Details emerged yesterday of the tragic death of Jamey Rodemeyer. The 14 year old took his own life last weekend after suffering months of homophobic bullying.
Jamey from Buffalo, New York is the latest in a number of American teens who have committed suicide after being bullied for being gay and the second from Williamsville North High School.
The teen often used social networks to voice his suffering at the hands of the bullies. On September 9th he posted, “I always say how bullied I am, but no one listens. What do I have to do so people will listen to me?” It’s been reported that his peers commented on his posts encouraging him to kill himself.
On Saturday night he posted several posts including a tribute to the singer Lady Gaga and saying that he was looking forward to seeing his late great-grandmother again. Jamey used a lyric from Lady Gaga as one of his final posts – “Don’t forget me when I come crying to heavens door”. He was found dead by relatives on Sunday morning.
This heartbreaking story is just one of many cases that have emerged in the past year. Each young LGBT suicide is a tragedy that could have been prevented.
I struggle to comprehend what goes through someone’s mind when they’re telling somebody that they’d be better off dead. Teenagers are saying things like this to other teenagers. Things need to change before we lose even more troubled kids.
We need education, in schools, for parents and for society as a whole. LGBT history and tackling homophobia workshops could play a vital role in creating an understanding amongst children. Understanding can only be achieved by opening up a dialogue with children. Homophobia is still widespread and will not be beaten until changes are made.
We have a responsibility to the children being bullied. Jamey felt alone and that no one was listening. No child living in 2011 should feel like that. Every child should know that even if they’re not getting the support they need from family, friends or in school that there are people they can talk to.
If you are suffering and need to talk to someone then there are switchboards you can contact anonymously. You are not alone and there is a way through.
If you’re in London you can contact The London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard
US Teens can contact The Trevor Project