The body count of children and young adults committing suicide over homosexuality is shockingly high
Tyler Clementi committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge
It’s been more than a decade since Matthew Shepard was beaten to death
in Laramie, Wyo. Yet, the homophobia that took his life continues to claim the lives of others. But the victims are getting younger. This month alone three boys, ages 13, 13 and 15, took their own lives because they were bullied at school by kids who “thought they were gay.”
One kid, Seth Walsh, 13. who lived in Tehachapi, outside of Bakersfield, Ca.
, hanged himself from a tree in his back yard after years of being bullied. He died Tuesday afternoon after nine days on life support. Another boy, Asher Brown of Houston, Tx., 13, shot himself in the head last Thursday, also directly due to the incessant bullying he suffered at school.
His parents told the Houston Chronicle
the bullying came specifically from four students. They say they complained several times during the last 18 months but the school did nothing about it. The school did not even bother returning his parents' phone calls.
He was "bullied to death," said Amy and David Truong, Asher’s mother and stepfather. “Picked on for his small size, his religion and because he did not wear designer clothes and shoes. Kids also accused him of being gay, some of them performing mock gay acts on him in his physical education class.”
Then, yet another boy, Billy Lucas, 15, of Greensburg, In. took his life in early Sept. Once again, he killed himself after incessant bullying. Why did they bully him? They thought he was gay.
“He was threatened to get beat up every day,” friend and classmate Nick Hughes told the local television station.
“Sometimes in classes, kids would act like they were going to punch him and stuff and push him.”
“Some people at school called him names,” Hughes said. Those names questioned Lucas’ sexual orientation. Lucas, for the most part, and that Lucas, did little to defend himself.
“He would try to but people would just try to break him down with words and stuff and just pick on him,” Hughes added.
Another boy, 11, was beaten up, his arm broken by bullies because he joined the cheerleading team at his school. That kid Tyler Wilson of Ohio refuses to quit the squad
due to the bullying. His mother, once again, complained to the school about the bullying but received no assistance.
Then, in New Jersey, a Rutgers University student jumped off the George Washington bridge
on Sept. 23, after two students secretly videotaped him having sex with another male student in his dorm room then posted it on the Internet.
Dharun Ravi and Molly W. Wei, both 18-years-old, were each charged with two counts of invasion of privacy Tuesday for allegedly placing the camera in the boy’s room.
Then, in Michigan an Asst Attorney General has gone on a six month campaign of harassment against a University of Michigan student.
This youth's name is Chris Armstrong. He is the first openly gay student assembly president at the University. The city official launched a website entitled “Chris Armstrong Watch." This public official’s name is Andrew Shirvell. He has allegedly stalked the poor kid outside of his house. He posted doctored photos on the website with rainbow flags and swastikas printed on the sleeve of the kid’s shirt. He calls Armstrong Satan's representative on the Student Council. He calls Armstrong a radical homosexual activist. Shirvell has published blog posts accusing Armstrong of engaging in "flagrant sexual promiscuity," sexually seducing and influencing "a previously conservative [male] student," and trying to recruit incoming first year students "to join the homosexual 'lifestyle.' " Believe or not, Shirvell still has his job.
"I'm a Christian citizen exercising my First Amendment rights," Shirvell told CNN's Anderson Cooper. "I have no problem with the fact that Chris is a homosexual. I have a problem with the fact that he's advancing a radical homosexual agenda."
Car Joseph Walker-Hoover's mother speaks out about bullying
The above video relates to a case dating back to April 2009. In this case, the 11-year-old pushed into taking his own life because he was bullied because his classmates thought “he was gay,” “too effeminate” etc. was black. The only reason I bring it up is to show that bigotry and cruelty is truly colorblind.
Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover hung himself with an extension cord after yet another day of bullying at the New Leadership Charter School in Springfield, Ma. where he was a student. He was only in the sixth grade.
"I just want to help some other child. I know there are other kids being picked on, and it's day in and day out," said Sirdeaner L. Walker, his mother.
During the same month, 11-year-old Jaheem Herrera woke up one morning and told his mother he didn't want to go to school in DeKalb County, Ga. He came home happy that day showing his mother a report card full of As and Bs. Then, he went upstairs to his room. But when his sister called him down to dinner, he didn't answer. His mother and daughter climbed the stairs to Jaheem's room and found him hanging by his belt in the closet.
"I always used to see these things on TV, dead people on the news," said Masika Bermudez, Jaheem's mother.
"I saw somebody die and to see this dead person is your son, hanging there, a young boy.
... To hang yourself like that, you've got to really be tired of something."
Bermudez says bullies at school pushed Jaheem over the edge. He complained about being called gay, ugly and "the virgin" because he was from the Virgin Islands, she said.
"He used to say Mom they keep telling me this ... this gay word, this gay, gay, gay. I'm tired of hearing it, they're telling me the same thing over and over," she said.
Two years prior, 17-year-old Eric Mohat shot himself in his bedroom after enduring similar taunting and bullying.
"He was called fag," his mother Jan Mohat said.
"He was called gay."
Then one day after his math class, she recalls the final taunts that pushed him over the edge.
"Eric was told by the bully," his mothers says. “ ‘Eric, why don’t you go home and shoot yourself. It’s not like anybody would care.’
There is one common thread in the above cases: The system failed them all. Whether it was school officials, other parents, or in the case of the city official, institutionalized homophobia, there was a failure on the behalf of people entrusted with looking out for the common good. In all of the above cases, except for two, that failure directly resulted in loss of life. Tragic.
Yet still, some school officials refuse to take bullying seriously. As a reporter in Oklahoma, I personally recall right-wing attacks against a seminar on bullying. Just educating the teachers about anti-gay bullying sent Christian Conservatives over the edge. They raged on that what some teacher might assume was bullying infringed upon other students rights to express their values. They actually campaigned against an anti-bullying initiative. They claimed that protecting gay students or students perceived of as being gay was a form of recruitment by the extremist homosexual activists.
When it is finally ours, this freedom, this liberty,
this beautiful and terrible thing, needful to man as air,
usable as earth; when it belongs at last to all,
when it is truly instinct, brain matter, diastole, systole,
reflex action; when it is finally won; when it is more
than the gaudy mumbo jumbo of politicians:
this man, this Douglass, this former slave, this Negro
beaten to his knees, exiled, visioning a world
where none is lonely, none hunted, alien,
this man, superb in love and logic, this man
shall be remembered. Oh, not with statues' rhetoric,
not with legends and poems and wreaths of bronze alone,
but with the lives grown out of his life, the lives
fleshing his dream of the beautiful, needful thing.
That’s by the great Frederick Douglass.
This is from the great Emma Lazarus:
Until we are all free, we are none of us free.
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