Gay Buffalo Teen Kills Himself After Years of Bullying: VIDEO


Jamey Rodemeyer, a 14-year-old gay teen from the Buffalo, NY area, killed himself last weekend after what his parents say was years of bullying, WIVB reports:

Soon after coming home from a family camping trip, Jamey was found dead Sunday. His parents say he was always under pressure because of struggles with his sexuality. Jamey’s mother Tracy Rodemeyer said, "So he hung around with the girls a lot, so then the teasing started happening like 'Oh you're such a girl or you're gay or whatever and that bothered him for many years."

Jamey’s father Tim Rodemeyer said, "To the kids who are bullying they have to realize that words are very powerful and what you think is just fun and games isn't to some people, and you are destroying a lot of lives."

Buffalo News adds:

On Saturday night, he posted a lyric from Lady Gaga's song "The Queen" on his Facebook page: "Don't forget me when I come crying to heaven's door."

Then around 1:30 a.m. Sunday, Jamey posted two final messages to his main public Tumblr blog. One said he really wanted to see his great-grandmother, who had recently died, and one offered thanks to Lady Gaga.

That was his last entry.

Jamey was very active online, with a Tumblr blog, and YouTube account. He "routinely blogged about school bullying and thoughts of suicide in between upbeat posts about his pop star idol Lady Gaga" and posted to his followers about National Suicide Prevention Week, the paper adds.

He even recorded an 'It Gets Better' video.

Watch Jamey's heartbreaking video, and a news report, AFTER THE JUMP...

WIVB report:

Parents carry on anti-bullying message:

The Gay and Lesbian Youth Services of Western New York can be reached at 855-0221 or .

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

USA National Suicide Prevention Hotline
24/7, Free & Confidential

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  1. Gay Culture is ALL about "being a man" Diego.

    And "being a man" is not the one-dimensional anal retentive dweeb known as "Rick"

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Sep 20, 2011 7:20:41 PM

  2. "a HUGE finger needs to be pointed first and foremost at the Religious "Conservatives" who teach parents, teachers, and coaches that anti-gay bullying is somehow acceptable in any way"

    And HUGE finger needs to be pointed at Rick.

    Internalized homophobia is a disease. Happily it's curable. But in Rick's case I doubt it.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Sep 20, 2011 7:29:49 PM

  3. TJ to MICHAEL - not single, monogamously partnered for almost 25 years. But if I'm ever free... ;>)

    Posted by: TJ | Sep 20, 2011 7:45:10 PM

  4. This kid went to my high school. I can't believe there are still idiot kids in Buffalo who taunt gay kids around, but that suburban mentality of minority bashing is sadly the norm. The culture has to change, it's the same "no homo" and "fag" lyrics that these bullies idolize that gives them license to torment kids like Jamey, and someone from that hip hop world has to stand up and say, shut the f*(@ up kids and respect your gay friends. If every major recording artist who these biggots worship would come out with a definitive stance against homophobia, I guarantee we'd be better off. This has to be a bigger effort.

    Posted by: Jeff | Sep 20, 2011 8:12:46 PM

  5. I hope the rotten kids who literally teased this boy to death burn in hell! They may be kids, but they're old enough to know better. and I hope this haunts them for the rest of their miserable lives and I think their parents should be ashamed of the way their kids turned out. Totally disgusting!

    Posted by: shle896 | Sep 20, 2011 8:13:57 PM


    Posted by: Mick | Sep 20, 2011 8:18:56 PM

  7. @TJ Yes, my friend, you are very, very confused, as are many of these people.

    "But I find it very natural to become emotional, to empathize, to foster relationships, and - most of the time -
    nurture. All of these are considered feminine attributes and behaviors."

    Actually, that depends. In this culture, it is perfectly acceptable for men to "foster relationships"....but only with WOMEN. In most non-Western cultures, the principal emotional bonds of men are to other men and romantic love for women is considered a frivolity, not to be taken seriously and certainly no basis for marriage.

    You see, you are so much a product of your culture that you, yourself, buy the notion that your perfectly natural feelings are "feminine"--and so you classify yourself as "feminine" for having them.

    Now, that said, the men in non-Western cultures who are bonded emotionally do NOT condone effeminacy--they bond with each other in a uniquely masculine way that has nothing to do with women or their ways.

    This is why I pity so many of you at the same time that you anger me. You are victims of this culture but just lack the wide-ranging experiences and intellectual breadth to grasp that, which is necessary if we are to create something truly new and better. You are stuck in the old paradigms without even realizing it and you misguidedly think the solution is to attack masculinity (which is futile) rather than to re-define it.

    You want to throw the baby out with the bathwater rather than just cleaning up the bathwater itself.....and that is where enlightenment is needed.

    Posted by: Rick | Sep 20, 2011 8:37:10 PM

  8. "Basically, you're saying that men need to have female friends for their emotional sustenance, right?

    Wasn't that *exactly* what led you to believing that Jamey was too effeminate? Because he had too many female friends?

    Make up your damn mind before you, y'know, slaughter us intellectually"

    @Graham In spite of yourselves, some of you are beginning to get it, whether you recognize it or not. What gay men and straight men in this culture have in common is their excessive dependence emotionally on women, although it takes different forms. Both have difficulty relating to other men and the consequence is unhappiness in both cases.

    Changing that fundamental problem requires a return to a natural state in which women are not central to the lives of men, socially or emotionally. And ALL men would benefit from that, regardless of sexual orientation.

    But in order to achieve it, the happy medium has to be reached, away from the extremes of a gay culture that embraces effeminacy and a straight culture that forbids any intimacy between men.

    Posted by: Rick | Sep 20, 2011 8:43:32 PM

  9. @Rick,

    you can only speak for you, just as I can only speak for me. You bring up "other cultures", but you are making a global synthesis of certain tribes, etc. because it meets your agenda, no different than Pat Robertson or other TBs out there.

    The problem isn't that people aren't segregated enough or that people aren't lined up the right way and in the right box. Humanity has ALWAYS chosen to label, group, creates cliques, etc.

    Gay men are just two people of the male sex who are attracted to the male sex. That's it. All of you are more different than you are the same. Some gay men, perhaps read Harlan Ellison. Some gay men might read Oscar Wilde. Others might like Tom Clancy. Every human being is unique.

    Some have peanut allergies. Some can eat peanuts but shellfish will kill them. Some gay men only like brunettes. Others are less particular.

    YOU choose to miss my point which is that true tolerance is about people respecting the desires of an individual to pick and choose whatever he or she want to do in life, regardless of why.

    I had a starter jacket in high school because everyone else got one. Didn't mean that I didn't love the starter jacket. It was my choice to buy it because the other kids had it, was I being a sheep? Yes. Still my choice.

    Later, I decided to wear combat boots with skirts because NO ONE was doing it (at the time).

    We are all of us allowed to try different things, to conform or not to conform. We are allowed to exist--we have a right to exist in peace and not be schooled by anyone--not you, not our parents, not our one on HOW we should be.

    We are spiritual creatures having a human experience.

    That young man...all we know of him are some videos and blogs--not enough to judge what he felt like, or didn't feel like. Not enough to know if he really liked Lady Gaga or just pretended to be effeminate to get girls to hang out and be his shield. We don't know if he would have wanted to play football or basketball. Maybe he wanted to be a MMA fighter? Who knows.

    We know the choices he DID make for himself and all of us should respect them--especially now that he is gone.

    What we should not respect is how he was treated by others!

    @Rick, I used to be like you but in the opposite direction. I had a nose ring, was a riotgurrl, all that garbage. Then...well, I had some seriously otherworldly shroom experiences--no judgments! That led me to believe that I could be male, female, dolphin, or whatever and I am still a divine creature deserving of love and to love others for the spirit within them.

    To quote Yoda, we are more than this mortal coil. To group and cluster people and deny their infinite-ness, their unique spirit is what has cause all of the social ills since the dawn of time.

    Different "groups" have been in charge, different cultures...but it has always spawned selfishness and cruelty eventually because that is what groups do.

    The way out is as the Buddha taught, as Jesus in the GOSPELS taught and that is through accepting we are spiritual beings and being above the petty fray of human selfishness.

    LOVE, Rick, is the only way through. Had that boy been loved, had others been taught to love...this tragedy would not have happened.

    Posted by: Rin | Sep 20, 2011 8:59:42 PM

  10. Is it terrible that I was disappointed this article wasn't about a gay teenage buffalo?

    Posted by: Nick | Sep 20, 2011 9:00:22 PM

  11. RICK - when, and how, did I attack masculinity? The attacking here seems to be done by you, by decrying the feminine. And the qualities I mentioned ARE considered feminine in this culture, and are not necessarily embraced as desirable ones for "real" men. So you don't have to pity me, and can clearly agree that I am confused, what would constitute, to you, acceptable masculine identity and behavior, and what would be suspect? Just keep in mind that just because something is how things have "always" been or seems universal, it doesn't make it the best for everyone or even anyone.

    Posted by: TJ | Sep 20, 2011 9:14:37 PM

  12. Why did we fail him?

    Posted by: Jorge | Sep 20, 2011 9:53:46 PM

  13. There ARE gay male role models out there.

    Anderson Cooper, Neil Patrick Harris, Matt Bomer, Ian McKellen, George Michael, David Sedaris, Bryan Singer, Michael Stripe (REM), and many many more. None of which may be considered "femme" and "girly".

    The problem is not that there is no role models. Our attitude as a country towards gay youth must change.

    Posted by: Jay | Sep 20, 2011 10:23:01 PM

  14. @BEAHBEAH,

    I cannot believe the sheer ignorance being spouted by some people on this board. The idea that masculinity and femininity are genetic traits is absolutely laughable. Gender roles are social constructs, period.


    Tell that to David Reimer

    You should be ashamed of yourself, sprouting such B.S.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Sep 20, 2011 10:54:17 PM

  15. When I came out as a 'youth', I was sorely disappointed in the gay 'community'. 99% of gay organizations were run by and designed for 'effete', or semi-effete dudes. I'm neither nor am I 'butch'. I did not fit in, and the cliquish effete 'dudes' who were [are?] the face the gay 'community' shows the world were/are a**h***s [and bullies] in their own right. Gay 'pride': dudes acting like chicks, dressed as nuns,'twinks', and 'daddies', bears, etc. in leather. I'll NEVER fit into any of these 'scenes'.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Sep 20, 2011 11:18:43 PM

  16. RAT - what if, because of Reimer's particular, inborn potential, the reassignment had been successful? What if this had been a happy accident, that they made a a girl out of a boy, and she liked it?

    Nature AND nurture. It's not one or the other. The "acceptable" expression of gender is, largely, a social construct. Sure, from a very early age, kids seem to glom onto and prefer "typical" gender expression. Boys tend to prefer rough and tumble play, and parallel play. Girls tend to prefer relational play. Kids seem to identify with the "right" gender and adopt the "appropriate" behaviors. But not everyone. If we insist on the "correct" behavior from everyone, we are assuming that one size fits all when one size rarely fits anyone.

    Should I have been forced to play with toy soldiers as a child? Even though my brothers all did, it didn't interest me in the slightest. At age six, I wanted to plant a garden. I did not dream of t-ball. When I drew pictures, I preferred drawing flowers and animals to pictures of monsters wreaking destruction. Should my crayons have been taken away? Should I have been to forced to watch sports on TV with my brothers and father when I really preferred reading? Was the fact that I built forts nullified by the fact that I also enjoyed building a house and playing "family" with the neighbor girls? Should I only have been praised for playing flag football with my brothers and friends, and rightfully shunned for joining chorus
    (yeah, that one officially labeled me a sissy). My individual nature, despite the nurture of my environment, drew me to non-normative gender expression.

    If we insist on "correct" behavior, let's all sign up for reparative therapy right now, because "gay" isn't typical. But I would argue that it is natural for me. I would also argue for living and letting live. That includes accepting that some people are a lot more effeminate than I am personally comfortable with. Because I think it is damn manly and masculine to be the best "me" I can be without unnecessary compromise, and also to not feel the need to force others to conform.

    Posted by: TJ | Sep 20, 2011 11:54:38 PM

  17. ok so now everyone is pointing and lashing out on rick yes he is arogant and needs to realize what being a mature man is however we are no better then him if we start acting out and pointing out everything he says as wrong and the comment saying he deserves to die alone we need to be the better person and help this family get through this tragic time rip jamey you will forever remain in our hearts <3

    Posted by: lovable teddy | Sep 21, 2011 1:36:08 AM

  18. OMG. What a tragedy. This poor little man! I can't believe some people can be so mean and hateful. Rest in peace, Jamey!

    Posted by: Andreas | Sep 21, 2011 4:52:27 AM

  19. OMG, another young life? I'm just sick to my stomach :( what can we do?

    Posted by: Grego | Sep 21, 2011 9:07:55 AM

  20. Rick -- You definitely have some interesting points of view. I cannot agree with most of them and they leave me wondering how you are qualified to make these opinions. But nonetheless, I wish you love and I hope that you can come to terms with the variations in the human psyche that make us each individuals. It is not wrong to be an effeminate man or a masculine woman or anywhere in between. Culture may have something to do with it. So does genetics I am certain. At any rate, regardless of how this boy's personality was, he never deserved to be made to feel worthless. He was worthy as a human being and his family and friends will miss him. My heart goes out to them. And although I didn't know Jaymie, somehow I feel the world is just a little bit less wonderful without him.

    Posted by: Michael | Sep 21, 2011 9:22:40 AM

  21. @TJ and RIN Still missing the point, I see.

    There is nothing wrong with INDIVIDUALS expressing their INDIVIDUALISM.

    Can a man who likes football also develop a quirky interest in needlepoint? Sure, it's possible. Should he be discouraged from doing so? No. Is there anything wrong with it? No.

    THAT is individualism.

    What is NOT individualism is deliberately and consciously patterning ALL your behavior on the opposite sex rather than your own and behaving in an artificial manner as a consequence of that. And that is what you find in most effeminate gay men. They are about anything but expressing their individualism--indeed, they are not individuals at all, but automatons who eschew all things masculine because they believe that their attraction to men makes them unworthy of any masculine activity.

    They try to walk like women, even though their physiology is not designed for such a walk, they try to talk like women, even though their vocal apparatus mitigates against it (ergo the truly gross sound of a deep-throated drag queen), they form friendships only with women (as this boy did)......they even use the female vernacular to refer to themselves and other similar men (she, her, etc.)

    They are psychologically damaged individuals who are living symbols of the oppression of gay men, giving concrete expression to the societal notion that being attracted to another man makes you forfeit any claims at all to masculinity.

    It is pathetic in the year 2011 that some of you continue to revel in your oppression rather than rejecting it--as Diego pointed out earlier, at a certain point in history, such behavior might have served a purpose, but now the only purposes it serves are a) to thwart progress for all of us by reinforcing the lies that have always been told about us, and b) to make the lives of gay men themselves miserable and to bring about the kind of self-destructive behavior we saw in this instance.

    It needs to go--yesterday.

    Posted by: Rick | Sep 21, 2011 10:20:31 AM

  22. So how will you remedy this, RICK? How will you get these lost souls to see how universally disgusting and self-hating they are? What will you forbid? Where do you draw the line between individualism and "don't even think about it, you sissy!"? What qualifies as a quirk, and what as an abomination? Will you outlaw earrings? Hair dye? Pink shirts? How soon do we start the training? Do we tell little boys that "real men don't cry" - because that has been done by those who believe they know what real masculinity is - or will crying be okay as long as you don't do it like a dreaded girl? Do we forbid all female relationships - no playing with girls, little boy? Do we proscribe the sort of play, or do we allow all sorts just as long as we eschew any hint of behavior that might resemble that of the opposite sex? And do we do this for just the sissy boys, or do we do it for all boys (heck, why do straight boys need to understand girls anyway, when the best relationships are with guys and women are an unpleasant necessity for procreation)? What are the signs to watch out for? Do we forbid listening to certain types of music - I know that Lady Gaga will be at the top of that list - and only allow sanctioned stuff - real guy music like, say, rock? As I asked before, what do YOU, the obvious (albeit self-appointed) expert, sanction, and what do you see as suspect? How do you get people to conform as you see fit?

    Posted by: TJ | Sep 21, 2011 11:22:07 AM

  23. @TJ

    first, you amaze me.

    Second, I'm realizing that I'm done with arguing with Rick. The divergence in thought is because he is not a parent. So he sees things from either his limited worldview or from a philosophy he has adapted. He has no practical experience in raising children, so he does not really know what he's talking about.

    He has not watched a family of kids grow with the same parenting skills and be completely different. He hasn't had the privilege of watching them choose their likes and dislikes at very young ages. He doesn't realize that kids choose for themselves at a really young age what they like. They are not influenced at 3 by stereotypes. They just like what they like.

    I have one daughter that wears everything pink purple or red--that's it. No other colors. Loves sparkles and all that, but doesn't play "girlie" things. She wants to play sports, drive her motorized car around, work on it, and take Kung Fu.

    I have one daughter that wears boys clothing because she likes having tshirts with "stuff on it". She wanted her hair cut in a short bob so she doesn't have to fuss with it, but...she likes playing with dolls, drawing, dancing, and singing.

    One is boy crazy and wants to get married to this stupid kid in her 1st grade class, and the other one has boy "friends" but said that boys can wait until college.

    Yes, as kids grow they might see a group that they want to identify with and their natural inclinations may either become more pronounced--or, they may even be subverted, but this is not necessarily wrong. It shouldn't be denied them.

    We should all be allowed to choose or not choose how we act, self-identify, or who to love.

    He has said more than once that heterosexual men need to loosen or be freed from their strict and rigid ideas on sexuality--and yet would he appreciate women saying the same of him?

    He has said more than once that men are inclined to act a certain way due to chemical and biological factors--and yet, he does not.

    I think that male, female, gender, sexuality are all sort of like the Pirate's Code--more like guidelines than rules.

    Whatever you not wrong. It may be wrong for others, but it is right for you.

    I am trying to work out how I feel about transgender issues for this reason--that I worry that people have "feelings" and then see only two options. When I see what they must go through to exercise one of those two options, I worry that society is not doing these individuals a disservice by saying that if you feel X then your body must look like X, instead of allowing people to just fly free.

    This is something I will need to come to terms with because I have traveled all over the world and have decided for myself that nothing good comes from labels, cliques, and boxes.

    I come to this website to read and gain insight on issues that I'm sort of pondering.

    I got mad at Rick yesterday because I saw that little boy and my mother's heart went out to him. Today, I'm less vitriolic about it.

    Rick's opinion is his and it's certainly an interesting one.

    Posted by: Rin | Sep 21, 2011 12:24:16 PM

  24. RIN - just spent way too much time on a post to you that, for some reason got rejected. Out of time now. One point: I'm really glad that some people I know who were berated as sissies remained defiant, and grew up to be the successful, happy, fabulous and, when it suits them, flamboyant men they are today. Not my style, but my style doesn't have to be theirs just as theirs need not be mine.

    Posted by: TJ | Sep 21, 2011 1:39:32 PM

  25. @TJ I pointed out to you in a previous thread that most straight men "instinctively" know what masculinity is; I honestly think most gay men know, too--after all, they worship it relentlessly, don't they?

    It is not as complicated as you are trying to make it. It really isn't. If it were, then the vast majority of men all over the world would be struggling with it, but the truth is that they are not.

    As far as how to change gay culture, we need to focus on the young. Provide them with masculine role models and give them ready access to them. One of the problems is that most "out" gay men are the effeminate ones, who are not out in most cases out of conscience but simply because their effeminacy makes them so obvious that it is a foregone conclusion.

    We also need to pressure the media to get rid of characters like the effeminate gays in Modern Family or Glee or Will and Grace and instead provide characters that are strong, masculine gay men in leadership roles in society.

    I have no illusions about how difficult and painful social and cultural change can be--and I certainly believe that beyond a certain age, patterns of behavior are I see no real way of trying to change older people.

    But the young are another matter. I cannot help but think that if this boy had gotten the proper attention when he was struggling with his sexuality, his fate could have been avoided....and the proper attention obviously does not consist of Lady Gaga CDs and "It gets better" videos.

    Thank you for at least being open-minded. I understand the hostility that comes from the fear of people who feel threatened by change, but these discussions are essential if we are to progress.

    Posted by: Rick | Sep 21, 2011 2:32:24 PM

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