Almost everyday, I come to Starbucks and I write, but I don't usually have to fight back tears as I do it. I am seated at my usual table, sipping my usual drink, working on my everyday blog, but today is different. Today, I stumbled across the story of Jamey Rodemeyer, a 14 year old boy who committed suicide last week.
Jamey was a gay teenager who was struggling to come to terms with his own sexuality, and as if that wasn't enough for a young teenage boy to handle, he was being bullied both at school and online.
From the Buffalo News article about his death:
"I always say how bullied I am, but no one listens," Jamey wrote online on September 9. "What do I have to do so people will listen to me?"
Just over one week later, Jamey was found dead outside his home of an apparent suicide.
Now we know how Jamey answered his own question. Those who knew and loved Jamey had an awareness of his struggles, and he did have help, but not enough. He had friends and he saw both a therapist and a social worker. Still, he continued to be bullied at school and online. He made the mistake of starting a Formspring account where people could make anonymous comments, and they did.
I learned about Jamey through a post on Facebook from the It Gets Better project. The project compiles short videos from famous (athletes, celebs, etc) and not-so-famous people who have a supportive personal story or message to share in the hopes of reassuring struggling GLBT youth that they should hang on, as life does eventually "get better."
It breaks my heart to tell you that young Jamey Rodemeyer not only knew about "It Gets Better," but he also had enough love in his heart to make a supportive video of his own. The video painfully shows us the beauty of Jamey's open and tender heart, and it serves as proof that Jamey had hope for his own life as recently as May 2011 when it was posted. In the end though, the brutal hatred and intolerance he faced were simply too much for such a fragile soul. I wish I could make every person I know watch his video. And since you've read this far, why don't you? Now.
That brave young man is dead now. So, what's the lesson here? Fuck if I know. If I have to find one, I'd say it's - don't hate a child. And don't let anyone else get away with that, either. Even other children. Stand up and show your love instead, because your love matters. Maybe not every time, but sometimes.
Sometimes love triumphs over hate. Sometimes love salves the vicious wounds that hate inflicts. Sometimes love restores a soul that has been crushed beneath the unbearable weight of hate. Sometimes love slowly weaves its way into an unimaginably broken heart and repairs the devastation. Sometimes, but not every time. Sometimes, there just isn't enough love in the world, and sometimes, it's just too late. RIP Jamey.