The September Suicides

So, this is my links blog. It’s not a place for me to write stuff. But I’m going to take advantage of the blog format to link to a lot of stuff at once.

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On the 1st of September, Jim Burroway of Box Turtle Bulletin asked, When Does Opposition to Suicide Prevention Equal Murder? Gay kids get bullied. Gay kids commit suicide because of bullying. It happens. There are ways to change this, and anti-gay activists are up in arms about it. The next day, Timothy Kincaid followed this up with a post about a CNN interview with a petulant Candi Cushman from the anti-gay lobby group Focus on the Family.

Here’s the video, but go through to the BTB post where Timothy talks about it.

And then it came. In rapid succession.

On the 14th, Billy Lucas.

Billy was 15. He may not have been gay, but he was bullied for it anyway. And he hanged himself. And his school principal basically said that he brought the bullying on himself, though not in so many words.

In response to this, Dan Savage, the advice columnist, started the It Gets Better project. This project aims to encourage teens going through horrible experiences in school with the message that it does get better.

And then, on the 28th, Asher Brown.

Asher was 13. He shot himself after being “bullied to death”. Again, the school didn’t help. Of course they didn’t. That school district was the one where, last November, Jayron Martin was threatened by his schoolmates, and reported the threat to school authorities who refused to help him. He was beaten with a metal pole.

And on the 29th, Seth Walsh.

Seth was 13. He hanged himself from a tree in his back yard after years of being bullied. And we’re seeing a pattern here. “Seth had been picked on for years because he was gay, but fellow classmates said that the staff at Jacobsen Middle School offered Seth no help or protection.” Once more, “a child is dead because of the direct actions of his peers and the negligence of school officials”.

And still on the 29th, Tyler Clementi.

Tyler was 18. He was a college student and an accomplished violinist. He jumped from a bridge into the Hudson River. “A Rutgers University freshman killed himself after two classmates used a hidden dorm room camera to splash his sex life across the internet.”

For some reason, Randy Thomas of the anti-gay group Exodus International, saw fit to post about Tyler’s suicide. He thinks it’s a tragedy, but also takes the opportunity to promote the religious right’s ineffective “don’t mention that gay people exist” anti-bullying measures, and to denigrate anti-bullying measures which actually work.

And then there was Tyler Wilson.

Tyler, who’s eleven, was attacked and had his arm broken, merely because he’s in his school’s cheerleading squad. He intends to stay in the squad, and good on him. A broken arm seems like light relief after all those suicides.

On the 30th of September, Devona Walker posted an overview of gay teen suicide, including all the latest cases and a few earlier ones.

But it wasn’t over yet.

On the 1st of October, Raymond Chase.

We don’t know why Raymond, who was 18, hanged himself in his college dorm room.

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Have you had enough yet? I have.

Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education, released a statement saying that this bullying must stop. Jason Cianciotto at BTB is not impressed.

Dan Savage explains why (a version of) Christianity is culpable in these deaths. And Cody J. Sanders, from a very different perspective, makes much the same case.

Jim Burroway explains that suicides serve the anti-gay agenda. He includes this disgusting video of the anti-gay group Focus on the Family opposing anti-bullying measures. Again.

I’ll leave you with a couple more videos from the It Gets Better Project.

A farm boy from Ohio:

And a Shia Muslim teenager:

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Added later: And, since not everyone does videos, the ever-wonderful Emily Rutherford wrote an essay for the It Gets Better Project.

And now, as I said on h2g2 and Facebook when I linked to this piece after writing it last night,

I’m tired. I’m going to bed. I’m bloody furious.

TRiG.

2 thoughts on “The September Suicides

  1. I do not, as you are well aware, have much use for religion.
    The organized hate and bigotry of Focus on the Family is pure evil.

    And it really does make me angry.

    I’m fortunate to work with a group of outstanding young people, none of whom would tolerate bullying of any kind.

    The world isn’t all bad, my friend.

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