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Heartbreaking: 14-Year-Old Boy Commits Suicide After Gay Bullying

Updated on September 22, 2011
Jamey Rodemeyer.
Jamey Rodemeyer.

1st Things 1st...

I am going to try my best to treat this story the greatest respect that I can, but I want to be upfront with everyone that I may express some opinions or concerns that might not seem correct, but I want you to know that I am speaking from my heart and I want to handle this dreadful news the best I can. This is about my feelings and concerns and I would like your input in my comments section.

Thank you!

-Peter the Knight

Jamey Rodemeyer - It Gets Better Video

Heartbreaking

Jamey Rodemeyer is a 14-year-old boy who committed suicide on Sunday, September 22, 2011. Usually, I do not read stories like this but I decided to face my fears and do it, and I can honestly say I am heartbroken. I am not only heartbroken for him, but heartbroken because I know from personal experience that bullying happens everyday. It is not just gays that are being bullied but many others that might be considered "different".

I honestly feel at this time that teachers and educators need to start talking and teaching their students about discrimination, bullying, etc. There needs to be classes, lectures, and special events on creating an atmosphere of respect and love for all. I remember getting teased heavily in 8th grade, and thankful I had great parents and family support but it seemed to me that the teachers were clueless or did not ever address the issue. I mean, part of growing up is learning to deal with bullies, but part of growing up should be the bullies learning to change their behaviors.

I did not know that a website such as www.itgetsbetter.org existed. I honestly am not even sure how I feel about this website at this time. According to several articles people posted some very mean words to Jamey Rodemeyer's video. The videos from It Gets Better are also posted on YouTube.com.

I did a short investigation and decided to watch the video and read the first couple sets of comments on YouTube. I was in complete and utter shock. Of course, there were many comments of love and support...but there were also outrageously dreadful comments being made. To give you an example, it is now September 22, 2011 at 1:20am (Central Standard Time) and comments like this were posted:

[I removed some offensive words!]

"What do ******* like Jamey´╗┐ actually contribute besides spreading AIDS to other disgusting, immoral *******?"

"Stupid ******. Too much of a ***** to actually stand up to someone bullying him. I hope they protest this little ******* funeral and blast "Born This Way" just to spite his little *** followers. You're right, he was born´╗┐ to be an attention seeking ****** who chose to be a ******."

I really do not like to copy and paste that type of material here, but it should come to your attention that websites like YouTube.com have become a huge problem for the exploitation of underage children. I am sorry, but it is not safe at this time to post videos of children talking about a controversial topic as being gay. While personally, I don't see this being a problem, people can be very cruel in the hidden world of the computer and internet. People become monsters because they can hide themselves under false names and post whatever they wish to the internet. Sometimes, people purposely say things like that in order to "stir the pot". Isn't that sad? And mind you the comments were made days AFTER Jamey's death.

It's sick. Something needs to be done.

[Just a side note...I should also take a closer look at It Gets Better...mind you I do like the idea behind it.]

A Possible Solution

I think some people need to come together and consider trying to disable comments being made on videos of underage children, and especially sensitive videos like Jamey's.

People are beyond mean...it comes to the point of evil, and I hardly ever use that word to describe something.

Where is love? Where is humanity?

Questions for You...

  • What can we as individuals do to help stop bullying?
  • What thoughts or solutions do you have?
  • Are there groups that should be getting involved?

Comments

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    • gay4greek profile image

      gay4greek 5 years ago from New York

      This is just very sad. It DOES get better, I have been out since high school and it has been getting better and better since then. May his soul rest in peace.

    • billabongbob profile image

      billabongbob 5 years ago from South Wales, UK

      This is heartbreaking :(, my thoughts go out to his family.

      My best friend is a gay guy (my GBF – gay best friend :D), we've been mates for nearly a decade. He struggled with 'coming out', not just in public, but to his family too. There are still many people that he hasn't told, for fear of retribution.

      His family are very religious and see his sexuality as wrong and evil. They tolerate in now, just about. He still hasn't told his father though, just his mother and sisters.

      I knew that he was gay from the very first time I met him, but he took 5 years to actually say to me “look, I'm gay”. My now ex-husband wasn't exactly a homophob, but he did like to tease. My GBF only came out to me when my ex-husband was locked up elsewhere.

      Many of his friends still don't know he is gay, he doesn't want to tell them, his reasons are his own. However, I feel that it is through fear of their reactions and persuing behaviour that are a deterant. He can nolonger change who is is more than I. Can I stop being a woman? Could I learn to 'like' women instead of men? No. Neither can he. I'm not saying that he's a woman lol, just rying to make a point.

      Gay hatred is as much a trend as racism, and needs to be tackled. But you can't stop people being people, and hatred will live on:(.

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Hi Peter, this is very disturbing. When will people learn to accept the difference in other people? Everyone is different and until we can learn this it's going to be a difficult world to live in.

    • gmv profile image

      Jeff Vickery 5 years ago from Somewhere, Arkansas

      If people want to put videos of themselves on YouTube then they can. It's called freedom of speech.

    • petertheknight profile image
      Author

      petertheknight 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Thanks everyone for your comments. I think that it really does get better and that that message should be spread. To a certain extent I do think people should stand up for who they are and not let the bullying effect them to that point, but everyone is at a different place.

      GMV, I believe in freedom of speech, but even minors do not have certain freedoms. There are laws that keep them protected and so I guess it is a matter of freedom of speech VS safety/protection. That is how I see it.

    • Janyne C profile image

      Janyne C 5 years ago from Long Beach California

      at the Republican Presidential debate last night the audience bood a guy soldier

    • petertheknight profile image
      Author

      petertheknight 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Janyne - I heard about that! I am always surprised by how rude people can be. I do not think a solider should ever be booed. I mean these people work so hard to protect us. They should always be honored and treated with respect.

    • profile image

      Textured Ideas 5 years ago

      That story really is heartbreaking. It's such a shame that the poor kid wasn't given the chance to see that life could be so much better and it is so sad to think how people bottle all of that emotion up. Life is precious and it's horrific to think that people inflicted so much hate onto one person. Fair enough, a bit of teasing at school can make you stronger but this sort of relentless bullying is horrific. I'm thankful that my years at school weren't part of the internet generation. I don't know how these kids handle the pressure.

    • petertheknight profile image
      Author

      petertheknight 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Textured Ideas - Your thought of people bottling up all of that emotion is definitely right on. Perhaps another solution would be to find ways to encourage the students to share their feelings with maybe a councilor or whatnot. Often it is only their families they can talk to and maybe not even their families. Where do they go? What do they do? I wish there was an easy way for them to share those feelings and not be scared to go to a school councilor. Also, I think teachers and educators need to buckle down on bullying. It caused me some major problems until finally I learned to figure it out on my own. But not everyone figures it out on their own.

      The internet is also a problem but I can see it become a tool as well. It just depends on how it is used but I often find myself thinking I would have been more happy without it. Maybe that is another topic that could be discussed with the students is internet safety and privacy.

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 5 years ago from Tasmania

      Hi everyone, it has been depressing reading Peter's post about that young kid. It never came to my attention until now.

      I'll make a couple of suggestions, don't know if they will be appropriate or practical. I have no experience of bringing up children or how to teach them "life skills" in school, so please take these as JUST suggestions, and be critical if you need to.

      For the past 20 years or more I have been involved in various men's groups, and some of the most valuable lessons I have learned have been through carefully addressing emotions, getting to know what they are, how I feel, bringing them to the surface and acting them out. Given that we males have acquired the ability, from an early age, of NOT showing our deep emotions, process work, carefully facilitated by a competent person, can do wonders for opening up a guy's self-knowledge. Can it, does it, work with young teenagers in the same way and to the same extent?

      Could something like this be a part of the school curriculum?

      Obviously, this was never even dreamed of when I was a kid, 60 yrs ago. Otherwise I might have led a much more social life. Even sexuality was not addressed then. Never discussed in school.

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