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UPDATED: September’s Anti-Gay Bullying Suicides – There Were A Lot More Than 5

by David Badash on October 1, 2010

in Discrimination,News

Post image for UPDATED: September’s Anti-Gay Bullying Suicides – There Were A Lot More Than 5

UPDATE: ONE WEEK LATER — 10.08.2010:

We’ve been following closely this story and wanted to update you on some on these tragic cases.

There are now reports that say that Felix Sacco was bullied.

On October 5, there was a report of a tenth victim of bullying who succumbed to suicide. Sadly, the initial report was taken down and all we have to go on is this report, although there are still reputable reports that the tenth September victim, Alec Henrikson, was the victim of a suicide.

Alec was from Indiana, which would make him the third victim from Indiana in September.

# # #

The problem is anti-LGBTQ bullying and harassment. It is an epidemic.

Whether they are gay or not, anyone who is a victim of anti-LGBTQ bullying or harassment is having a tough time.

Some, as we painfully were reminded this month, resort to suicide.

Right now the media is focused on five teens who committed suicide in response to what may be anti-LGBTQ bullying. As tragic as that is, there are a lot more than five. Thanks to our readers, we believe we have found nine.

Nine male teenagers all committed suicide in the month of September, we believe victims of bullying. There are reports that all but one were victims of anti-LGBTQ bullying. The “type” of bullying of one, Felix Sacco, was not identified.

If nine teens died in one month from a mysterious disease, there would be marches to the White House demanding something be done.

So, aside from a press release, what is being done?

Billy Lucas (15) September 9, 2010. Indiana

Cody J. Barker (17) September 13, 2010. Wisconsin

Seth Walsh (13) September 19, 2010. California

Tyler Clementi (18) September 22, 2010. New Jersey

Asher Brown (13) September 23, 2010. Texas

Harrison Chase Brown (15) September, 25 2010. Colorado

Raymond Chase (19) September 29, 2010. Rhode Island

Felix Sacco (17) September 29, 2010. Massachusetts

Caleb Nolt (14) September 30, 2010. Indiana

Remember them. And reach out to — and check in with — every teen you know. They may need you right now, more than you imagine.

If you have additional information, please share it with us: newcivilrightsmovement@gmail.com

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{ 8 comments }

lifecoachdee October 1, 2010 at 8:53 pm

I'm overwhelmed with grief those who are being bullied for whatever reason. I know how it feels to come to terms with who you are, and the pain that comes along with being shunned because of it; and I know all too well, growing up overweight, how it feels to be teased and bullied.

As a child, your world is so small, and it's so easy to feel that you are the only one going through what you are going through. It's almost impossible to see, at times, that there are others that have and are treading through the same territory you are headed through, sometimes scarred, but more alive than they ever knew they could be. it's so easy to feel helpless and victimized as an adolescent…this has to stop! Hearts need to be softened, children need held, and minds are going to need to be changed.

nell October 2, 2010 at 2:12 am

Dan Savage has set up the It Gets Better Project on Youtube and is encouraging people to send in videos exemplifying life beyond the harassment and bullying of high school and college. The videos have been heartfelt and great for showing living examples of people who were bullied in high school but survived it and went on to lead happy, healthy lives.

There is also the Trevor Project, a website offering great resources for gay/questioning youth, including lifelines and chat.

cypheroftyr October 2, 2010 at 7:40 am

A friend and I are doing the We Got Your Back Project, which is focusing on the stories of bi, trans, lesbian and LGTBQ's of Color. Our site can be found at: http://wegotyourbackproject.wordpress.com

Please spread the word!

ingoodfaith October 2, 2010 at 3:31 pm

Here in Texas prejudice is officially sanctioned too, the Texas Republican Party published this in their 2010 party platform:

'We believe that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society, contributes to the breakdown
of the family unit, and leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle in our public education and policy, nor should “family” be redefined to
include homosexual “couples.” We are opposed to any granting of special legal entitlements, refuse to recognize, or grant special privileges including, but not limited to: marriage between persons of the same sex (regardless of state of origin), custody of children by homosexuals, homosexual partner insurance or retirement benefits. We oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values.'

ingoodfaith October 2, 2010 at 3:32 pm

I wonder how many people who vote Republican in Texas have read the 2010 Platform?
http://static.texastribune.org/media/documents/FI

KKimKKane October 2, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Reprinted from my vlog – <a href="http://www.kimkane.com/vlog:” target=”_blank”>www.kimkane.com/vlog:
Cont…

Though their lawyers deny the two classmates were criminally responsible for Clementi's death, I 100% disagree. Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei should be held accountable. Right now, both are charged with invasion of privacy, with the most serious charges carrying a penalty of up to five years in prison. While they surely couldn’t have imagined such a tragic end, this case is going to serve as a teachable moment for a lot of young people about cyber bullying. The Internet is such a new and complicated medium, there are an endless amount of regulatory laws that need to – and will be – put into place. Since the World Wide Web is here to stay, as a society we must be pro active about establishing some sort of parameters for this new medium. Right now it’s a free for all. Education begins in the home, and Internet education must now become part of that education. Cyber bullying has to be one of those things we stop and stop quickly because people are suffering, kids are killing themselves and living in fear. That cannot happen. Kids have to understand, teachers have to educate and parents have to teach their children how to communicate in an online medium. Kids need to know that what they put online lives there forever, even after they’ve deleted it. They need to understand the danger of online predators and feel comfortable telling an adult or school administrator when they’re being targeted. In addition, there should be stricter laws put into place about taping another person without their consent. The crack down has to happen now, in the infant stages of a serious situation. New technology can’t run us, we must run IT.

I naturally want to take this one step further and call out the harmful and damaging content that lives online – and the “professionals” putting it there. Yes it is our right to be vocal and expressive even when others don’t agree. But I’ve seen such a decline in the truthfulness of reporting (I know truth is subjective, but standards have taken a serious dive in the age of information overload), as well as an influx of online sites that perpetuate hatred and intolerance. This is frightening mainly because there are people with enough venom to post their beliefs online with the intent of mobilizing like-minded individuals. The Internet does plenty of good and has advanced us beyond our wildest dreams, but it also mobilizes people – for better or for worse.

MediaTakeOut.com is my favorite go-to example of online hatred. Not only are the writers racist and extremely sexist, they are 100% homophobic. Their writers target blacks, women and homosexuals online – every single day. They post photos along with damaging stories attempting to "out" artists and celebs they believe to be homosexual. Let it be known, it is not the job of any person, journalist or broadcaster to out another person. There is zero integrity in that. It sends a strong message to our kids that the sexuality of another human being is our business – when in fact it’s none of our business! Another person’s sexuality is none of our business. If an average person or even a celebrity wants to speak about their experience living a same sex lifestyle or chooses to make that part of their shtick, more power to them – they have every right to live their truth. But digging for this information and broadcasting intimate details of another person’s life without their consent is wrong. We need to arm our young people with knowledge and at the same time give them the opportunity to experience life, to make their own decisions and to come to their own conclusions about their own choices. Right now there is such a stigma in the black community about homosexuality, and it’s had catastrophic results. It’s resulted in broken homes, suicides, shame and the spread of disease. A few years back we heard lots about the "down low brother epidemic" – that wasn't an epidemic at all! That’s reality – the only epidemic was that we were learning just how many black men were living in shame due to their sexual preference. It’s a sad, sad thing. What about these Catholic Priests and their interaction with young boys! There are countless examples of people suffering because they’re conflicted about their sexual preference, and it causes others to suffer as well. It’s not easy, no matter what color or sex you are, to live a homosexual lifestyle in a society that doesn't fully understand or validate that lifestyle. Our society isn't that liberal, and many religions view homosexuality as a sin. Regardless of anyone’s beliefs, it’s horrible that certain people have to fight so hard for equality and protection that should be given to all as a birthright.

In the words of Tyler Clementi’s parents, we should all echo the call for “compassion, empathy and human dignity". My heart goes out to the family and to the students at Rutgers.

ck78inseattle October 3, 2010 at 4:39 am

With all these youth suicides that we are hearing about here, it is the FUNDAMENTALIST religious clerics and preachers that are ultimately responsible for perpetuating the hatred and intolerance that led these youths to end their own lives…groups like Focus on the Family, the American Family Association, Family Research Council are all on a mission to blind the public with their extremely lopsided beliefs and view of life and turn otherwise neutral individuals against the LGBT community. Just do some searching on the internet and you'll find plenty of hate sites that young aggressors can access that will fuel their hatred and give them the extra entitlement to torment people who are different. For the religious hatemongers, may they open the front doors of their homes and churches one day to find staring them in the face a pile of corpses of all the youth who ended their own lives due to their cruelty!

chris902 October 4, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Tragic double suicide in Canada as well: http://www.xtra.ca/blog/national/post/2010/10/04/

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