Oct 1, 2010

Another LGBT bully victim commits suicide?

UPDATE #3: Dharun Ravi was found guilty of Bias & Intimidation of Clementi, and faces 10 years and deportation.  His lawyers are pleading for probation.  Turns out that Ravi had passed up a deal that would have meant no jail time and the state dept. would have helped him avoid deportation.  However many have said that his worry was deportation and that if the Federal government wanted him gone, the state would not be able to do much about that, so he rolled the dice on the trial.

UPDATE #2: According to the Prosecutor in the case, Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei may potentially face Hate Crime charges in relation to Tyler Clementi's suicide.

UPDATE #1: October 2nd 2010: According to David Badesh over at TheNewCivilRightsMovement.com, there's unfortunately been more than just five in the past 30 days.

Billy Lucas.

Seth Walsh.

Asher Brown.

Tyler Clementi.

Raymond Chase.

Since September 9th, a span of just over three weeks, we've had five suicides that have resulted from bullying.  Bullying that came about, because the five young men were Gay.   Five in three weeks.   When will it be enough before anyone outside the LGBT rights movement, or those who are supportive of the LGBT cause gives a damn enough to start asking questions about how we stop this?

I wrote yesterday about columnist Dan Savage who created the Youtube Channel "It Gets Better" to show these LGBT kids that it may suck right now in school, but that things DO get better.   As I said yesterday, I dealt with bullies as a kid all the time, and at the time it seems like that's never going to end.   You often keep that to yourself and don't tell others about it, even family.   A lot of times you are embarrassed and humiliated by the whole thing, and you don't want to go to school.

You make up excuses not to go, or if you're really desperate you just flat out skip school, figuring you'll deal with your parents being upset later.  Anything to avoid another day of torment.    And it seems like it's going to last forever.  That you'll be stuck in that town forever and have to see these people every day and constantly be reminded of where you seem to stand in life.

Yet that's not how it ends up.   It was amazing for me when I moved away, because suddenly I had a fresh start.  No more dealing with those insufferable assholes that I'd dealt with, for what seemed like, forever.   I moved away and met new people.  Everything that I had gone through before meant nothing now.

And eventually it all just became a memory.  Something I looked back on and was glad I didn't have to deal with anymore.    As kids everything is focused on the here and now.  Nobody thinks they're going to live to 70 years old.  When you're in Jr. High you think of someone in their 40's or 50's as "really really old.".   Kids tend to have blinders on and can only see what's in front of them.  And what is in front of them, more times than not, is bullies.  Is everyone they know laughing at them.  Or at least it seems that way.

And not everyone is able to deal with that appropriately.  If there is an appropriate way to deal with it.   Some people would suggest to avoid confrontation (which was always my mode of dealing, yet it never worked), although that's not always an option if those who are tormenting you are in your classes all day.

Some would suggest you stand up and fight back.  Well, that's not always a great thing either.  You always see in the movies where the bullied kid stands up and ends up beating up the bigger kid who was just compensating for his own lack of self esteem.   And suddenly everyone respects the little kid, and even the bully shows begrudging acknowledgement of  the kid, and there's no more bullying.

That's a nice story, but it's not realistic.   That's not how the world works, unfortunately, and while standing up for yourself is a must, simply fighting back physically doesn't always work out like it's supposed to.   Going to the authorities is a great suggestion, but often backfires and makes it worse.  Especially if your school has some mindblowingly ignorant faculty who thinks it's just something kids do, and there's no real harm in it.

So when you're stuck and you seemingly have no way out, sometimes kids take the worst way out, albeit one that seems so simple:  Suicide.

Back in January a kid named Justin Aaberg stabbed himself in the stomach with a knife.  In the Hospital he told his parents it was because he had been outed by someone in school, and he was humiliated.   Then despite his parents telling the school about bullying, they did nothing.  And Justin killed himself in July.

Seth Walsh (Tehachapi, CA) was a 13 year old who hung himself after being taunted and bullied due to his being perceived as being Gay.

Billy Lucas (Indiana) , 15, also hanged himself, on September 9th, after enduring years of humiliating torment by classmates over his sexuality as well.

Asher Brown (Harris, TX), 13, had recently come out as a Gay teen, and after his school had refused to address the bullying that his parents had told them was happening, Asher shot himself in the head on September 23rd.

Tyler Clementi (New Jersey), 19, was a college student at Rutgers, whose roommate was unhappy with having a Gay roommate.  So his roommate put a hidden camera in their room, and recorded and uploaded to the internet Tyler and another male having sex.  Three days later, on September 22nd, Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge in New York.

Raymond Chase, (New York), 19, hanged himself in his dorm room this past Wednesday, the 29th.  The circumstances around his death is uncertain right now, so we don't know what role if any his sexuality played into this.

Five kids from across the country in three weeks.  When is enough enough?  When are people in authority going to step forward and say ENOUGH!   How many kids have to die due to this?  How many LGBT have to die before these fearmongers that parade around under the guise of Christianity have their fill?   How much longer are we going to allow people like Tony Perkins, and Pat Robertson, and James Dobson, and the disgraced Eddie Long, and others like them who pretend that they are good faithful Christians and yet they have no problem with this.

They can talk all they want about how Gay people are "an abomination" and deserve death, and yet when people who are following their guidelines and treating innocent kids as pariahs and "abominations" and mercilessly taunting and harrassing and bullying and beating these kids until they crack, there's nothing.

No comments from any of these "Men of God" about how horrible this is?  Nothing?   I wonder if they're happy.   I don't think we'll hear anything from them, unless someone puts their feet to the fire, and then they'll throw out a half ass comment about how sorry they are, but they'll probably end up releasing some rambling ass message along the lines of noted homophobe Maggie Gallagher.

Yet they will never admit that their over the top violent rhetoric is fueling our society's embrace of anti-gay behaviors.   They'll never admit that they're hiding behind their Bible and acting like "oh it's not me, it's God saying it" is a cop out and a disgrace.   And they should be ashamed of themselves.

They should be forced to attend every funeral of every LGBT kid who ever got tormented and tortured into ending their own lives, and see what they have wrought.   See the pain in the eyes of the family members who no longer have a son or daughter.   To see how truly loving people react to tragedy, rather than taking political advantage of it.

But that would be a human moment, and these scumbags are nothing remotely close to being human.

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