On August 10, four months ago, gay teen Jonah Mowry, about to enter the eighth grade and bullied since he was in the first, posted on YouTube a video in which he doesn’t speak, but flips through flash cards that detail the pain of his life, including that he has considered suicide, that he cuts himself, and that all of his friends are entering high school, and that he is lonely and scared. Jonah Mowry also says, via the cards, in his video titled, “Whats goin on…,” that he is daily called ”Gay. Fag. Dick. Douche. Homo. Asshole.” And, sadly, Mowry adds, “Suicide was an option… many times,” as Sia’s “Breathe Me” plays in the background.
The video has recently gone viral, spawning about 120 pages on Facebook supporting Mowry, (there are several additional ones that call him a “liar,”) and, disgustingly, a Facebook “event” titled “Jonah Mowry’s Funeral.” A YouTube search delivered “about 774 results for ”Jonah Mowry.”
But now Mowry is under attack because a few months after he posted the tear-inducing video, he also posted another video in which Mowry states that almost his entire school now loves him, and he says he’s fine.
Apparently, some people don’t understand that things can get better, or, that teenagers can claim they are, even when they’re not. No one should ever forget Jamie Rodemeyer, the teen who both made an It Gets Better video, and died, later, by suicide.
On what seems to be Mowry’s YouTube channel, he writes this undated but very recent update:
To all my friends and supporters,
I made this video 4 months ago just before school was about to start. I was 13. It was a very emotionally dark time in my life. I made the video at 4:00am in the morning; I hadn’t been sleeping at night for a long time, too many things going on in my head. I was dreading going back to school and I had not come out to my family yet. Only my closest friends knew. I didn’t know how to say what I needed to say. All I could think about were all the bad things that had been happening at school last year, every year for that matter. I just couldn’t bare to go through that anymore. I was done being fake happy, pretending hateful words didn’t hurt, done hiding it from my family.
So this video was made for my friends that had moved on to High School who were worried for me, to say to them that I was going to take a stand, and to the haters at my middle school that I’m not going anywhere. I am who I am. I posted the video here and told people were to find it. That was it.
My friends were moved by the video and thought I did something important. I was encouraged to upload it to my Facebook page so more people could see it. Maybe it could help someone else going through the same thing. So I linked it Dec. 1st. My Parents saw it for the first time Dec, 2nd.
Then….. all this happened.
I never expected in a million years that it would have such a wonderful impact on so many people. I am truly humbled and truly thankful for all the love, encouragement and support from people all over the world. It’s been incredibly overwhelming. I don’t know what to say. Thank you so, so much!
Lastly, yes you have seen me happy in a couple short videos replies I posted; I would think that would be a good thing , and yes I do have friends, my High School friends, and I have made friends because when I came out they realized that they had hurt me and that they fealt sorry. The video is real, and true.
In the last few months everything eventually came out in the open, I felt a huge weight off my shoulders; I’m happy, I’m excepted for who I am, I’m more confident and feel stronger every day.
Thank you all, Love and peace to all who are hurting.
ABC News adds,
Controversy has swirled around the videos this week, with some posting online their suspicions that the boy is a “fraud,” but ABCNews.com has learned today that Jonah is real.
“First and foremost, I am proud of the responses we’ve gotten from people,” said Peggy Sue Mowry, a hairdresser from Forest Lake, Calif. “I’m disappointed that people would question whether it’s” true.”
She said her son had been “uplifted by the outpouring of support.”
Advocacy groups praised Jonah for speaking out against bullying.
“This YouTube video illustrates a sobering reality about the bullying crisis in our schools,” said Andy Marra, spokesman for Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). ”We know there are far too many students like Jonah that experience harassment simply because of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.”
The video has gone viral, eliciting support from celebrities like gay singer Ricky Martin and blogger Perez Hilton.
Martin tweets: “one big rib breaking hug :0) ! Stay strong buddy! You are 1 courageous young man!!!”
Hilton said he has been in touch with Jonah via Twitter and the teen’s “optimism in the face of adversity is so inspiring!” He writes that he has invited the boy to an all-expense paid birthday party for the blog in March.
“He is so touched by all the love being sent his way,” blogs Hilton. ” He tells us he is truly in a much better place. Happier and with friends that care! Plus, he is also getting some counseling – something we’d recommend to anyone going through difficult times.”
Teen bullying has reached epidemic proportions and several young children have been so anguished they have killed themselves.
Nearly 9 out of 10 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students experienced harassment at school in the past year, according to GLSEN. All students deserve the right to reach their full potential and it is the responsibility of school staff to ensure safe learning environments for all that promote true respect for difference, the group says.
Jonah Mowry is a phenomenon, and he’s certainly no fraud. What he chooses to make of his life is anyone’s guess, but one thing’s for sure, there are millions who have been touched by him, and we’re here, ready to help.
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