5 LGBT-related suicide in a week and the fifth teenage LGBT suicide in three weeks
"To help stop the cycle that leads young lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning people to feel they are alone, connect them to The Trevor Project. There is a place that's free of bullying and judgment online, where young LGBTQ people, their friends and allies ages 13-24 can connect safely and be themselves. More than 13,000 young people already belong to TrevorSpace.org, and more youth join every day. If you or someone you care about shows warning signs for suicide, please do not hesitate to call The Trevor Lifeline at: 866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386). The call is free and confidential.
A survey of more than 5,000 college students, faculty members and staff members who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender published last month by the advocacy group Campus Pride found that nearly one in four reported harassment, almost all related to sexual orientation and gender identity.
This month, as part of Cyndi Lauper's "Give A Damn" campaign, socially-conscious personalities Lily Tomlin, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Mae Whitman and Judith Light speak out against teenagers who commit suicide.
In September, there were four gay teen suicides as a result of school bullying:
Friends of the Rutgers University freshman who leaped to his death after his roommate allegedly secretly filmed him during a "sexual encounter" in his dorm room and posted it live on the Internet are mourning the loss of Tyler Clementi who they say was an outstanding violinist with a big heart.
Clementi posted a goodbye message on his Facebook page just moments before jumping off the George Washington Bridge last week, an act that left friends such as Christina Guentert in shock and heartbroken.
"I am just devastated that this happened, especially to such an amazing person," Guentert wrote to ABC News in an e-mail. "Tyler was a remarkable person in many ways; he was always kind, generous, sweet, and loyal."
"He always had a smile on his face, and would joke around with me during class even on bad days," wrote Guentert, who went to school with Clementi for seven years in Ridgewood, N.J. "Tyler came off as innocent and sweet; the kind of person that you could rely on and go to for anything."
Seth Walsh, the Bakersfield, CA 13-year-old who hanged himself from a tree in his back yard after years of being bullied, died Tuesday afternoon after nine days on life support. Police investigators interviewed some of the young people who taunted Seth the day he hanged himself. “Several of the kids that we talked to broke down into tears,” Police Chief Jeff Kermode said. “They had never expected an outcome such as this.”
Asher Brown, 13, an eighth-grader killed himself last week. He shot himself in the head after enduring what his mother and stepfather say was constant harassment from four other students at Hamilton Middle School in the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District in Houston Texas. Brown, his family said, was “bullied to death” — picked on for his small size, his religion and because he did not wear designer clothes and shoes. Kids also accused him of being gay, some of them performing mock gay acts on him in his physical education class, his mother and stepfather said.
Billy (William) Lucas, 15, a student at Greensburg Community High School in Greensburg, IN, was found dead in a barn at his grandmother’s home Thursday evening — he had hanged himself. Friends say that he had been tormented for years. “He was threatened to get beat up every day,” friend and classmate Nick Hughes said. “Sometimes in classes, kids would act like they were going to punch him and stuff and push him. Some people at school called him names,” Hughes said, saying most of those names questioned Lucas’ sexual orientation.
This insanity must stop and all school districts must commit to making school safe for GLBT students.
Second college LGBT-related suicide in a week and the fifth teenage LGBT suicide in three weeks
Campus Pride Demands National Action to address LGBT Youth Bullying, Harassment & Suicide
In the wake of two college suicides Tyler Clementi of Rutgers University & Raymond Chase of Johnson & Wales, Campus Pride reissues findings and recommendations from the "2010 State of Higher Education for LGBT People" released last week at a U.S. congressional briefing on Capitol Hill
(Providence, RI) Campus Pride, the nation’s leading non-profit organization working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and ally college and university students, offers its condolences and support to the family of Raymond Chase who reportedly hung himself in his residence hall room this past Wednesday, September 29, 2010 on the campus of Johnson & Wales in Providence, RI.
“The loss of Raymond this week is the second college LGBT-related suicide in a week and the fifth teenage LGBT suicide in three weeks. The suicide of this openly gay young man is for reasons currently unknown; however, the recent pattern of LGBT youth suicides is cause for grave concern,” said Shane Windmeyer, executive director and founder of Campus Pride. “Campus Pride demands national action be taken to address youth bullying, harassment and the need for safety and inclusion for LGBT youth at colleges and universities across the country. We must not let these tragic deaths go unnoticed. Together we must act decisively to curb anti-LGBT bias incidents, harassment and acts of violence.”
Through its Q Research Institute for Higher Education, Campus Pride released last week its "2010 State of Higher Education for LGBT People." The in-depth research study is the most comprehensive national LGBT higher education study of its kind. Campus Pride surveyed more than 5,000 LGBT students, faculty and staff for the report. Findings demonstrate that these recent suicides and incidents of harassment are neither rare nor fleeting-- they are REAL.
Among the findings in the report:
-One quarter (23%) of LGBQ staff, faculty, and students reported experiencing harassment (defined as any conduct that has interfered with your ability to work or learn). Almost all identified sexual identity as the basis of the harassment (83%). An even greater percentage of transgender students, faculty, & staff reported experiencing harassment (39%) with 87% identifying their gender identity/expression as the basis for the harassment. The form of the harassment experiences by transgender people was more overt and blatant.
-One-third of LGBQ (33%) and transgender (38%) students, faculty, and staff have seriously considered leaving their institution due to the challenging climate.
-More than half of all faculty, students, & staff hide their sexual identity (43%) or gender identity (63%) to avoid intimidation.
-More than a third of all transgender students, faculty, & staff(43%) and13% of LGBQ respondents feared for their physical safety.This finding was more salient for LGBQ students and for LGBQ and/or Transgender People of Color.