Jamey Rodemeyer, 14, Dies in Suicide
Another tragic reminder that bullying against gay youth is a continuing problem comes with the suicide of a 14-year-old boy, Jamey Rodemeyer, who had asked for help repeatedly.
The Buffalo, New York, teen died on Sunday, his body found later outside his home after an apparent suicide, according to the Buffalo News. His death followed not only taping his own It Gets Better video, but also blogging on Tumblr about the bullying at school that just wouldn't stop.
"I always say how bullied I am, but no one listens," he wrote on September 9. "What do I have to do so people will listen to me?"
In May, he was on a high after coming out to friends, and he pointed to the support from people online as the reason it gets better.
"I have so much support from people I don't even know online," he told the camera. "They don't ever want me to die."
Reaction on Tumblr has been of shock and sadness.
"Jamey Rodemeyer is dead? I’ve followed him on Tumblr since I made mine," wrote one person. "I can’t believe this. I don’t even know what to say. Although I didn’t know him in real life, it’s hard to cope with his suicide."
"He lived 45 minutes away from me," another said. "It kills me to think that not even one person could stand up for this kid."
Rodemeyer said in his It Gets Better video that he was being taunted in the hallways of his school.
"I felt like I could never escape it," said Rodemeyer, who claimed Lady Gaga as his inspiration for keeping his head held high.
Dan Savage reacted to the news on his blog, calling for those "who tormented this vulnerable kid" to "be held to account — not bullied themselves, not prosecuted or persecuted, but held to account — for their actions, for their hate, for the harm they've caused."
The It Gets Better project was founded to help kids get through times like Rodemeyer faced.
"The point of the 'It Gets Better' project is to give kids like Jamey Rodemeyer hope for their futures. But sometimes hope isn't enough," Savage wrote. "Sometimes the damage done by hate and by haters is simply too great. Sometimes the future seems too remote. And those are the times our hearts break."
Watch other videos from Rodemeyer on the following pages. He talks about gay people being called "disgusting" by other students in class, about his belief that same-sex marriage should be legal, and about how Lady Gaga is "the reason why I am alive."