do something against the rules of your society. You have to stand up for yourself, for all others and FOR THE CHILDREN WHO CAN’T and dont know how to!

      You say you work “with children on a regular basis”. Do all their parents know you are gay? and that is the bigest problem Peter speaks about – man and children. The “Cristian thinking” the society has addopted – all man who like children are pedofiles. I belive it get’s from day to day harder to openly show you like a child without beeing acoused to be at least an pervert.

      The sadnes of all that is the 14 year old boy still lies in the cold dark coffin and his only hope is the god whos church has started the mess he had to deal with in his lifetime!

  7. i work with kids every summer from the ages of 11-17yo, and there have been many of times that i as the camps medical officer/counselor im the one that most of them talk to when they have issues, i have had kids talk to me about being confused with there feelings and not being sure what to do. it is a never ending thing the bullying. ive had to deal with it on my camp, where its been physical, emotional hazing, bullying. we have a zero tolerance policy and any kids that are caught bullying and hazing are 1 the parents are notified (they have to come get them that day regardless of time), we force the kids to sit down and talk to eachother about why he was picking on the other, and we will facilitate help for the one who was being bullied, i for one have no respect for the bullies, but will give my heart to those who were being bullied. its just amazing how teachers will turn the blind eye to it i dont know how they can watch a child that they are responsible for during the day and just do nothing about it. it makes me disgusted to live in this country sometimes

  8. They are only mad because they know they are losing the support of every intelligent/rational person in the country.
    And when those churches and organizations are only made up of the far right nut jobs then the country will see them for the hateful and spiteful human beings they are.

    so HA fucking HA, bigots! u can take all that anger and shove it because our strength not only grows every week of every month of every year!
    But our determination to put an end to organizations like “the Christian Coalition” grows with every child who has ever experienced bullying.
    Because these children grow up, and they realise it does get better and with their new found power they focus on the very people who attacked them and made their childhood a living hell.

    So with every heartbreaking story that I hear, I know that one day the stories will stop. Because with the anger we feel from these stories and from our own experiences we will destroy these organizations and its founders by using their own hate against them.

  9. Lets protect children from the imaginary homosexual agenda that only exists in the mind of fundamentalists and leave gay children who suffer very real abuse and cruelty in school everyday unprotected to the point where they prefer to die than to go on like this, because fundamentalist adults feel more comfortable with that.

    Gay propaganda is not making kids gay, and your Christian propaganda will not make them straight. Propaganda can only make then more tolerant or intolerant, open or closed, accepting of themselves or in denial, happy with their lives or in pain and suicidal.

    Homophobia creates the problem and homophobia prevents its solution. It’s time to stop being so tolerant with the homophobes and their religious bullshit. Americans wouldn’t be this tolerant with fundamentalist Muslims opposing education for equal rights for women. It’s time to stop respecting this people and presenting them as reasonable citizens. It’s time to hold them accountable for their crimes against children.

  10. Robert Newman, really? You weren’t a bully when you were a kid? That hardly matters because you’re a bully now.

  11. This is so incredibly sad. I can’t imagine how alone this poor guy must have felt til the end. Hope this guy has some rest wherever he is now.

    1. Nah, he’s dead. Gone forever and ever. That’s what makes this shit fucked up.

  12. Despite what people think, things ARE getting better. It’s not been so long since they would just take the gays outside and kill them. Even longer ago then that, it used to be the kind of thing you could get burned at the stake for.

    So, while 20 years ago people were raging against them for tying boys up to fences and beating them to death, now they are raging for them hurling insults at them. It’s not perfect, but it does sound like progress. Who knows, maybe in another 20 years this shit will be a non-issue entirely.

        1. That post is 3 years old? Damn…. I’ve been following this blog longer then I thought.

          I specifically did the Matthew Shepard link cause of the tied to a fence reference, though.

  13. Damn, just watched the video and saw some of his posts on tumblr just now. I wish i had made a tumblr account before this happened and talked to him to assure him that things would get better and those people that were bullying him soon realise how low they were and they would eventually stop. =/

    I remember back in secondary school a kid in my year was getting picked on by some others because he was so smart and me and my friends didnt really do much to stop that. We would sometimes tell the kids that were bullying him to stop it because they were annoying us but then after a while they would just continue and i guess everyone just got used to it. It wasn’t until after we left school that i realized what exactly they were doing and that i should have done more to stop them from bullying him.

    He is now doing a masters degree and most of the guys that were bullying him currently have no jobs or future prospects and had children straight after we left secondary school. Last time i checked facebook i saw that they constantly posted pictures of themselves with their friends going out drinking and doing stupid things wasting their lives away. I am glad im not friends with them and wasnt friends with them back in secondary school.

    Everyone makes mistakes in life. I just hope that the ones that were bullying this poor guy realize what they have done and how much they have hurt all the people that cared for him. I just wish i could have done something about this. I feel so useless now that i could not do something so simple to stop this from happening.

  14. Bullying of any child or adult because they are LGBT or because they simply look, talk or dress differently which too often gets overlooked must stop. The hateful intolerance towards others has been allowed to propagate for far too long by the silent majority. Whether the bullies are Christian religious fundamentalists or just purely hate anyone they see fit to, they are the minority. Initiatives like “It Gets Better” and organisations like “The Trevor Project” do work for many people, sadly not for Jamey Rodemeyer. Rather than despair at the seemingly endless numbers of young people being driven to suicide we must encourage ourselves and others to speak out against HATE.
    Are you: Heterosexual?
    Heterosexual Parents?
    Heterosexual Youth?
    Member of Political Party?
    Member of Religious Group?
    In Any category known in civilised society?

    Do the Intolerant haters speak for you?
    The LGBT community are trying to save these young lives. Are you?
    The silent majority must speak out, speak quietly, speak loudly, speak louder but please speak.

    R.I.P Jamey Rodemeyer
    My Sympathy’s To Jamey’s’ Family.

    1. “Thank you, that’s really going to help the world.” Is THAT what your Queen taught you?

  15. More good stuff for kids to look forward to. This from today’s news in the USA:

    “New census data released today reveals that the recession has made American 20 to 30-somethings into a Lost Generation of unemployed and underemployed, the AP reports.
    According to economists, this trend will continue through the decade, and when its over, it will take another decade for this generation to fully recover.
    When the Lost Generation is found again, they’ll be older, inexperienced and without assets to speak of. And they will need to grow up fast.”

  16. I posted this on my Facebook page two days ago. I have over 4,000 people on my site, so I got 103 people responding with a comment (over 50 more people just clicked “Like” meaning that they’d read the piece and were either too apathetic or too sad to leave a comment). Most, said “Hang the bastards who picked on him. Others said it was the fault of the authorities.”

    Peer pressure is greater than parental or institutional care…or concern. He had many girlfriends – no boy friends (boyfriends).
    A gay boy needs male companionship. A gay boy needs to know boys (whom he’s attracted to) will eventually find him attractive or be interested in him as a friend or lover.

    We needed to send him to a gay centre and enfold him in the bosom of love.

    How many others are there we haven’t heard about?

    1. Sure Stephen, and if some male over 18 even looks askew at a 14 year old he could end up in serious trouble when you add the “gay” factor into the equation.

      Yeah, we needed this and we needed that, and we needed to send him to a gay centre “enfolding him in the bosom of love”. OMG! Wait until the do-gooders get a hold of that!

      Deep down, our society wants to believe that children are “innocent” which means sexless. I don’t care how well intentioned people are, the laws of America preclude any meaningful gesture toward kids under 18, and horror of horrors, those under 16.

  17. Never confuse the idea that “It gets better” with “It gets easier”.

    While it is true that sometimes we have to endure the fire and flame to become something stronger, too much fire and flame can also weaken and eventually destroy you.

  18. Josh, I reblogged this post because I think as many foks should take in this news and read over it somewhere else.
    Esspecially the reason NOt to change the laws because it would’ make all the kids queer is so not 21th century civilisation-thinking.
    AMericans should shout a little less loud all the time that they r the “home of the brave and the land of the free” and the best fucking nation in the world!.
    “God bless America”, oh and we, the rest of the world are of a lesser God or what?!.
    Thank fuck I live in a free liberal country , Holland!.
    Hope yur not mad for ‘stealing’ your item”.., if so lemmeknow,Kski.

  19. I am sickened beyond words by this story. I wish there was a hell so that some of the people involved could go to it. As usual, here is my opinion mixed with my own experience.

    In my experience as a bullied kid, a successful bully (or group of bullies) knows the threshold of abuse that will force the “powers that be” to act, and then stays just short of that line. One kid was so good at it he stabbed me (in the arm, but he was aiming for my face) and knocked me cold three times without any repercussions. For a while I would get so desperate, that eventually I would lash out and cross the line myself, and then I would face the wrath of the authorities (who would trivialize the initial bullying). Then it became a game with the bullies to see if they could provoke me to getting into trouble. There was nothing that was too low for them and no adults seemed to care unless I fought back.

    Finally, when I became crazy, I just stopped giving a shit about my own well being. I got the message that I couldn’t fight back, so I started to absorb all the abuse (physical and verbal and otherwise) and I made a big joke out of it with the bullies as the target of the joke. I got severely beaten, but I never backed down. I stood there and took it. The bullies learned that if they were going to abuse me they were not going to get any fun out of it and they were going to be mocked mercilessly while they were doing it. I stopped being fun to abuse and so eventually the abuse stopped. No thanks to any adult or any anti-bullying programme or any “It gets better” programme.

    The truth is that many normal kids are sadistic bastards who prey on any sign of difference or weakness. It’s something we inherited from our ape ancestors and it’s not going away short of genetic engineering. I don’t know where these attitudes go when the kids grow up, but I suspect they’re still there under the surface (which explains a lot of human behaviour).

    That’s very grim.

    I have no idea what to tell a normal kid. The only practical thing I can suggest is try to stop giving a shit–even about the physical abuse. We do need to tell kids it gets better (because it does), but we also need to teach them practical advice. It seems the bullies have lots of civil rights otherwise it would be electroshock for the lot of them. That leaves the victims. We need to teach the victims strength. How’s that for vague?

    1. That is terrible! Terrible that it happened to you, and terrible advice. Just take it? Just sit there and let it happen? No, you need to stand up for yourself, learn not to cross teh line just as they do. They are looking for prey, not a fight. Fight back, just be smart about it.

      More over we all, peers and educators and general passer by, need to stop passively witnessing and get involved. I see some bully sucker punch a kid and I’m going to intervene, take pictures, get names, call police.

      And as someone getting bullied don’t wait for a passive administration to do it for you. It has been proven that the archaic educational system administration is unable to do that.

      Go to the police yourself, because getting punched is assault plain and simple. Every time you are physically confronted, even a simple push or a wedgie is enough to count by most laws. You will be surprised how fast a school will react to protect you when threatened by police and lawsuit. Schools can’t afford negative publicity.

      I need to start my own campaign, the “Get Involved” campaign…

      1. This is Trav. I’ll start using my usual Milkboard name: Decagram.

        markankhamen said: “Just take it? Just sit there and let it happen? No, you need to stand up for yourself, learn not to cross teh line just as they do. They are looking for prey, not a fight. Fight back, just be smart about it.”

        I never said this was good advice: it’s just what worked for me. I had to be mentally ill even to consider it.

        Let me elaborate a little about that kid who stabbed me and clubbed me over the head with various non-blunt objects (he did way more than I can go into here). One day I finally had enough and I tried to strangle him. His friends went right to a teacher, who came to the rescue. I was expelled and put in psychiatric counselling until the doctor decided I was fit to return to school. I guess I crossed the line. I was threatened with expulsion a few years later for fighting back, too. I was told to “just ignore them”. This, of course, made me a worse target because the bullies knew they could attack me with impunity. The lesson I learned was that as far as things came to me, I could not fight back physically.

        By the way, I never said to sit there and let it happen. You have to make the bully pay dearly for what he does, but it takes the form of verbal mockery, not physical attack. Physical attack crosses the line. Also, you can’t let him derive any pleasure from what he does. It means showing only defiance and not weakness. Unfortunately you have to be prepared to get hurt. This advice really doesn’t work if you have any sense of self-preservation. Again, mental illness helps. Please tell me none of this is sounding like a good idea to anyone.

        This may be very unfair of me but unfortunately it seems that there are some people that school administrators will tolerate victimizing others, and some other people whom they will not. I’ll bet that members of the football team (to stereotype awfully) are just engaging in good clean fun, while the black trenchcoat crowd (if they would do such a thing) would get a visit from the cops. Whatever stereotype it was I fit into, it was definitely the latter group.

        If I had a kid I would train him how to be a total troll online when he had to be. Grown adults would regret getting into flamewars with him.

        1. Still terrible, you have my heartfelt sympathy.

          In a situation like yours I would have recommended involving the police, as I have said. Obviously the educators were willing to overlook their assaults as “pranks”, police however have far less leniency in investigating reports of assault. It isn’t the sort of scrutiny administrators want.

          1. Oh sure! Trust the police! That is the most insane comment yet. Only a madman would trust the police. And in America? One of the requirements of being a policeman in America is to be a sadist.

            1. Forgive me if I’m mistaken, but why do you always pick the tragedies to be a troll? And no, I’m not expecting anything other than more trolling from you.

          2. Despite what the troll says, I always had a very good opinion of the police. They were my knights in shining armour. However, when you rat out a bully there is always the spectre of retribution by his friends afterwards. Also I’m sure you know that kids in general have a culture that looks disfavourably on tattletales. You really can’t win.

            I’m not trying to be defeatist here, but this is what I faced in the 1970s and 1980s, and what my cousin faces today. If there were easy solutions kids would be taking them instead of killing themselves.

            1. Which is why we need to make the effort to change attitudes. It might not be cool to snich, but if you are already being assaulted and tortured why not? Make their lives as legally miserable as you can because they can only push so far.

    2. I never was one for physical confrontation myself… I tended to use psychological intimidation on them (after the biggest senior in the school, whom I’d made sure to befriend, graduated my freshman year) and it worked for me.

      It’s amazing how far wearing all black, carrying around horror novels (Twilight doesn’t count), listening to metal, and carrying yourself like everyone else is beneath you can go towards getting the ignorant to leave you alone. I may not have had as many friends as most kids in school, but the ones I had liked me for who I was rather then what they could get from me.

      If you present yourself as prey, you’ll be treated like prey. Luckily for me, someone who was known to be a fan of Marilyn Manson in the 90’s was considered dangerous enough prey to leave the hell alone. Sure, there were a couple times where I had to resort to extreme measures to reinforce the bullies’ perception that I was something to be feared, but if you can out-think them you can win…. and is it really that hard to out-think a bully?

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

    Touching and all the more sad.

    I can’t imagine not being supportive of anyone in need, especially one so young. And this is the problem I have with the It gets better campaign, that if you endure the hardships now it will be ok later. Well damnit I want to make it better now! Teens should be out there enjoying their youth and the thrills of first loves.

    If any of you ever need someone to talk to, someone who will honestly help, I know I am not the only one here that would. Reach out, you’ll find a hand waiting.

    1. Well make up your mind markankhamen. Are we to call the police or just reach out? Any other great ideas you have?
      You don’t think this kid who killed himself wasn’t reaching out? And what happened?

      1. Sheesh, lame troll is lame… The two aren’t mutually exclusive. How about victims get help and the rest of try to provide that help.

        Jamey did reach out, did anyone reach back?

  21. Three things –

    1. It’s terrible that a boy is dead. Nobody should feel so alone that they take their life.

    2. It’s almost as bad that his parents failed to be parents and protect their child. The fault rises with them. What kind of parent allows their then 13 year old to post a video discussing their sexuality. Sorry, that’s wrong in every regard. A 13 year old – no matter what their sexuality should not be posting about it anywhere.

    3. This boy lived not far from where I reside. I know the area, I know the school and again, the fault lies with the parents not being parents. The bullying took place mostly online, not in school. That’s not the schools realm to be involved with but the parents.

    If you had a then 13 year old that was being harassed for any reason, would you not as their parent monitor what’s online? This kid posted to facebook, twitter, tumbler and other sites about his sexuality – he was harassed and bullied at all of them, he told his parents and yet they allowed him to continue to be posting online?

    A boy is dead and that is terrible. However, he is dead because his parents failed to take responsibility for the raising of their son.

    A boy is dead and there will be all sorts of new laws and arrests made for everyone but this kid’s parents. They are responsible and they are to blame. It’s called being your childs parent.

    1. You are absolutely right. How dare the parents let their son express himself! I mean, just because communicating who you are online is THE way to interact socially these days doesn’t mean you should let your kid actually do it! Better he be a friendless social pariah locked up in his room where no one can get to him.


      While I will agree the parents could have done more, like getting the bullies parents involved, to say it is all their fault for letting their kid express himself is ridiculous.

      That’s like saying women who wear tube tops are asking to be raped.

      This kid announcing to the world his sexuality isn’t the problem here, it shouldn’t be seen as the problem here, it was how people choose to react to that. If some girl went to several social network sites and said she was straight to anyone who cared to read, posted videos announcing that she liked boys, would she have been subject to bullying and harassment?

      No, of course not. Neither should Jamie, or any other boy.

      The problem here was that the bullies were never taught differently. The bullies parents didn’t monitor their activity and stop things before they got out of control.

      But mostly it was the bullies themselves who chose to torture this boy for being different.

  22. Chris,
    You really haven’t thought your argument through. I haven’t seen what videos he posted discussing his sexuality, but I don’t see why a 13 year old shouldn’t be able to do that.

    If the parents said “No, you cannot post videos about being gay, even though WE accept you” wouldn’t that send the wrong message?

    And you say “no matter what their sexuality”. I’m sorry, I’ll have to call BS on that. I have a hard time thinking you’d find something wrong with a 13 year old boy posting a video where he talks about having a crush on a girl at school or whatever.

    You’re just thinking in hindsight, that there’s a danger for gay kids to express themselves online and the parents should have thought of that and kept him from being bullied.

    Well instead of eliminating gay kids’ chance to express themselves (because it can be dangerous), how about eliminating the danger of doing so instead?

    1. “If the parents said “No, you cannot post videos about being gay, even though WE accept you” wouldn’t that send the wrong message?”

      Not at all, if they also took the time to explain why they didn’t want him posting such videos.

      Teenagers don’t have the life experience to understand the dangers that can come with exercising freedom of speech. Parents, hopefully, do.

      When I was 17, there was an uproar about Marilyn Manson coming to perform in my city and I wanted to put signs on my car showing my support of him (youTube didn’t exist yet), but my parents forbade it. Granted, they weren’t fond of Manson in the least, but their concerns had more to do with the fact that they KNEW how heated the controversy was and that there were people out there that would have no problem trying to run me off the road or otherwise assault me over those signs.

      While I was pretty pissed at the time that they wouldn’t allow it, I’ve since come to see their reasoning: I have the right to endanger myself through my speech, but I wasn’t going to be doing so while they were responsible for me.

      Now that the dangers of how what’s posted online can be used against people are widely known, any parent that gives even half a damn about their kids should be monitoring what they do online and interceding when necessary.

      1. Sixle,

        You make some very good points and to some point I have to agree with you.
        A responsible parent who knows the dangers (even though in a fair world, they shouldn’t exist), should protect their kids from those dangers.

        But the danger needs to be fought. Maybe a kid shouldn’t be the one fighting it, but then again, how do you raise a kid to be tough to bullying if you tell him to hide.

        And I speak from experience. Unfortunately or fortunately (however you want to look at it), I had parents who didn’t monitor everything I did. For two reasons
        1)They perhaps didn’t realize the shit out there
        2) I did everything I could to hide the bad stuff from them.

        In highschool I came out as gay, I entered the speech contest with a pro gay marriage speech. For the months in the competition I was ridiculed, laughed at. Most other kids had speeches about basic subjects such as, sharks or the invention of chess.
        On the day of the finals I gave my speech and got 3rd place. While this was awesome, in the following weeks I was bullied and even received death threaths.
        One day at school I was forced into the boys bathroom by bullies and had my head smashed into the mirror.
        After this, I tried to commit suicide. Of course, this was horrible both for me and my entire family.

        But, had my parents been such GREAT parents and been able to monitor everything I did, they would have told me NEVER to do a speech about pro gay marriage. They would have known the dangers in that.
        This is really the same as if the parents of this kid had stopped him from expressing himself online, knowing the dangers. The only difference from my story, is that it wasn’t online.

        Looking back now, would I have wanted that…. NOWAY!!!!! I’m proud of having given that speech.

        It is really sad that this kid took his own life, there’s no reason for it at all, and that makes me sad. But do you really think it helps if parents monitor their kids and keep them from expressing themselves and doing things that may be taking a risk? Is it a guarantee that THAT kid wont commit suicide? And is it a guarantee that THAT kid will be a healthy and strong person?

        I don’t think so.

        1. I agree. It is parents job to educate themselves about the dangers that lurk outside the door and then having learned them it is their job to teach their children how to manage these dangers and then.. well, you have to push your kid out the door, growth happens through experience that often involves risk, for most of us that risk is benign like getting up in front of people in that school play, as for others,say inner city youth the risks are greater. A Parent’s job (among others) is to prepare you to face risks, challenge you to face those risks life throws at you and be there to catch you when you fall. We are not perfect, parents are not perfect and sometimes, sadly, events spin out of control and something fatal happens. This is in no way an excuse for anything, it’s simply how it is for most all of us.

  23. I’m speechless. I don’t even know what to say. I want to punch someone in the face. Really. Fuck. This makes me rage.

  24. This story literally just broke my heart. I’m not much of a crier, but this story just brought me to tears. My heart goes out to the friends and family of this poor boy. It’s such a shame that this continues in this country, and another great, kind person is gone, and it’s all because of some assholes who thought they were better than him. People, please stay strong! Your life is so important, and this world does love you!

  25. As much as I hate to say this, but if you’re being intensely bullied without relief in your school and it’s apparent that after attempts to get the school to respond that they won’t or can’t or are simply ineffective with their response, then please, please walk out the door. Hold your ground and simply refuse to go. You have an absolute human right to not subject yourself to emotional and physical violence. You don’t have to attend a brick and mortar school to educate yourself. You do not get in trouble with the authorities if you assemble an honest home school program. Every state in the US allows home schooling. Yeah, it may be harder to cobble together an education program on your own from outside the walls of your school but how hard can that be versus the agony of constant abuse. If you truly want an education the resources are out there. You will find that if you make an honest go at an individualized home program and stick it out you will most likely learn more and getting into college will not be a problem. I have to wonder if there are gay educators out there who would be willing to create online distance learning programs who would be willing to help structure, give feedback and guide those students in need of such a program.

    1. Hiding won’t stop the bullying, it won’t make anything better, and it won’t help you face life’s difficulties. You are absolutely right that no one has to subject themselves to emotional and physical violence. But hiding from your problems don’t make them go away.

      1. Well I guess the two boys from Colombine would have agreed with you. They decided to face what they felt was bullying. Is this the solution you advocate children take?

        1. They didn’t face their problem, they let it fester until it overwhelmed them. They choose suicide like many other bullied teens, sadly they decided to lash out at the populace that had hurt them as the method of their demise.

          You don’t want to be prey but you don’t want to lash out either. Being strong does not always mean being violent.

  26. My previous comment seems to be missing?

    Did it get deleted?

    I had only meant to point out that the religious right (Church) is utterly wrong..

    That does not mean God is..

    Be (understandably) angry at the Church for the BS they say and do..

    But not at God..

    RIP Jamey, you are home and safe now..

  27. I don’t endorse any religion, but Scientology has a “Communication Course” where they teach people to completely ignore verbal abuse. I think we should “borrow” this course and make it mandatory for all LGBTQ youth.

    1. In the “for what’s it’s worth” department, ALL of Scientology’s courses are geared (underlined) toward having you go onto the next course, the next course, the next course, ad infinitum, period.
      While your idea is noble and the principle itself sound, borrow / take NOTHING from Scientology.
      Yes, the TRO Bullbait drill in itself is a good one, but trust me, I speak from extensive experience. While everything has it’s good and bad points, it is best to leave this area of “borrowing” alone…

      1. Thanks for that excellent advice. I know it’s true. I also know that the CoS would never tolerate anyone “squirreling” their tech on such a large scale.

        I have read “A Piece of Blue Sky” and “Bare Faced Messiah”. I don’t know what I was thinking in my previous message. I guess I just wanted a way to teach kids to handle verbal abuse and I was willing to make a deal with the devil.

  28. I’m starting a conversation with some young gay film maker friends to see i they’re interested in making a movie on the topic. I’m personally interested in contributing the script or story ideas.

  29. What a shame!! Regardless the country or the situation, is a life less!! And it is because of the intolerance and unsupportive society we’re living in!! It’s disgusting and I feel ashamed for our society. Despite supid opinions such as “it’s part of maturing” etc. It’s embarrassin that they don’t keep mourning on a young/children’s death IT’S JUST NOT HUMAN to ignore the pain his family is going though!! And they’re the ones praising humanity? Tolerance? saying that God loves you no matter what!?!?! And we’re all made to his image!? MOTHERFUCKERS He’s dead!!! We can’t keep asking for respect nor require it ’cause it hasn’t worked and it won’t. We must MAKE our community respected because we’re not the ones hating on what’s different!! I’m so pissed off because it’s not just one death, it’s been thousands or hundreds and that’s not big deal!! But If anybody goes on a sensless war then all those dying are heroes!?!? In what kind of world we’re living? When we don’t care when a hundreds of young children are comitting suicide for “no reason”?! Rest in peace Jamey and MY God bless you.

  30. Aside from my earlier post, I am admittedly disturbed that this young man was sending out warning signs, however veiled they may have been. As a community, we need to all get better at reading into seemingly innocuous comments whenever we hear or see them. People who suicide rarely ever do so without warning. How many people are now saying, “When I saw the comment I wondered if he might be thinking about hurting or killing himself” and did not do anything? TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS, if you feel uneasy when you see a comment like that or hear someone say something like that, if that little “I wonder if….” voice pops up in the back of your head, act on it. Do something, even if its only to write back and say “Hey, You’re not losing hope or thinking of something drastic are you?” Don’t ever be afraid to do this. Do not be afraid to contact the authorities, even anonymously, most responsible authorities will have a look and will notify the proper authorities if they feel they need to. I can list suicide risk factors right off the top of my head, can you? if not look them up on line and learn them. I work in the field of caring for others and I cannot tell you how many times someone is referred to us after someone told someone about a comment they had posted online. His suicide risk factors based on what I read were: adolescent, male, sexual identity issues, bullied (at the least.) These alone do not make you a likely suicide risk, but now combined with one statement, “No one in my school cares” (possible hopelessness) and and another “What do I have to do to so people will listen to me” alarm bells are going off in my head. Again to be fair, I’m trained to see this, but you can educate yourself as well how to recognize it when you see it so you can act on it. A few hours of your time spent learning this may give someone else 80 more years of life.

  31. I was browsing through Jamey’s blog and found video which most do not see:

    I feel his pain, I feel him being insecure, I feel him being so so alone!!! It makes me mad. No law is going to help Jamey like people. Laws are not going to prevent anything. What he most needed, was not being left alone! Actually I felt exactly the same in his “It gets better” video.
    How could we prevent loneliness, There are so mane lone people among us! Even me myself feel alone sometimes!

  32. Athen 8th grader, 13 years old should not be discussing his sexuality on the net. Sorry. Thats just wrong. Straight, gay or bi.

    His parents should have been keeping tabs on his online activities since that is where the bullying toom place. He was 14 years old for gods sake and his parents were not on top of the situation and like most patents relegatec their role to the school which has no responsibilty after education.

    Newsflash, kids are cruel and they bully. That will never change. What needs to change is the near hero worship tat takes place when A BOY staets psting online things which should not be posted online BY A CHILD.

    The gay community, lady gaga and others celebrating gay rights set this kid up and his parents failed him. A lethal combination.

    I for one want to see his family held responsible for incredible stupidity.

    As i said i live very near this neighborhood and nobody is asking the real questions.

    1. Your reaction… its just… wow… Words fail me to express the near rage you have instilled in me.

      Stay in the closet? Really?! How is hiding who you are going to help anything? Kids aren’t allowed to be comfortable being themselves? Parents should just oppress their child into the closet and should be held accountable if they don’t?

      It appalls me that anyone, especially a member of this forum, should think that gay oppression is the solution to gay harassment and assault.

      1. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all [people] are created equal, that they are endowed… with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

        Children are people, young teens are people, and they deserve the same rights and liberties the rest of us enjoy. And not being able to express who you really are, regardless of age, is a clear denial of both liberty and happiness.

        1. With rights come responsibility. Just because you have the right to do something, doesn’t mean it’s in your best interests to exercise that right.

          You have the right to say or do whatever you want, so long as you’re willing to accept the consequences of your words or actions.

  33. I never realised how bad LGBT kids in the US had it. There have been a couple of times recently when I did question my purpose. When we watched “Far From Heaven” in History, I left the room in a flurry of tears, not because of comments directed at me, but at the reaction of the class to the gay couple itself. I am by no means perfect, but I have managed to string myself along, and it pleases me to see that most of the abuse was being put out by those who are less able, but unless we can change opinion fast, I hate to think how many more cases like this there will be. I hate to see my best friend Will beat himself up about his sexuality; at 16 he will be thrown out. It’s a real shame because he is really really great at all of his subjects, and so funny, but he shuts himself off. He hasn’t talked to his father in week, and that is not going to do either of them any good.

    Marcus wasn’t even gay. He said he was for attention because he had nothing else going for him. The extra abuse thrown at him lead him to try and commit suicide. Whilst it may have been temporarily amusing that his attempt failed with him falling into a toilet cubicle door, the subtext is not good, and though I would never put myself in this position, I am uneasy with the knowledge of how quickly he came to decide suicide was his way out. The idea of this really scares me, and now in my third year of being un-closeted, and fairly flamboyant with it, it makes me wonder how much longer I can put up with the abuse if he was not gay and lasted under 3 weeks before attempting it.

    The comments from those Republicans made me properly nauseous. I thought opinion could have moved on in America, even if we do know you are a bit backward. I find it literally scary to think that Blacks did not have equal rights over there until my mum was three, and that after flouting the arguments upheld by the south nearly 50 years ago, there is still a homophobic view all across America.

    Even this week, our R.E. lesson was on homosexuality and Christianity. As I would consider myself in both groups, I should ace that part of the exam. It was brought to our attention that all three political parties want gay marriage legislated, but they are all afraid to do it because of pressure from some church idiots who don’t like the idea of removing the “sanctity of marriage.” With the divorce rate at 50%, why can’t they worry about their own marriage and let us have ours!

    P.S. i’m 15

  34. There is some truth in every post I read. Everyone should have right to be who he or she is. And kids do not think much when they say something or act. They just reflect surrounding environment. I feel that Jamey was so innocently unaware that he was exposing himself to bullying. Nobody had obviosly teached him how to protect himself, nor was there any real person standing by him. Online anonymous support isn’t enough to cope with very personal insults and bullying. Parents obviusly weren’t able to do or support him much. Probably due to ignorance. Which again creates distrust in both directions. It left Jamey very alone! Alone against the world surrounding him every day. Thats bad, very bad!

  35. Lady Gaga offered a tribute for Jamey with a large (projected) photo of him at her Las Vegas concert. The crowd roared when she said that bullies are losers.

  36. Unfortunately, Mike Harmon is MY representative here in KY. He does not speak for me, however, and I will make sure to let him know that. As a former teacher, I know how miserable things can be for students and there is no excuse for this kind of thing. Whatever happened to a “live and let live” attitude and ethos? Being gay does not harm anyone else. If you believe that homosexuality is a sin, that’s your right. This does not excuse bullying or forcing your beliefs on others.

  37. Jamies sister talked on CNN that bullying continues even after Jamey’s death. Some people just pathologically feel no compassion, no guilt, no respect. Even no fear after police started investigation and Jamey sad story moved millions hearts around the planet. How disqusting, what should we do with these patholigacal bullies, et seems that nothing helps except one good old physical punch into face.

  38. This is unacceptable in this day & age! Please, God, not one more death due to GLBT bullying. Contact GCF Ministry before doing anything rash and/or irreversible. Amen!

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