In more very sad news, two Rutgers students secretly and thus illegally taped another college student (who was a roommate of one of the students) having sex with his male partner (Read the full ABC News story here). The students then broadcast the secretly taped footage on the Internet. Next, the teenager, 18 year old freshman Tyler Clementi, appears to have committed suicide by jumping off a bridge. He appears to have posted a message saying he was going to do this before he went and did it.
This falls on the heels of several highly publicized instances in which gay teenagers have committed suicide due to bullying. It also falls on the heels of an instance in Michigan in which the assistant attorney general of the state of Michigan, in his off hours, appears to be bullying/targeting an openly gay student body president at the University of Michigan (in fact, CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked the attorney general if indeed he is cyberbullying the college student president and the AG said he is not).
What is wrong with some of these people?
If you know someone who is bullying someone else at your school or workplace, ask them to stop. Report it to a teacher, a guidance counselor, your parents, their parents or anyone else who you think might have the power to stop it or to protect the student.
If someone tells you that they are secretly taping another person having sex, don’t watch it. Report it.
As Dan Savage has been helping to show the world, life usually gets better for most people who have been bullied as a result of their sexual orientation (it also usually gets better for people who have bullied for being nerds, geeks, or the way they look or whatever else kids pick on). But you have to be around to live it and you have to put up with a lot of crazy stuff to get to all the awesome stuff sometimes. And it really does get better.
If you’re a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender kid or young adult and you’re feeling sad, depressed, or you need help, contact The Trevor Project.
And if you yourself are bullying anyone for any reason whatsoever, please stop it.