We lost another one.

Tyler Clementi was 18 years old, a student at Rutgers. His last message was posted to Facebook, on Wednesday the 22nd at 8:42 PM: “Jumping off the gw bridge sorry”.

Tyler Clementi
Tyler Clementi.

His name was Tyler Clementi; he was 18 years old, a student at Rutgers. His roommate and a friend used an internet-enabled camera to broadcast Tyler having sex with another guy. It sounds like they invited the entire dorm to view the broadcast. Tyler found out, and tried to reach out to the university and to others online to get help, but… Apparently he lost hope before anyone could help him.

His last message was posted to Facebook, on Wednesday the 22nd at 8:42 PM: “Jumping off the gw bridge sorry”.
Eight minutes later, he did.

Please help stop the deaths of young LGBT teens. Support the inclusive Safe Schools Improvement Act by signing the petition at stopstudentbullying.com. The petition will be automatically forwarded to your elected representatives. If you’re creatively inclined, record a video message to at-risk gay youth for Dan Savage’s It Gets Better Project. For those willing to go the extra mile, consider supporting The Trevor Project, the only nationwide 24/7/365 crisis hotline for gay teens.

Help Stop the Deaths

Help stop the epidemic of suicides among gay kids. Take action now.

The young boys in this photo strip killed themselves because of anti-gay bullying. Another gay teen, unnamed, attempted suicide in Tehachapi, California last week, and is currently on life support. As I wrote the previous sentence, news agencies reported the boy’s death. His name was Seth Walsh. He was the third bullied gay child to commit suicide in as many weeks.

Billy, Justin, Asher, and Seth.
Billy, Justin, Asher, and Seth.

While many acknowledge that bullying in schools is a major problem, it is particularly deadly for LGBT youth. LGBT kids are over 200% more likely to commit suicide than their heterosexual counterparts. A GLSEN study in 2005 reported that “Among students who identified themselves as LGBT, 90 percent had been bullied in the past year. Of these, 66 percent had been verbally abused, 16 percent physically harassed, and 8 percent had been assaulted.”

GLSEN, The Trevor Project, HRC and many other LGBT advocacy groups have been lobbying for years to get protections for LGBT youth written into anti-bullying laws. Curriculum changes, training for teachers, and requirements for reporting bullying incidents are all options on the table for legislators. The problem is, the legislation to move these critical programs and protections forward just isn’t being passed. Only 7 states have laws specifically prohibiting bullying on the basis of sexual orientation.

Why? Why aren’t these laws to protect students – laws that could have saved these boys lives – being passed?

At every level of government, groups like The Minnesota Family Council, Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, the Family Policy Council of North Carolina, the American Family Association, and the Catholic Church are using their political influence to oppose and block laws, ordinances and policies that would save the lives of LGBT youth. They say that protecting LGBT students from bullying – protecting their lives – constitutes homosexual indoctrination of children. The bitter irony of their position is that anti-bullying law and policy is basically a codification of the Golden Rule (upon which “hang[s] all the law and the prophets”).

stopstudentbullying.org
 

Please help me counteract these misguided, hateful people. Support the inclusive Safe Schools Improvement Act by signing the petition at stopstudentbullying.com. The petition will be automatically forwarded to your elected representatives. If you’re creatively inclined, record a video message to at-risk gay youth for Dan Savage’s It Gets Better Project. For those willing to go the extra mile, consider supporting The Trevor Project, the only nationwide 24/7/365 crisis hotline for gay teens.

The deaths need to stop. Please help.

Olbermann & Savage on DADT Crazies, McCain Dishonesty

Great coverage and commentary from Olbermann & Savage on the incredible display of hatred and bigotry that’s erupted since the DADT compromise started to gain traction in the Senate and House.

Here’s some great coverage and commentary from Keith Olbermann Dan Savage on the absolutely incredible display of hatred and bigotry that’s erupted since the DADT repeal compromise started to gain traction in the Senate and House. The wackos on the far right have pulled out every specter in the closet: Gay Nazis murdering Jews, battlefields drenched in HIV-positive blood, burly gay bears raping poor defenseless Marines in the showers, platoons of fashionista soldiers running from Kalashnikov-wielding Al Qaeda terrorists, and more.

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Both Olbermann and Savage rightly take aim at John McCain, who has now demonstrated beyond the shadow of a doubt that all he cares about is being reelected to his cushy, powerful Senate position. He’s gone all the way from “let’s repeal DADT when the Military says they’re ready” to “I will filibuster any attempt to even give the military the chance to repeal DADT.” That’s well past a flip-flop.. Close reelection race, John?

It’s sad to see how far McCain has fallen from his days as a courageous former POW-turned-maverick Senator. I actually used to like the guy. I encourage all of my readers (all 5 of you), to jump on over to John McCain’s website and tell him to stop letting money and power destroy his ethics.

You should also call or send an email to tell your elected officials how you feel about DADT. Every single official in the Senate is going to be deluged with hateful messages about the LGBT community in the weeks and months to come. It’s important that they also hear from reasonable, decent people like you. It’s also not as difficult as you think – just go to this website, use the drop-down to select your state, and call or email both of your Senators.