Raymond Chase, Openly Gay College Student, Commits Suicide

Raymond-Chase-1 I'm afraid I must deliver some more bad, horribly familiar news: a 19-year old college student named Raymond Chase has committed suicide. Chase, a student of culinary arts at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, hung himself for reasons that remain unclear. Regardless of his motive, this is a horrible tragedy.

The gay group Campus Pride sent out a statement about Chase's death: "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,” remarked the group's executive director, Shane Windmeyer.

“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.”  

With all the attention surrounding Tyler Clementi's suicide, it would be nice if the White House and other political forces came out and made a statement about this devastating, disturbing trend. Think they will?

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  1. It might look like cherry-picking to focus on instances of LGBT suicide, but in reality, the research has shown that LGBT youth are at a greater risk of suicide. This is a specific subset of the greater suicide problem.

    Also, this is a gay blog.

    POSTED BY: JACK | OCT 1, 2010 10:37:43 AM


    I am OF COURSE aware suicides are higher among gays of all ages, and that this is a gay blog.

    Adding another dimension to this old story I thought would be interesting, instead of post after post basically saying the same thing(s).


    Posted by: ratbastard | Oct 1, 2010 12:00:10 PM

  2. The White House has already said something: "Stop Whining!". There's our fierce advocate..

    Posted by: Dave | Oct 1, 2010 12:09:26 PM

  3. Why the mention of both Obama and Oprah? What do they have to do with this story?

    Posted by: Dc | Oct 1, 2010 12:44:29 PM

  4. @David C

    The Werther Effect, you mean?

    It's always a fear in cases like this, that's why I feel that the President should address this, somehow.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Oct 1, 2010 12:48:43 PM

  5. I actually agree with DC. Why bring Obama and Oprah into the story of these horrible and sad suicides? There are so many leaders in America of all races and professional positions that we may conflate with this problem. Why doesn't Barbara Walters give a speech; or Katharine Jackson? It takes nothing away from this tragedy to say that there are countless deaths and problems across the country and the world. Just this week it was confirmed by the UN that Israel openly executed an American citizen on the Gaza flotilla this summer. President Obama has not said anything about that either; nor has he said anything about Tibet; or the death of Eddie Fisher.

    I actually think the national response to these horrible suicides has been excellent. The news media is publicizing these deaths beautifully and many str8 people that I know are outraged in ways that I've never seen before.

    I was affiliated with a local gay youth group called SMYAL for awhile. I learned then that gay youth commit suicide at disproportionately high rates. But only this month have I seen this level of outrage OR, even more importantly, these suicides as being directly linked to homophobia.

    Posted by: veg | Oct 1, 2010 12:54:58 PM

  6. Why it is news when any gay student commits suicide? I mean, when there is a strong suspicion that’s the consequence of bullying etc. well… but if each and every time someone takes his life becomes news, then sadly it’s gonna be a long list of reporting, and the effect will be that the news will be overlooked.
    We know that social pressure, bullying and lack of support can increase the rate of suicides among gay teens over their straight peers, a fact that should be addressed but transforming the site into an obituary won’t help.

    Posted by: Lexxvs | Oct 1, 2010 1:22:09 PM

  7. The correct syntax is "hanged himself", not "hung himself".

    Posted by: Asher | Oct 1, 2010 1:22:47 PM

  8. It would be nice if political leaders, including Obama, addressed homophobia, bullying issues, and youth suicide. The bully pulpit, despite its name, is meaningful.

    But Andrew's question seems gratuitous provocation in this case--it would be odd for Obama to specifically address unique tragedies that may or may not signify a trend, particularly when several are under investigation with the possibility of criminal charges. Unfortunately, there are enough tragedies in the world that the president could address them 24/7, but that's not really his job.

    Making everything about Obama's response (or lack thereof) is an easy political sidetrack. The more difficult and meaningful question is what can we, as a society, do to stop bullying and let young people know that there are alternatives to killing themselves.

    Posted by: Ernie | Oct 1, 2010 1:35:28 PM

  9. "Barack Obama has displayed a profound and determined indifference to our lives and our rights. How could anyone expect that to change now?"

    This comment is win. The Democratic Party views us as expendable tokens who make convenient ATMs when election season comes around. They will do something for us that matters when it's clear there will be no political risk for doing so.

    Until then, expect noting from them.

    Posted by: missanthrope | Oct 1, 2010 2:13:40 PM

  10. @ERNIE

    Thank you. SANITY. Some here would have every situation like this be a political whip to lash anyone that isn't doing something specifically for them. LGBT suicide is an absolute tragedy that must be addressed by everyone, but to turn it into another political litmus test is absolutely sickening.

    Posted by: jjasonham | Oct 1, 2010 2:31:00 PM

  11. I came across a great video on how we can end teenage bullying:
    Hope it helps!

    Posted by: Mark | Oct 1, 2010 4:14:09 PM

  12. MY HEART GOES OUT TO YOU FRIEND!!!! We need to fight back!! if someone tries to bully or bash you.....PICK UP A BRICK AND BEAT THE HELL OUT OF THEM!!!!!

    Posted by: shannon | Oct 1, 2010 11:00:10 PM

  13. Here's an ACTION sending a letter to the President asking him to SPEAK OUT on homophobia, bullying and equal civil rights for our people.

    LET THEM HEAR US:!/event.php?eid=122170697838697&ref=ts

    Posted by: Tif | Oct 1, 2010 11:21:20 PM

  14. Send the White House a COMMENT:

    President Speak OUT against homophobia, bullying and for our equal civil rights please!

    Posted by: Tif | Oct 1, 2010 11:24:12 PM

  15. Obama doesn't support gay rights.

    (Which, from his actions as President, is self-evident.)

    Before he was elected, he mouthed the words his advisers had told him were the ones gay people would want to hear. Because it would help him get elected.

    You won't again hear anything remotely like it--not from Obama--at least, not until we're a lot closer to Nov. 2012.

    Obama promised to close Guantanamo and roll back the anti-Constitutional excesses of Dubya. Instead he's defending and expanding upon that legacy.

    Dyxj! We've got to stop having daydreams that this ineffectual [tovl will do anything helpful.

    And start doing what needs to be done, ourselves.

    Posted by: cwm | Oct 1, 2010 11:56:13 PM

  16. To Aaron the post about his mother disowning him.

    You have no idea what u are talking about. U need to mind your freaking business and take about shit u know.

    Posted by: denise | Oct 2, 2010 10:38:59 AM

  17. to Aaron
    You should mind your fucking business and talk about shit u know. His mother never disowned him and neither did his family.

    Posted by: denise | Oct 2, 2010 11:33:49 AM

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