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Jamey Rodemeyer, bullying, media and parenting

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By Adam Bink

This hits close to home. Williamsville, where Jamey is from, is 15 minutes from where I grew up (and just visited for family birthdays). You never think of Western New York as a hotbed of anti-gay bullying — it’s actually very open-minded and tolerant, I’ve found — but bullies are everywhere. The other shocking part is that Jamey himself made an It Gets Better video, but ultimately decided to take his own life.

What’s different is that the traditional media is now directing readers to anti-bullying resources where, in my experience, they wouldn’t in usual cases of people taking their own life. Even Anderson went after Focus on the Family and talked with an anti-bullying advocate. Locally, WIVB-TV’s website:

If you know a local teen who needs support, Gay and Lesbian Youth Services of Western New York is located on Delaware Avenue in Downtown Buffalo. You can reach them at 855-0221 and at  glyswny.org

There are also national places to turn to for help.  They are all free and confidential and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Trevor Project
24/7 Suicide Hotline for GLBTQI Youth
1-866-4-U-Trevor
www.thetrevorproject.org

USA National Suicide Prevention Hotline
24/7, Free & Confidential
1-800-SUICIDE
1-800-273-Talk

How to Get Help from Bullies?
www.StopBullying.gov

The Buffalo News:

The It Gets Better Project has since grown by leaps and bounds since its inception. It offers numerous resources and a pledge that others can sign promising to “provide hope to lesbian, gay, bi, trans and other bullied teens.” The homepage is itgetsbetter.org

Aside from the media, we have to keep pushing parents to teach their kids that being gay is okay. I’ve met parents who teach their kids that gay kids are going to hell and against nature. Kids repeat it to other kids.

In 2009, Courage Campaign members had Courageous Conversations across the country with family members about marriage equality around the holiday dinner table. Maybe it’s time for Courageous Conversations with parents about bullying.

Update: Gaga is so awesomely fierce. Perhaps the fierce advocate can show the one who promised to be the fierce advocate a thing or two.

39 Comments

  • 1. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  September 21, 2011 at 11:08 am

    I live in Russia. Weeks ago LGBT supporters held their first protest that was allowed by the government in one of the big Russian cities. It was really a demonstration calling on people to accept their gay and lesbian teenage children's sexuality the way it is, without trying to change it and without giving a hard time to those teens about that. And homophobes got really upset asking the government to punish those responsible for the heinous crime of organizing that demonstration. They don't seem to care that most of those gay children will have a hard time accepting themselves as gay people, don't care lots of those gay children will have suicidal thoughts, don't care some of those gay children will kill themselves because the homophobes protested against a simple idea of accepting gay children they way they are. I feel very lucky that my parents accepted my homosexuality when I came out to them in May of this year, because I know lots of other young men and women will not be that lucky. This is worse than bullying, this is pushing children to kill themselves, this is sending a message that if you're gay, you'd better die, or else everyone will hate you for the rest of your life. If it was up to me, I'd say these homophobes deserve an electric chair.

  • 2. AnonyGrl  |  September 21, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Hang in there… even though it is slow, the process of acceptance continues. The fact that there actually WAS a demonstration proves it. It is never going to go fast enough to save everyone, but it will happen.

    I am glad that your family was good, and so sorry for those kids who have to struggle.

    Hugs to you!

  • 3. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  September 21, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Thank you and HUGS back! 🙂

  • 4. dwpiper  |  September 21, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    You always say things so well, AnonyGrl! I wanna grow up to write like you some day (if I wasn't pretty darn sure I'm already way older… (grin))

  • 5. AnonyGrl  |  September 21, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Awww… gee! I am pretty old. Well, ok, not REALLY old… but I am 46.

    But since I plan never to grow up, it doesn't actually matter…

    😛

  • 6. dwpiper  |  September 21, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Yeah well, I'm older neener neener neen…. oh wait. 🙁 J/K

    I also planned never to grow old, and when the brain (or the unexpected ache) doesn't remind me about chronological age I still feel like I'm 19 or thereabouts. And besides, growing older is definitely better than the only other alternative. LOL!

  • 7. AnonyGrl  |  September 21, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Excellent! I am headed out to jump in mud puddles. Want to join me? 🙂

  • 8. dwpiper  |  September 21, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Yippee! I'm in!

  • 9. Ronnie  |  September 21, 2011 at 11:12 am

    My heart broke when I read about his last comments. That he felt that nobody at his school listened to or cared about him. Unacceptable. My deepest condolences to his family……. Subscribing & sharing…..

    Dan Choi Is Re-Enlisting In The Army http://instinctmagazine.com/blogs/blog/dan-choi-i

    "“Going back to the military will be a vindication,” Choi told Politico. "[I’m] going back because I fought to go back. The seriousness of our claims was not just political theatre—it was really drawn from our lives. I sacrificed so much so I could go back.”………….

    (me) I wish Lt. Dan Choi all the best, reiterate my thanks for his service to our country & what he has risked to bring down DADT. It was an honor to march alongside him in several protests in NYC…….

    Op-ed: Ask and Tell as a Family Rule
    Sometimes what’s best for the country also works for a father raising two kids. http://www.advocate.com/Politics/Commentary/Oped_

    "I’ve always felt that “don’t ask, don’t tell” was far more damaging than even blatant homophobia. At least when a person expressed their intolerance openly, nobody was left making wrong assumptions or living under false pretenses. Don’t imply that the act of being open and honest and proud of who we are is — in and of itself — a provocation of some consequence. It’s not the same as being a child who gets away with a kick to his sister’s forehead. Being who we are is not a crime. It’s not an “unacceptable risk to the high standards of … good order and discipline.” You know what is? Hate. It’s as though the government were saying: “Don’t make me come in there and separate you two — you two cadets who love each other and in doing so make me want to bash your heads in.” Don’t ask me to hide the truth about who I am, so that you can hide the truth about how much you hate me …"…………

    (me) Most Excellent Op-ed…..

    PayPal Cuts Ties To Four Hate Groups http://instinctmagazine.com/blogs/blog/paypal-cut

    "PayPal said this week it “take[s] very seriously any cases where a user has incited hatred, violence or intolerance because of a person’s sexual orientation."

    (me) Awesome……

    "CNN – Stop Bullying: Speak Up Campaign" (video)…… <3…Ronnie:
    [youtube _1OfXb2IZ4w&list=FLDVVpbKWtxZQirssNF5bbHw&index=2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1OfXb2IZ4w&list=FLDVVpbKWtxZQirssNF5bbHw&index=2 youtube]

  • 10. Tasty Salamanders  |  September 21, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    @The PayPal thing, it mentions the AllOut campaign, it makes me glad that I signed that petition.

    Really there are some major activist sites that put up petitions about LGBT causes which have had some impact, to not sign them and dismiss them as "slacktivism" is only ignoring that the world is changing and these things are starting to have an impact and that not doing a simple little thing as signing them is just doing a disservice to yourself.

  • 11. Sergio O.  |  September 21, 2011 at 11:25 am

    This is ugh, cannot begin to describe how angry I am right now. My condolecens to his family, and I hope that at leas all of the media attention (gay agenda!) will raise awareness about bullying. I myself was bullied in junior high but stood strong and here I am 🙂

    I am the only one that gets the idea of dropping everything to go out and counsel these kids (even if I have no experience!)?. I feel powerless sometimes.

  • 12. maggie4noh8  |  September 21, 2011 at 11:55 am

    I happened to watch this segment last night, and it was so heart-wrenching. I was also pleasantly surprised with the candor AC spoke in regards to some of the damage down by the typical hate groups.

    Anoka-Hennepin school district was mentioned, but AC didn't have much on the lack of Michele Bachman's inaction related to bullying in her own frontyard! GRRRRRRRR!

    Of course my condolences go out to his family, AND my evil ju-ju to all the bullies out there.

  • 13. Gregory in SLC  |  September 21, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    FU Michelle Bachmann….and all you haters! : (

  • 14. Shannon  |  September 21, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    This just makes me sick. I'm done being polite with people I know who have any moral objections to homosexuality. Justifying bigotry with a few passages of 2,000-year-old scripture is not OK when there is decades of scientific study and millions of people from all corners of the world who have the same experiences being gay. If any parent is teaching their kid that it's NOT ok to be gay, then in my mind they are essentially a bully. I do NOT respect their opinion if it in any way contributes to a kid feeling so bad about himself that he takes his own life.

    "Bullies" are not just mean kids on the schoolyard saying hurtful things. Maggie Gallagher is a bully. Brian Brown is a bully. James Dobson is a bully. Many of our elected officials are bullies. And we must call them on it. They all share responsibility for when a gay kid commits suicide. Its inexcusable.

  • 15. Balu Vellanki  |  September 21, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    I feel sick inside and I cant stop the tears. Unacceptable. Michelle Bachman and the likes, the school board and the bullies have blood on their hands.

    His "It Gets Better" video was so hopeful, it breaks my heart that in four months he gave his life. What can we do? I suppose it is best to donate to and volunteer with "Trevor Project" and other suicide helplines. 🙁

  • 16. JonT  |  September 21, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Agreed. Watching his IGB video was hard – it was like he was trying to convince himself as much as anyone else.

    Very sad 🙁

  • 17. DaveP  |  September 21, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    Well, for starters, we can all spread the truth about her. Make sure the people in the movable middle find out what a heartless horrible person she really is. For example, I just went on Youtube and posted the following comment on six or seven of the most top-viewed Bachmann videos that allow comments:

    ——————————-

    And now yet another teen has been bullied to the point of committing suicide – Jamey Rodemeyer. Michelle Bachmann has his blood on her hands. When asked recently about teen bullying and the rash of suicides in her district she said "That's not a federal issue". In other words "As President I'll do NOTHING to prevent bullying and teen suicides because I don't give a damn about gay kids". Spread the word about this hateful bigot Bachmann.

    —————————

    I encourage everyone to do things like this. These extremists are getting so vile and inhumane that we can use their own words and actions against them and bring them down just by telling the truth about them. Spread the word.

  • 18. NetAmigo  |  September 21, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Someone should post the video on the Stop SB48 website. I would do it myself but they kicked me off their site and removed all my postings.

  • 19. NetAmigo  |  September 21, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    Actually I mean post the video on Stop SB48's Facebook page.

  • 20. Rich  |  September 21, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Just saw this on national news and cried. I cried, at first, for the me that, many years ago, was that same young man who was scared, isolated and without any support group either in my family or in my school. I cried for the me who, many years later, acknowledged who I was to friends and family and, along with my gay twin chose to come out, move on and make it right…but it was too late for my twin and he died, just after coming to a place of peace and acceptance but his heart was too hurt and it was too late even though our family came to love and accept us as us. I cried for the many kids I teach who struggle each day to find that peace, that acceptance, that warmth in a world so ready to call them wrong. And, tomorrow, I will start my American Studies lessons with my juniors (who know just who I am) with a truly American message: there is no room in this country, NONE, for hate, judgement and inflammatory rhetoric directed towards those who are different. And I will speak of Jamie Rodemeyer. And, then, I will cry again. But, please be assured, I know this to be true: most, if not all of my kids, will cry with me.

  • 21. dwpiper  |  September 21, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    I am crying now as I read your words. Thank you for sharing with us.

  • 22. JonT  |  September 21, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    Well said Rich.

  • 23. Sagesse  |  September 21, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    If you ignore it, maybe it will go away… or not :).

    Fox News Largely Ignores Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal
    http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2011/09/21/324429/f

  • 24. Gregory in SLC  |  September 21, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    One Fox News item of note, Fred Karger met with Utah Log Cabin and Utah Governor Last night:
    http://www.fox13now.com/news/kstu-log-cabin-gay-a

  • 25. Sagesse  |  September 21, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    Tea Party Supports Repealing Gay Education In CA Because Constitution Not Taught Enough, Says Right-Wing Leader
    http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2011/09/21/324005/t

  • 26. Sagesse  |  September 21, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    Sen. Mark Udall: Republicans ‘Will Be Proven Wrong’ On Their ‘Disturbing’ Anti-Gay Rhetoric
    http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2011/09/21/324692/m

  • 27. Sagesse  |  September 21, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    Rep Mike Honda in the House today.

    End of 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' Signals Crucial Milestone in American History
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-mike-honda/end-

  • 28. Sagesse  |  September 21, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repealed: A Marine’s Story
    http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2011/09/20/dont-

  • 29. Sagesse  |  September 21, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    Chicken Little

    [youtube uW0-bBYi6vA&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uW0-bBYi6vA&feature=related youtube]

  • 30. Sagesse  |  September 21, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    Chicken Little antidote.

    Over and Out
    As ''Don't Ask, Don't Tell'' ends, servicemembers past, present and future wake to a world with one less piece of official discrimination
    http://www.metroweekly.com/feature/?ak=6585

  • 31. Sagesse  |  September 21, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    It was inevitable. Maggie Gallagher reviews '8'.

    "Of Black’s staged reading, there were no rave reviews from Gallagher: “It’s pretty hard to turn a transcript of a trial into exciting theater,” she wrote. “It was pretty ideological. Perhaps not unexpectedly.”

    Ideological?

    Maggie Gallagher's Take on 8
    http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2011/09/2

  • 32. Sagesse  |  September 21, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Obama to Deliver Keynote at HRC Annual Dinner
    http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2011/09/2

  • 33. Sagesse  |  September 21, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    Interview with Clarke Cooper.

    What's Next for Log Cabin After DADT?
    http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2011/09/2

  • 34. Regan  |  September 21, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Children are allowed to commit criminal acts on another child that would not be accepted among adults at work. Young people have to spend as much time at school as some adults do at work and yet kids are expected to be productive, to be healthy and perform well.

    Have bullies ARRESTED!
    It's obvious the gravity of the battery and assault being committed leads to major tragedy!
    WTF?
    And any so called religious conservative had better lead by example when it comes to treating another they way they want to be treated and instilling THAT value into their children.
    Or else they can be rightly called UN Christian, UN charitable and basically HYPOCRITES.
    Live the word or SHUT UP.
    Kids are dying out there and the public getting platitudes won't cut it.
    Bullies get away with it because they don't have to be put on trial for it.
    It's long past due.

  • 35. Sagesse  |  September 22, 2011 at 4:58 am

    DOMA is going down over this.

    DADT repeal benefits servicemembers’ children, though inequalities remain
    http://www.keennewsservice.com/2011/09/21/dadt-re

  • 36. Sagesse  |  September 22, 2011 at 5:14 am

    People of faith turn out in droves to organize against anti-gay marriage amendment
    http://minnesotaindependent.com/88248/people-of-f

  • 37. Sagesse  |  September 22, 2011 at 5:24 am

    Read about the ongoing debates between pro and anti LGBT groups at school board meetings. Hard to imagine a more toxic environment for students.

    Primer: Deep roots of Anoka-Hennepin’s discrimination controversy
    http://minnesotaindependent.com/87776/primer-deep

  • 38. Sagesse  |  September 22, 2011 at 5:27 am

    Candidate Vows to Unseat Town Clerk Who Refuses to Marry Gays
    http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2011/09/2

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