It Needs to Get Better: Gay Teens and Suicide
If you've hesitated for even a second, wondering what the point to Dan Savage's new It Gets Better Project is, just think of this:
Seth Walsh was found Sunday, September 19, after he tried to hang himself from a tree branch near his house in Tehachapi, California. He was unconscious and not breathing. Walsh was openly gay and had apparently been bullied for years. He attended his local middle school for only two weeks this year until he transferred into independent study because of abuse and harassment from his schoolmates.
Four more suicides of gay teens were reported this month: 15-year-old Billy Lucas, whose death inspired the It Gets Better Project, hanged himself in his grandmother's farm in Indiana on September 9; on September 13, Cody J. Barker of Wisconsin killed himself; and on September 23, 13-year-old Asher Brown shot himself through the head in his own home.
On Poz.com, Oriol R.Gutierrez writes:
Also last week, 18-year-old Tyler Clementi, a student at Rutgers University, jumped off the George Washington Bridge after two of his classmates, Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei, secretly made a video recording of him having sex with another man and broadcast it over the Internet. Unlike the classmates of Seth Walsh, Billy Lucas, Cody Barker, and Asher Brown, Clementi's classmates are facing criminal charges:
Thank you to Dan Savage, to Ivan Coyote, to Kate Bornstein, and to every other activist who's fought to bring bullying of gay teens to light and make it better. Thank you to all of those who are making videos that say "It gets better." Thanks to everyone who's tweeting in the #stayalive thread. To those of you who are undergoing bullying for being queer, there's little that we can add to the sentiment of that thread: Please stay alive. And for more resources, we recommend you read Sinclair Sexsmith's post on her site below:
Thanks to Tim McElreavy for help with additional research.