Tyler Clementi’s Story Unfolded Online, But Offers Real Life Lessons

Gawker posted messages left by a user calling himself "cit2mo," who describes a situation very similiar to Clementi's: "the other night I had a guy over," he wrote, "[My roommate] tweeted I was using the room …And that he went into somebody else's room and remotely turned on his webcam." The reaction, according to cit2mo, was not good: repulsed people commented on the roommate's profile asking, "How did you manage to go back in there?"

The user cit2mo, whose postings match the time line of Clementi's struggle, goes on to discuss how he felt the entire thing was homophobic: "I feel like it was 'look at what a fag my roommate is'… And the fact that the people he was with saw my making out with a guy as the scandal, whereas, I mean come on, he was SPYING ON ME… Do they see nothing wrong with this?"

Sadly, too many people would focus on the "negative" aspect of gay sex, rather than the malicious invasion of privacy.

Cyber-bullying remains a persistent problem in America: over 40% of teenagers report being bullied online. As our lives become even more intertwined with the internet, age old homophobia will only continue to fester in virtual realms.

Just look at the Andrew Shirvell case: his own boss, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, calls him a cyber bully, again against a gay person. That doesn't mean, of course, that bullying doesn't exist in the real world, too.

In addition to showing the dangers of cyber-bullying, Clementi's story, rare for all the attention it has received in mainstream media, shows the dangerous repercussions of homophobia, something we all saw this week with the deaths of Asher Brown and Seth Walsh, both of whom committed suicide.

Clementi's life and death come just as Rutger's University launches its Project Civility, a series of lectures and discussions that intends to create a "more charitable campus culture" and provide an "ongoing inquiry about the nature of true respect for others."

In light of Clementi's suicide, unique, yet involving so many ubiquitous, oft-ignored themes – cyber-bullying, homophobia and suicide – Rutger's announced they will incorporate his story into Project Civility's programming. Hopefully all the attention will help spread civility to the general public, too, for they must sit up and realize that seemingly minor jabs or taunts, online or off, are fueling a crisis that's claiming lives.

Comments

  1. derwood says

    Gawd, this is the saddest story. For all. Even for those stupid people spying on him.

    I hope this country will finally see that this gay/straight warfare has casualties, as does all warfare. I consider this young man to be a hero, similar to those young men and women who died in Iraq. Those deaths woke people up to that war and caused a change in behavior. I hope his death will do the same in this culture war.

    Just trying to honor him, somehow.

  2. Buster says

    Having a roommate who is an asshole is not the problem. A “lack of civility” on the internet is not the problem. The problem is growing up in a society where people demonize homosexuality to the point where some young man felt he had to kill himself when it was revealed that he was having a perfectly normal little bit of college sex. Just cause it was with a guy. Our culture made it okay to mock Mr. Clementi. Worse, our culture somehow planted the idea in Mr. Clementi that he could be mocked — that being “caught” and publicly revealed made his life not worth living. That is what I find horrific.

    How can we allow children to be raised like this? Homophobia kills.

  3. says

    Very sad. The saddest thing to me, though, is that this would not have ruined his life. This would not have even lingered much longer — stories like this go away after a couple days or, at worst, weeks. We, as a country, couldn’t even pay attention to the worst-ever oil spill, right off our own coast… any ‘story’ is only 1 Britney Spears rehab story away from being forgotten. Yet, had he decided to report these incidents to the authorities, he a) would have had a new roommate, immediately, b) could have pressed charges, c) could have sued and d) could have turned the story into exactly what it should have been in the first place: about the invasion of privacy. He had nothing to be ashamed of… his loss is tragic.

    Teens need to understand that these sorts of things aren’t the end of the world. It *does* get better.

  4. crispy says

    Wow. That JustUsBoys addendum to this story adds a whole new dimension. He seems completely rational and stable and even quite comfortable being gay, not at all like someone horrified at being outed or on the verge of suicide. I wonder what changed between the JustUsBoys posts and his decision to kill himself.

  5. erik says

    The memorial page on Facebook is getting flamed with a lot of hate posts, incl altered photos of Clementi in hell and fake shots of him jumping off the bridge (the most prolific poster seems to be some idiot named Aldo Gutmann). I encourage everyone to report those posts on Facebook and to also report the profiles of those who are posting the messages.

  6. anon says

    This is sad, but there are many more suicides per week than we ever hear about. They are rarely the result of something spontaneous. The typical suicide has been contemplating the act for a year and made three “trial” runs. Women practice more than men and are less likely to actually commit. Rarely, if ever, do people contemplating suicide call the various hotlines. They don’t talk about it with friends and/or family. The best indication is usually in a diary. There are some medications, though, that have the side-effect of increasing the risk of spontaneous suicide–ironically they are often anti-depressants. Attempting to diagnose the situation online is silly.

  7. Sam says

    I agree with Crispy. It seems there is more to this story than has been reported. His JustUsBoys posts seem very level-headed. He is pissed off – and rightfully so. But I don’t get the sense from those posts that he was completely devastated or on the verge of ending it all over this incident. It also seems that he may have only been filmed making out with a guy, which is not nearly as big a deal as being filmed having intercourse.

    Some have speculated that he was closeted and the exposure is what caused him to kill himself. But he doesn’t seem very closeted. If he was bringing back guys to his dorm room, he ran the risk of bumping into any number of his friends and dorm-mates. Someone who is desperate to remain in the closet wouldn’t do that.

    The whole thing is very strange.

  8. MT says

    This story is grotesque on so many levels. Those two should be charged with manslaughter and be made to pay for causing this boy’s death.

    The fact that people are flaming his memorial page is revolting. That is just as unacceptable as the Westboro Baptist Church showing up at someone’s funeral and spouting their hate.

    Where are the consequences for these people? Usually when someone dies in a situation like this, people will sit up and take notice of the seriousness of the situation and express their outrage. When a gay person dies it’s mocked and ignored.

    I have never been more disgusted by the state of this country than I am at this moment.

  9. AG says

    I’ve just read the Gawker link with JustUsBoys posts. The author of these posts didn’t sound suicidal at all. In fact, he was working with the University to change a roommate. A very rational behavior. Gawker also claims that the same person had a cam4.com account, so he was rather comfortable with the idea of showing himself naked on the internet. It doesn’t make sense.

  10. Brains says

    It would be interesting to know what his parents felt about his sexual orientation, and how supportive they were of him as a gay person.

    Sad to say, I wonder if they are culpable in this action…we all know how that goes!!!

  11. says

    My heart aches for the families of Tyler Clementi and the young teens who recently were subjected to such relentless bullying that they saw suicide as the only way out. There is far too much evidence of a widespread disgustingly bizarre lack of compassion and civility in our society. In our youth, we all do some pretty stupid stuff but what this young man’s dorm roommates did to him is so disgustingly cruel in an apolitical way that one can only conceive that these two individuals have devolved into callous, unfeeling misanthropes incapable of truly atoning for their behavior.

    Unfortunately, too many people are wired like this and our society has a tendency to reward them. Look at ABC news media personality Laura Ingraham. In the 1980s, at Dartmouth, she sent sent, as reported by Gawker, ‘an undercover reporter to secretly tape a meeting of gay and lesbian students, under the auspices of pursuing a follow-the-money story on where a mandatory $100-per-student activities fee went. [She] then went on to print the names of those students, who had not been made aware a reporter was present.’ Her report at the time referred to the students as ‘cheerleaders for latent campus sodomites.’

    Later, she tried to make amends, especially when she found out that her brother was gay.

    How well did she learn her lesson? In her recent book, The Obama Diaries, which comprises completely fake diary entries by the President, she laced it with the most disrepectful racist stereotypes of the First Lady. Stephen Colbert called her out brilliantly on his show for this drivel.

    This is a sad, sad day. Apparently, some people are built incapable of truly mature, humane, remorseful feeling. I would hope that everybody here would be able to dignify the memory of those lost with sensitive, respectful comments. We should do everything to ensure that, indeed, it does get better, as in the mission of Dan Savage’s important project.

  12. JoeInSF says

    Tyler, we won’t forget you and will continue to fight like hell to make this country (and world) SAFER for LGBT people. In the end, we will win this struggle for all the tylers, seths, and ashers in the world.

  13. John says

    Our privacy laws were written long before anybody had Twitter, Facebook, or any of these social networking tools. Eventually, Congress will have to tighten the penalties for privacy violations of this nature. Because what happened here had the same reach as a television broadcast on a major network. And we are talking about someone who never, ever consented to being a public figure.

  14. Joe says

    This story actually makes me sick to my stomach. For a roommate to be homophobic, malicious, and hateful just doesn’t make sense.

    I hope they find a way to charge this guy with a lot more.

  15. Keith says

    It is with great alarm that I see bullying and hate spreading, not just in grade school and highschool, but also at the university level. Our campus here in California is dealing with an awful lot of hate speech and cyber bullying right now as well. What needs to be done is to tap in to the reasons why people feel they have the right to bully and intimidate others through anonymous channels. What is motivating the hate? Why are young people using technology to express such hate? Why aren’t adults stepping in and researching why our schools are producing such hateful behavior? Is this just the beginning of a national trend, or just a temporary blip in social history; as the LGBT group gains greater acceptance and rights in the public sphere?

  16. TANK says

    “What needs to be done is to tap in to the reasons why people feel they have the right to bully and intimidate others through anonymous channels. What is motivating the hate?”

    For what? Existential satisfaction in knowing why it happens? Why it happens isn’t going to shed any light on how to stop it. The vast majority of people, including so-called anti-bullying experts, don’t know anything how to stop bullying, because they fundamentally don’t understand what it is.

  17. patrick nyc says

    These two scumbags were not born with hate in their hearts, they were taught it by those who raised them. I hope they are charged with manslaughter and that Clementi’s parents sue both families for every penny they have. Money will not bring back their son, but it will send a message to other parents that their is a cost to teaching your children to hate.

  18. says

    Folks, let your brains do a little more work than your emotions here. First, the invasion of privacy charges are about the most appropriate and relevant ones applicable here. Murder charges, no legal basis whatsoever. Even involuntary manslaughter would be as difficult to sustain a legally acceptable argument. Check out Lexis. The suspects – cruelly irresponsible as they were — did not murder Clementi. However, they certainly were intent on deliberately humiliating him.

    And the pathetically amateurish detective thinking here (re: justusboys et al) is useless for any meaningful discussion. I doubt anyone here is privy to the material facts of the case that have yet to be fully collected and assimilated.

    As I mentioned earlier, some people are wired to be mean and doubly so. I guess some people would say that it was a prank gone astray. What the suspects did, however, was cross the line – a deliberate humiliation episode. To a mature, pragmatic, intelligent individual, that would seem as being excessively mean and potentially emotionally injurious. Admirable as Keith’s comments were, my mind falls more in line with Tank’s response. How does one teach disposition?

  19. Mark says

    I still wonder after all this time why there has been no announcement that the offenders have been expelled. I don’t expect them to be imprisoned or banned from any other college in the end, but I would expect them to be tossed immediately from Rutger’s.

  20. crispy says

    “the pathetically amateurish detective thinking here (re: justusboys et al)”

    Are you seriously suggesting that the JustUsBoys posts are not the same person?

  21. jamal49 says

    @TANK Every once in a while you get one right.

    I think the “Aldo Gutmann” who’s lousing up the Facebook memorial for Mr. Clementi is probably Andrew Shirvell (AG in MI).

  22. Sancho says

    Moral guilt is one thing, but criminal guilt is another: I can’t imagine any experienced (or inexperienced) prosecutor bringing manslaughter charges, much less murder counts in this case: the legal elements simply aren’t there. There is nothing intrinsically life-threatening in brutally humiliating someone, even if that person then chooses suicide. These students created a situation which this young man decided to resolve by killing himself, but they could never be held criminally liable for his death.

    On the other hand, I think the young man’s family could win a civil lawsuit affirming at least the roommate’s responsibility for his death, since the standards in civil court are different than the requirements for criminal conviction. On the other hand, the roommate probably has few assets and the judgment would be largely symbolic – as well as expensive for Clementi’s family, since the attorney’s billable hours to bring this action would add up to a subsstantial bill (and many attorneys, especially the best ones, will not pursue a case where the defendant has no means to pay the judgment). Also, it’s entirely possible that a jury could still decide that Clementi was ultimately responsible for his own death and find for the defense.

    Again, moral guilt is one question, legal liability another. It’s never good to mix the two up.

  23. things aren't always what they seem says

    On the article outlining JustUsBoys posts, someone left a comment that raises really important points:

    “No matter if all the clues seem to fit, and even if “cit2mo” was posting about the same actual incident, we need to be very cautious not to assume it’s fact.

    Same as the proverbial third person, “I have a friend who…” when seeking advice on a private matter, for all we know, “cit2mo” could be a close friend with knowledge of the situation posting in the first person. Just as plausible, (and not to add speculation) but to point: It’s just as logical “cit2mo” could even be the still unknown other victim(s).

    Isn’t it owed to Tyler the respect of further speculation concerning his state of mind…?”

    Think on that. ….

    Rutgers University will not release any information… So we don’t actually know if the incident(s) of violating privacy have been reported or if it’s been reported by multiple students. I’ve seen videos of “students” interviewed regarding Tyler’s death, but haven’t seen one of Tyler’s RA interviewed (which would seem likely if he actually did talk with his RA about the incident). I think the possibility that cit2mo COULD be another student going through the same thing elsewhere on campus is not that far fetched (who knows who Ravi might have been communicating with through his Twitter posts, possibly signal a friend to do the same thing to their roommate). And if the JustUsBoys posted are true (the person said he unplugged his roommate’s computer after he noticed it was aimed at him a second time)… how come none of Ravi’s Twitter feed read something like, “damn, he must’ve figured it out.. sorry no show tonight folks!”…?

    cit2mo could be a friend posting for advice on JustUsBoys under Tyler’s name b/c Tyler was too much of a wreck to talk about it… who the heck knows!

    The truth is that none of us know for sure. So we can’t act like we know. Things aren’t always what they seem.

  24. says

    If you read the post carefully, there is NO absolute confirmation. The caveats are even within the post. ‘Likely’ is not incontrovertible proof. You’re believing that the assumption has been verified. It’s ALL circumstantial at this point.

    As a writer, researcher, and journalist, I was trained to verify, verify, and verify every element and fact in an article, report, and presentation. A preponderance of any and all evidence requires you to eliminate all the probabilities of alternate explanations. That includes vetting all of your sources for credibility AND authenticity. And, that means considering the context within which the information is presented.

    As tempting as it might be to play a parlor game and guess what’s going on in the mind of a young man about whose tragically shortened life you have just come to learn the news of, I think it’s far more prudent to suspend judgment and comment until it indeed has been verified by the authorities.

    I believe the young man’s memory deserves a respectful sense of prudent judgment at this point. It is not to satisfy mere curiosity in the absence of fully vetted information.

  25. ratbastard says

    If only he hadn’t killed himself or had someone talk him out of it, my bet is he would have laughed about the whole thing in a few years. Unbelievable to kill yourself just over something as obnoxious but silly as this. His poor family and friends will never get over it. I can’t imagine the pain they’ll be at the Clementi family gatherings this holiday season.

    R.I.P.

  26. Windy says

    Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei, welcome to the world of civil lawsuits and say good-bye to your trust funds.

    Also, I work in the hiring process of a major corporation, and don’t imagine one moment, that their shameful involvement won’t be discovered each time they apply for a job.

  27. crispy says

    I don’t believe anyone here is suggesting that the JustUsBoys thread be presented as factual evidence by the District Attorney. And if a blog forum is not a suitable place for “parlor game” discussion and conjecture, then what exactly do you suggest blog forums are for?

    But honestly, you gotta be pretty fucking stupid to not realize that’s the same person.

    PS: Les Roka, no offense, but you’re sort of a douchey writer. Your copy carries that haughty, condescending tone that’s so common among “trained journalists.” Maybe you should have spent more of your time training to verify, verify, verify actually learning how to write, write, write the way real people read, read, read. Just one trained journalist to another.

  28. Marcus says

    It’s amazing how much the world has changed since I was in college. For me, this type of thing is common place, even a rite of passage in college. When I was in school we had to physically block the door when things were heating up because our RA would use his pass key to barge in with a Polaroid camera! If you got drunk and passed out at a party, you’d be stripped naked, drawn on, posed performing fellatio or something with someone else who passed out, pictures of all of it taken, and they’d be everywhere the next day.

    Yes, it is very sad that this guy killed himself. Yes, the homophobic comments of the memorial page and the comments when the video was being broadcast are horrible. My condolences go out to his family and friends. There is just something about this whole story that is off to me. Like why didn’t Clementi cover up the web cam? That would have been my second thing to do after barring the door. It seems he was out and active, so why the shame? Isn’t getting laid a badge of honor among college guys anymore?

    I don’t know, this all reeks of something more to me. Be it a 4chan prank or something more sinister.

  29. jomicur says

    Civility? We can’t even get a civil discussion of this on gay blogs. I’ve seen comments calling Tyler Clementi “stupid” for being so desperate/frightened he did what he did. And look at some of the comments in this very thread.

    The same human nature that causes bullying causes this kind of asshattery. It’s all–ALL OF IT–an illustration of human nature at its worst.

  30. ratbastard says

    ‘ Ravi’s friends say there’s more to the story, and tell the Rutgers student paper that on the first night Clementi asked to be alone in the room, Ravi spied via the webcam because he was concerned about his roommate’s guest:

    Students said Clementi asked his roommate Ravi to leave the room so that he could have time alone with a guest on the evening of Sept. 19. A strange, older male later arrived at the room, they said. Ravi went to Wei’s room, where he used a computer to access footage of the room from his webcam, they said.

    http://gothamist.com/2010/09/30/students_say_webcam_spy_guy_is_misu.php

    ************************************

    There’s much more to this story than currently known. It will come out.

  31. Robert says

    I know Andy is on vacation, but isn’t anybody monitoring the comments? Somebody please take down Mike NYC’s racist and dangerous remark. The horror of this tragedy and the despicable nature of the acts of the perpetrator bullies does not excuse such intolerance and bigotry. If there is one thing that this website and its readers must stand for it is a refusal to condone such commentary. Free speech rights on this blog ends where hatred based on immutable characteristics begins.

  32. Butch says

    One of the things I can’t stand about the Slate website is the facile contrarianism that is so common on the site. Today there’s “don’t rush to blame the accused” post there that’s truly warped.

  33. ratbastard says

    Butch,

    No one denies this guy Ravi was dicking around. No one denies that Tyler’s privacy was violated. What’s legitimately debatable is was it really malicious on Ravi’s part, let alone the chick, whose apparent only involvement is her laptop was used.

    Now an appropriate proportionate response, within the confines of the law, hopefully will be achieved in a court. Part of the problem I have is Tyler’s response was totally disproportionate and so wrong in many ways, it’s difficult to comprehend for many people. Two other lives are pretty much hanging in the balance here, and although Tyler chose the extreme measure of suicide, I don’t think the other two should be railroaded to satisfy bloodlust. I personally seriously don’t think what this guy Ravi did was meant to be malicious and I don’t doubt he’s as horrified as anyone at Tyler’s suicide. Surely no sane person can say Tyler’s response was appropriate and measured. There must have been other traumatic things going on in his life to cause him to resort to suicide.

    BTW: Apparently this Ravi dude is also gay. And apparently nothing was really recorded or broadcast, he was just talking smack. I say folks need to wait and see a little longer on this one, it’s not as clear cut as originally portrayed.

    ******************************

    Robert,

    Free speech is free speech. If someone feels they’ve been libeled, that’s what courts are for. No one who is intimate with any situation like this should be reading anonymous comments posted online anyways if they value their sanity.

  34. anon says

    It might have been murder. I mean someone that TC met somewhere, not his roommate and the woman. However, the Facebook page, if verified, would point to suicide.

    I thought about the invasion of privacy charge, and normally I don’t think it would hold up in court because Ravi was the roommate and therefore legally entitled to all room privileges, including surveillance. For example, Ravi may have been worried about theft from visitors. Therefore, he was entitled to film any visitors. This happens all the time with homeowners and parents. They will film robbers and babysitters that steal or abuse the kids. Of course, we all know about convenience store crime footage. As to posting the material online, this type of publishing might be illegal. However, that is not the major charge. Now, TC would also have all privileges too, and could have turned off the camera (as a practical matter in any event) if he had known about it. However, the law will have to decide if he were legally entitled to know about the filming beforehand. This I doubt because roommates can steal from each other. A final thing is that wiretap laws, which are often used for illegal surveillance cases, would not allow recording of sound, but still allow for images. For sound, the recording would have to be within “earshot”.

  35. Jake says

    I saw a new report earlier today showing a picture of the male roommate who did this to Tyler and HE looks like a BIG MO himself!

    There is way more to this story.

  36. Really says

    For heavens sakes! Tragic, yes, but this was not a grade school or high school kid.

    This isn’t 1950. Being outed, even in a humiliating manner should not be enough to make anyone commit suicide! This guy was f’ed up in the head.

  37. Sancho says

    I keep wondering about the other guy who came to Clementi’s room. Was he Clementi’s boyfriend? A friend with benefits? A Craigslist hookup? Surely the police are looking for him.

    And if Clementi was already out, then maybe his decision to commit suicide was related somehow to that guy’s identity or his relationship with that guy, rather than to the mere fact of being revealed as gay via the webcam.

  38. Joe32 says

    Poor kid..I read he walked a mile from his car to the bridge..can just imagine what he was thinking about while he walked, how alone he must have felt. The posts on the facebook page are terrible, the poor kid’s already dead, the homophobes got what they wanted, what, they want to go kick his dead body a few times too? I was watching some of the itgetsbetter vids on youtube, a nice start..RIP Tyler

  39. Randy says

    Some news pages have put the three photos together, the victim next to his two smiling murders. It’s revolting.

    This cannot be let slide. When you commit a crime, and someone dies as a result, even if it is days later, that is murder.

  40. says

    We want to fill up the student center multipurpose room on Monday Oct 4 at 7pm! Let’s show everyone at Rutgers who struggles that they are not alone!

    CONTACT: HeartStrong Inc PO Box 2051 Seattle WA 98111
    marc@meetmarcadams.com 206-351-9993

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 9/30/10
    IN THE SHADOW OF STUDENT’S SUICIDE, GAY AUTHOR/ACTIVIST MARC ADAMS VISITS RUTGERS UNIVERSITY

    New Brunswick, NJ – The Humanist Chaplaincy at Rutgers University and
    Rutgers Center for Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities present gay author and activist Marc Adams and his presentation, Hope Needs Only Hands & Hearts. The presentation takes place on October 4, 2010 at 7pm at the Rutgers University Student Center Multipurpose Room, 126 College Avenue, New Brunswick, New Jersey.

    “Ever so lightly, I ran the edge of the blade across my left wrist, This
    one, I thought to myself, would be for my failures. Switching hands, I ran
    the blade across my right wrist. This one would be for being gay. I turned
    the blade at an angle and continued to scratch my right wrist until the
    skin turned white. This wrist, the one I had marked to bear the pain of my
    homosexuality, in and of itself, was enough for which to die. The cut I
    would make would deliver to me my freedom. No more lies, no more ruined
    friendships, and no more shame.” Marc Adams’ autobiography, The Preacher’s Son, begins with a riveting journey through the darkest moments of the author’s life.

    “I was a junior at Liberty University,” Adams says. “I was tired of the
    bullying, the bullying I was doing to others and my failure to change my
    behavior from gay to straight. I felt so trapped. I couldn’t see my life
    progressing beyond that moment.”

    Adams’ visit to Rutgers University was scheduled many weeks prior to the
    recent suicide of Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers freshman who jumped to his
    death from the George Washington Bridge following the online broadcast of
    his romantic encounter with another male. For Adams, the stories of GLBT
    young people taking their own lives is a common occurrence.

    “Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth are four times more likely
    to consider suicide than their heterosexual counterparts,” Adams says. “I
    was almost one of those statistics. When you are in that place of darkness
    where you cannot see your heart in your own hand, it seems the only escape
    is to disappear.”

    After a lengthy journey to self-acceptance, Adams founded a nonprofit
    social justice organization appropriately named HeartStrong to make every
    possible effort to reach GLBT students from religious educational
    institutions. Adams is an award winning author of nine books including,
    Do’s and Don’ts of Dealing with the Religious Right and It’s Not About
    You: Understanding Coming Out & Self-Acceptance.

    “Hope is everything” Adams continues. “I will spend the rest of my life
    offering that hope to GLBT persons so maybe one day we won’t have to hear
    stories like the story of Tyler Clementi. When Tyler died, someone lost a
    son, someone lost a best friend, and someone lost their future. I have set
    the pattern of my life to inspire others to offer hope, too. I believe
    hope and human kindness can change everything.”

    ………
    We want to show any other fearful or isolated students on Rutgers campus that they are not alone! Let’s fill up the Multipurpose room on Monday!

    Here is a link to the Facebook event page: http://ow.ly/2MAYz

  41. Bill Perdue says

    This is the fifth, if my count is right, suicide of a young gay man in as many weeks. These ‘suicides’ are, one and all, murder by religious bigotry. Religion and the politicians of both parties who pander to religious bigots are the direct and sole cause of discrimination, harassment, violence, a terribly suicide rate and murder. Cult leaders and their political allies are the real criminals in these cases.

    The greatest failure of our movement is our inability to protect our young. Young LGBT folks are our children and we fail them time and again by not taking aggressive action to sue everyone in sight when this happens. They continue to pay the price for our inattention.

    We need first and foremost to mount a campaign to insist that Lambda Legal, NCLR and the ACLU handle these cases on a priority basis, duplicating the work of the Southern Poverty Law Center who broke the back of KKK, no easy task, with a robust campaign of lawsuits on behalf of the victims of racism.

    Secondly we need to demand the Congress criminalize hate speech because it promotes discrimination, harassment, violence, a terribly suicide rate and murder.

    Third, we should contribute to the Trevor Project.

    866-4-U-TREVOR
    866-488-7386

    http://www.thetrevorproject.org/suicide-resources/suicidal-signs

  42. Nyc411 says

    I am not a lawyer but I read that Ravi had tweeted 9 days before classes started how he just found out his roomate was gay. Then the tweets about how Tyler had asked him if he could have the room until midnight for company(obviously a man). The tweets about “it’s happening again”. Now again I am not a lawyer but that sounds to me like Ravi was fully aware that Tyler was gay and was now targeting him because of it. Is that not a Hate Crime and against the law in the state of NJ?

  43. ratbastard says

    2 things:

    1) A bully (who is not in any position of authority over her or his victim at least) can’t force another to kill themselves. This is 2010 not 1950. Tyler (R.I.P.) had many other SANE options.

    2) There have been a number of young gay suicides prominently publicized primarily on gay oriented websites recently. Guess what? There have likewise been one to many suicides of older gays, heterosexuals of all ages and genders, suicides from every race and ethnicity imaginable. Suicides are commonplace. Many sadly happen every day.

  44. ratbastard says

    Von LMO:

    That case you’re referring to I assume is what occurred in Massachusetts. It hasn’t gone to trial yet. And guess what? Although I’m in no way trying to minimize what her punk tormentors did, it’s come out she had a history of this type of thing in other places she lived, a history of mental illness, and a history of suicide attempts and cutting.

  45. Tonytate says

    @nyc411 I agree, I think the only reason he turned on the camera thus committing the crime was becuz he was gay and that should be a hate crime in NJ. Not sure if thatll happen tho

    Rat- sane options? The poor kid just found out his own roommate was spying on him, just found out lots of other students were in that girl’s room watching and laughing at him, laughing at what he was, he just found out that sick roommate was gonna do it again.

    Poor Tyler prolly thought college was gonna be different from high school and he was soooo wrong. He may have had other options but those two freaks drove him to kill himself..and they should be charged with a hate crime

  46. Mary Mother of God says

    @TANK

    We know very well what causes bullying. It is self-serving narcissistic aggression to dominate and oppress others. It’s a form of sadistic satisfaction.

    And Tank, you exhibit some of those tendencies politically.

  47. BobN says

    “Poor Tyler prolly thought college was gonna be different from high school and he was soooo wrong.”

    I think everyone should just take a deep breath and wait for the whole story to come out. But, since no one is doing that, I’ll jump in, too.

    I think that as far as Tyler was concerned, college was different. There’s no mention of him being out of the closet in high school. One source I read quoted a HS friend who said he was closeted. I’ve not read anywhere that he was bullied in HS. Tyler had decided that college was going to be different. No closeted kid tells his roomie that he needs the room.

    He thought he was going to be free. If the comments posted on Gawker are his, they show someone pissed off, not in despair. Of course, there’s no way to know what was going on in his head, but if you ask me, the truth about why he did this lies in what happened after he asked for a room transfer, in those last hours between lodging a complaint and taking his own life.

    I really hope we eventually find out, cuz I don’t think it was the video and the humiliation alone.

  48. Jerry6 says

    Ah; Yes! Good old Christian Religion strikes again. When are the Preachers and Priests going to be held responsible for any of their flock who commit crimes of bigotry? Without the preacher or the Priest, the culprit would never believe they are doing mankind a service by tormenting a Gay person.

    As in any disaster event; prevention is assured only when you get rid of the source. When are we going to start jailing these damned Religious Leaders?

  49. Realist says

    This needs to stop. I have nothing against homosexuals. Like you, I also agree that it was wrong for Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei to broadcast the video of him. But ask yourself the following questions:

    1. Would you even have heard of the name ‘Tyler Clementi’ if he didn’t commit suicide?
    2. Assuming you did, would you actually go out of your way to download a gay porn video?
    3. If he never jumped off the bridge, would you remember his name as the dude who had homosexual sex 6 months down the line without someone refreshing your memory?
    4. Now that you know that he died, would you remember his name a year from today?

    Seriously people. This is NOT the first, nor the millionth time a porno of a student was leaked onto the internet. See if you can even name two students who had videos released off the top of your head.

    He’s a caucasian, American citizen attending a pretty good university with loving parents and a future ahead of him. Years down the line, no one would care about what happened. He was lucky enough to have made it in life this far so there is absolutely no GOOD reason to cut it short. So what if his reputation has been destroyed? He’s not the only one. Life isn’t always smooth sailing, especially for homosexuals. When you trip, just pick yourself up and move the f*ck on.

    But killing yourself? Really? That’s so selfish. If anything, he made his situation worse by making it public and it’s getting out of hand. The media needs to stop praising and sympathizing him. He’s not brave, nor is he a hero. He took the easy way out by committing suicide and at the end of the day he’s just a self-centered coward.

  50. Chaq says

    Wow – there are some really nasty, ignorant, and disturbing comments on this thread – how sad :(

    All I can *hope* for is that Tyler and the tens of thousands of beautiful young “queer” people across the world who’ve taken their lives, or had their lives taken, over the years, are now resting in the loving arms of a God(ess) who I do hope is out there.

    We need to be there for our brothers and sisters, and do everything we can to comfort them and offer help in times of distress. I’ve ‘been there’ for severely depressed and suicidal friends and family members, and honestly, it’s been exhausting, tiring and always heart-wrenching, but I’ve learned that ‘sucking it up’ and just being a loyal and loving friend has constituted some of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I urge others to do the same. Some say that altruism, beneficence etc. are self-serving indulgences, and I don’t know, maybe that’s true in some ways, but helping others is important for *them*, and that’s what really matters.

    Can we just be there for each other so these awful experiences don’t occur so frequently? I hope so…

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