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Hours Before Spirit Day, Another Gay Teen Suicide

by David Badash on October 20, 2010

in Discrimination,News

Post image for Hours Before Spirit Day, Another Gay Teen Suicide

The Michigan Messenger is reporting that a nineteen-year old Oakland University student has succumbed to suicide just hours before the start of today’s nationally-recognized “Spirit Day,” an event created to honor and show support for LGBTQ teens who took their lives because of anti-gay bias and bullying.

“Local officials report the body of 19-year-old Corey Jackson was found in a wooded area of the campus. Police and the medical examiner’s office tell the Oakland Press the young gay man hung himself.

“The suicide happened Tuesday night, as activists across the nation were preparing for a Facebook driven day of activism to counter a wave of suicides of young gay people across the country that have been tied to bullying.

“Police say there is no indication bullying was a factor in Jackson’s suicide.

“And while bullying may not be a factor, Melissa Pope, director of the university’s Gender and Sexuality Center said the issue points to larger, hidden epidemic of suicides among LGBT youth.”

“We must look beyond the term “bullying” to the overall treatment of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community to begin to grasp the long-standing epidemic of suicide among our LGBT youth.

“While the national press has picked up this issue over the last two months, we have been losing high numbers of LGBT youth to suicide for decades. In recent years, we’ve labeled the cause as bullying. But the root cause goes deeper – it goes to the very core of our society that discriminates against the LGBT community on all levels, including the denial of basic human rights that are supposed to belong to every person.”

From what appears to be Jackson’s Facebook page, the photo above, and this, a selection of his listed “activities”:

Running

I am strong because I am weak. I’m beautiful because I know my flaws. I’m a lover because I am a fighter. I’m fearless because I have been afraid. I’m wise because I have been foolish. & I can laugh because I Have known sadness.

Be thankful for what you have because it could all be taken away tomorrow.

Let’s honor all mothers today! Press like if you love your mom!!!!

There is a memorial for Jackson tonight.
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{ 10 comments }

Buffy October 20, 2010 at 6:12 pm

When will it end?

Kiyoshhi October 20, 2010 at 8:56 pm

School is supposed to be fun and educational. What the hell happened.

Ranjan Asrani October 20, 2010 at 10:57 pm

How do you succumb to suicide? That makes no sense.

But, nonetheless, very sad news.

CeeJayz26 October 21, 2010 at 12:07 am

He "succumbed" to his depressed feelings and therefore "succumbed" to suicide. It's not really a smart idea to be such an insensitive person, that you feel you need to say something "doesn't make sense" in a suicide article. You're a jackass.

Ranjan Asrani October 21, 2010 at 12:18 am

Well no, you succumb to the sadness and then commit suicide. Suicide is not a disease or a cause of death that you succumb to. For example, you can't have a terminal case of suicide that you slowly die to. I wasn't commenting on the content of the article, which is definitely saddening, but that sentence itself is nonsensical. There's no reason to call me a jackass.

TanyaDomi October 21, 2010 at 9:57 am

What raises so many questions for me that these kids must be depressed–must be mulling over death. These ideas do not just emerge one day and you kill yourself. How many of these young people are exhibiting signs of depression: change in eating habits; unable to sleep; change in personal hygiene habits which are usually exhibited by lapses in bathing; withdrawal from normal activities, like not going to class etc. We have to look out for one another and educators are first line observers who can help prevent some of these suicides. It is just awful, so terrible.

nicolemariee5 October 21, 2010 at 10:48 am

Directly from a chapter in my HS201 book we are starting today: "Finally, we cannot judge psychological health from the way people look. All too often, a person who seems to be OK and happy suddenly takes his/her own life." </3 R.I.P Coreyy

lonelycheese15 October 21, 2010 at 2:16 pm

Agreed. Some people are just really good at pretending.

HLJ October 21, 2010 at 3:09 pm

As someone who has struggled with depression for over a decade, I will confirm that, yes, some people are really good at pretending.

However, there still are signs that some depressed people display that are obvious signs of depression so if those are present they shouldn't just be ignored.

lonelycheese15 October 21, 2010 at 3:19 pm

I understand that, which is why I said "some" rather than "all."

I've also struggled with depression for years and was one of the people who got really good at pretending, mostly because I had family members telling me, "You need to have a better attitude." Sometimes the signs are there, but people either don't see them for what they are or choose not to care. Fortunately I married a man I don't have to pretend for and he's helped me keep it under control.

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