Several cases of gay bullying lead young men to commit suicide

Megan Foy, Editor In Chief

Within the past month, there has been multiple accounts of homosexual young men taking their own lives due to discrimination and public humiliation. The ages of the males range from eleven to eighteen years old.

Tyler Clementi at Rutgers University asked his roommate if he could have the room for the night after a date. His roommate complied; however, he left his web camera on in order to watch live news feed of Clementi and his date’s sexual encounters. Publicized on Twitter, two students watched the live videos and 150 students followed suit on iChat.

“Anyone with iChat, I dare you to video chat me between the hours of 9:30 and 12. Yes it’s happening again,” Ravi wrote in the Sept. 21 post.

This invasion of privacy drove Clementi, who had not come out to his parents yet, to jump off of the George Washington Bridge that same night. This cyber bullying is a fourth and third degree criminal offense because not only did the students invade Clementi’s privacy, but they also distribute the nude images.

Thirteen year old boy Asher Brown suffered from relentless bullying from four students at his middle school in Texas. After confessing his sexual preference to his step father, Brown used a pistol from his step father’s closet and did not leave a note.

Likewise, another young boy in Los Angles was seemingly bullied to death.

Seth Walsh, who was also thirteen years old, endured cruel taunting and teasing to the point that he took his own life two weeks ago. Fully open about his sexuality, kids bullied him for years. After an attempt to hang himself in his backyard, he was rushed to the hospital and clung to life support for ten days before he passed.

The impact of these suicides hits close to home for the Carlsbad gay community. The Gay Straight Alliance on campus lends itself as a safe haven for people of any sexuality to feel comfortable with themselves without the fear of discrimination. Gay teens in Carlsbad face the same struggles as these young men in the news.

“You may know who you are, but you can’t fully accept that if everything around you is telling you that it’s wrong,” Senior Elenna Capote said. “I see a lot of kids in the club who are hurt by these deaths because there are a lot of kids that can relate, and it’s not a very encouraging thing to see, especially if you are in the midst of a personal struggle.”

Fortunately, there are resources for teens struggling with discrimination or thoughts of suicide. On campus, administration is required by law to report any harassment. Moreover, GSA and the adviser Mr. Dearie can be a stronghold or source of guidance for anyone.

As for anonymous help, the Trevor Project has a 24-hour intervention lifeline available. The Trevor Projects was founded by an award winning documentary about a thirteen year old boy who attempted to take his life. The website has created a virtual community to promote awareness, aid and advocacy.

“I’m really glad that CHS has GSA, because without the club I think we’d see more discrimination and possible suicides close to home,” Capote said.

The Trevor Lifeline: 866 4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386)