Coming off this month’s election in Ontario where we saw homophobic forces attempting to corrupt the education system and remove the very mention of LGBT people from the curriculum, it was welcome to see Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird stand up for what is truly right.
Minister Baird stated that there was no place in schools for the anti-gay bullying that is causing the unforgiveable rise in suicide among teens across this continent.
Choosing the floor of the House of Commons, providing a record for all of history and every child. Baird offered the condolences of the government to the family of an Ottawa teen who recently committed suicide. In yet another instance of intolerable hatreds causing the worst outcome, Jamie Hubley, 15 years old, succumbed to suicide after years of anti-gay bullying, having memorialized his struggle via Twitter and Tumblr.
“I know I would speak for all members of the House to offer our sincere condolences to the family of Jamie Hubley,” Baird said. “Bullying, homophobia, intolerance and incivility have no place in our schools. It underlies the real challenge of depression and mental health, especially among young people. Let us resolve, as a society, to promote tolerance and acceptance of each and every one of our fellow citizens.”
Conservative MPs alongside staffers created video messages in honour of the teen, where they explain “it gets better” — a reference to the It Gets Better project.
MPs including Baird, Toews and Ambrose offered the assistance of Kid’s Help Phone, a 1-800 number that is truly an amazing resource. The video, while rough in parts, truly brings the honesty of the message to light.
Jamie’s father, Allan, an Ottawa city councilor, said bullying was part of the reason his son took his life.
The family knew when Jamie faced something all too familiar to me. Jamie preferred the gentler, artistic side of things, figure skating rather than hockey which caused him to be the object of continual ridicule.
Showing the fight that inhabits all LGBT people, Jamie recently tried to start a Rainbow Club at his high school to promote acceptance of others.
“The posters were torn down and he was called vicious names in the hallways and online,” the councillor said in a statement.
Growing up in Northern Ontario as a Jehovah’s Witness, Michael Talon experienced firsthand the struggle for equality. Now living in the U.S. with his partner, they work with advocates for federal equality, including immigration. Working side by side, Michael and his partner Brad, head of Luna Media Group, help to deliver messages for equality to the nation.
We invite you to sign up for our new mailing list, and subscribe to The New Civil Rights Movement via email or RSS.