When I learned in Sept 2011 of Jamey Rodemeyer’s suicide and saw his “It Gets Better” video (R.I.P little friend) on Dec 12, 2011 it sparked the creation of what is now known as “THE NEW BULLYING PREVENTION”
In honor of today being Stop Bullying Day and four years after a young boy committed suicide for being bullied, I am hoping that this editorial will help other kids suffering from bullying and help put an end to this way to often tragic action. If we work together, hopefully we can hope for our future kids to go through life bully-free.
In 2011, Jamey Rodemeyer, a 14 year old boy from Buffalo, New York who identified himself as bisexual hung himself in front of his parents home. Jamey endured anti-gay bullying similar to mine, as well as, many teens of the LGBTQ community.
When in junior high, the anti-gay bullying resulted in Jamey blogging about it on his blogging accounts. He talked about being bullied and suicide on his tumblr account. On YouTube, he seemed happy and full of sunshine. He talked of Lady Gaga who was his idol because she says we were “Born This Way.”
Towards the end of junior high, he put on his poker face and made it appear that things were getting better. He was appearing as if he embraced his differences and his sexuality. He even did a YouTube video for the “It Gets Better” project founded by gay activist and journalist, Dan Savage. In the video he talks about loving oneself and overcoming anti-gay bullying.
Three weeks into high school, on September 18th, he took his own life.
It brings me great sadness that such a handsome and vibrant young boy fell prey to the hurtful words of others. He was trying his hardest to overcome it. His message still rings true, “It gets better, in time.” Somewhere inside of him he lost faith in his own message due to ongoing bullying that became too much. He had a light around him and was taken from us too soon.
I feel proud to say he would accomplished great things if such a tragedy did not occur.
I remember being bullied growing up. It dates back to when I was in grade school. I have always been gay which makes me different and children can be very mean. I recall the words fag and faggot being tossed around back. All I did growing up was hang out with girls. So, it provoked name calling and ridicule.
I was never a fighter.
I found it very hard to fight back. I think one day I threw my book on the concrete ground in retaliation of being bullied.
Yeah jerk, that will teach you…I bet my book hurt you really bad seeing how it’s on the ground! Seriously! What was I thinking?
I was maybe 10 or 11 years old. I was scared. I should have clobbered him with the textbook. I mean let’s think for a moment, textbooks can hurt!
I was scared and felt helpless to the point where I had to go against my nature and fight. But I was also taught, and very well might I add, not to resort to violence either. Now, as I look back, I really wish I was taught violence is okay in self-defense situations.
The anti-gay bullying and name calling only got worse as I got older. In junior high, I was being called fag, sissy, faggot, p*ssy and many other slurs. I was being chased, kicked, shoved and pushed around.
It was always the same reasons. I was gay.
I hung around with the girls and I was not having sex with them. Part of me wants to believe that I was strong enough mentally to endure the anti-gay bullying without having a meltdown, but I also feel I had and still have a strong set of friends who have always been accepting of me.
My best friends back in junior high stuck up for me, maybe not with fists, but with strong words and just through the simple fact that they got involved. They somehow stepped up each and every time that they were around witnessing anti-gay bullying. Back then I felt helpless, but I also was ashamed because I had females fighting my battles which added to my frustrations.
I was truly thankful for them though, and still am.
I look back now and I thank heaven that they stepped up when they did. I used to have to find alternate routes home just to avoid bullying. Obviously, I was not as strong as I’d like to believe. I was very weak emotionally and fragile when it came to bullying. It had a world of negative impact on my confidence and self esteem.
I’m 38 years old now, a long way from those bullying days in grade school. It got better over time. I am fortunate to have survived such hatred and ignorance. Bullying in every form especially anti-gay bullying needs to stop.
The point of my story is not that I am one of the victims. It’s that I am a survivor.
Regardless of what I think I could’ve done differently when faced with such pointless attacks on my character, I did fight through and had a support system around me who exemplified the meaning of “great kid.”
Was I weaker back then than I originally thought? Yes. But the point is kids at that age shouldn’t have to be placed in those ridiculous, meaningless and sometimes character defining situations in the first place.
How many young boys and girls have to die? Why do teens have to find different ways home? Why do they have to suffer everyday making life that much more unbearable? When will people listen and realize we all are different but we are all human? Did you go through bullying growing up? How did it affect you? Did you know someone else who endured such ignorance? Tell me your story!
TheCelebrityCafe would like to dedicate this article In Memory of Jamey Rodemeyer and others who have lost their lives due to bullying and we hope it can help others.
– By Marc Regen – Feb, 2, 2015 You can also visit Lady Gaga’s facebook page she also created for awareness of Bullying “Born This Way Foundation