At 2 AM Monday morning, Jamey Rodemeyer, a freshman at North High School in Buffalo, NY, committed suicide. Jamey loved Lady Gaga. He enjoyed blogging on Tumblr. He tweeted often about his struggles and overcoming bullying– bullying from his classmates, bullying that occurred because Jamey was gay, bullying that caused him so much pain that Jamey didn’t want to live in this world anymore.
What kind of world is this, exactly? A world that turns its back on teenagers who are struggling, who are tortured for something that is not their fault. In 2009, the GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) reported that nine out of ten LGBT youth report being harassed at school because of their sexual orientation and two-thirds of LGBT youth feel unsafe in their school environment, leading to higher levels of depression and anxiety.
The words of hate must stop. We need to take a stand and show the world that love is stronger than hate. That the fact that someone is different is not a justification for pushing them to end their life. The Jewish people are supposed to be a light unto the nations. So let’s light a fire and show them the way.
Jamey tried this with his It Gets Better video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Pb1CaGMdWk&feature=player_embedded but we clearly have a long way to go.
Jamey, I didn’t know you, but my heart aches for you, and I feel the loss of your beautiful soul from this world. You are in our hearts and in our prayers, and your life was not in vain. Rest in peace.
If you or anyone you know needs support, do not hesitate to reach out to them. If you think that someone you know is suffering from bullying, depression, or suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or The Trevor Project at 866 4-U-TREVOR(866-488-7386).