14.

I am sitting in the Jeep at lunchtime, like I do most everyday. The one thing that I don’t do everyday while sitting in my Jeep a lunchtime is shed a few tears. But that is what I am doing right now.

Jamey Rodemeyer was a 14-year old teen living in Buffalo. As a gay teen, Jamey was bullied for his sexual orientation. He was called the usual onslaught of names and received the horrific threats and the like from the ignorant. So much ignorance in the “greatest country on the planet”. As much as we claim things are progressing in these fine United States of America, we have barely taken only one small step forward. I truly believe that historians will call these times the second Dark Ages. Ignorance is at an all time high.

Earlier this year, Jamey shared an “It Gets Better” video on YouTube. Like many of his generation, he maintained a blog. And on Sunday, his last blog entry was a mention that he was looking forward to seeing his grandmother that passed on. He then committed suicide.

Holy. Fucking. Shit. The thought that a young man, hell, a _child_ killed himself, ended his life, because of the bullying he got as a result of his sexual orientation is mind boggling to me. The taunts and threats and name calling because he is different got to him. What has our society become? So the folks that wrote these comments on his blog …

JAMIE IS STUPID, GAY, FAT ANND UGLY. HE MUST DIE!

And

I wouldn’t care if you died. No one would. So just do it 🙂 It would make everyone WAY more happier!

… I hope they feel better now that they got their wish. Because your words ended a life and destroyed a family. I hope his family is strong.

When I see people going out of their way to prevent gay marriage, saying that it’s wrong or people picking on another simply because they’re different, I wonder if these folks realise what impact they are having on their targeted individual. We may smile on the outside or shrug it off as the “usual banter” but it can go much deeper than that. Folks start believing what they’re told. A young person that is still formulating who and what he is could very well take these comments as guidance. So while Michelle Bachmann makes jokes on Leno about thinking that the gay “rehabilitative” program that she’s concocted with her husband was to target those that were GRAY (Google the video and you’ll see very few people chuckled at the chestnut of humor), innocent gay youth see these things and determine that they are defective in some way and would be better off dead. They begin to buy into the hype and decide to do something drastic.

I could do “It Gets Better” videos all day long but if the right person doesn’t see it, it’s one person that could make a drastic, fatal decision. (Don’t get me wrong, the “It Gets Better” campaign is brilliant and very much worthwhile and very important, but we need to make it LOUDER.)

Jamey’s mom works for one of Earl’s customers in Buffalo. Our paths will probably never cross hers, but if it did I would give her a big hug. And I would tell her that I’m sorry, I’m sorry that the world is the way it is.

He was only 14 years old. And now he’s dead. Simply because he was different. Rest in peace, Jamey.

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