Bullying | News

Bullied Gay Ottawa Teen Jamie Hubley Commits Suicide; Like Jamey Rodemeyer, He Documented Troubles Online

Hubley

Another horrific gay teen suicide caused by bullying, I'm so sad to report.

Gay 15-year-old Ottawa, Canada teen Jamie Hubley killed himself on Friday. Bullying was apparently to blame, the Ottawa Citizen reports. And like the recent bullying suicide of Jamey Rodemeyer, Hubley documented much of what happened to him online:

Jamie Hubley documented the final month of his life in heartbreaking and painful detail.

The 15-year-old boy, a son of Kanata South Councillor Allan Hubley and his wife, Wendy Barber, kept a blog in which he wrote openly of his struggles with depression and the challenges of being an openly gay teenager.

Like Rodemeyer, he cited pop stars he loved and made videos on a YouTube channel.

The paper adds:

A gifted actor and singer — he loved Lady Gaga, Adele and Katy Perry, and posted numerous videos of himself singing on his personal YouTube channel — Jamie wrote a month ago that he was looking forward to taking dance lessons this winter. “Something to look forward to,” he wrote. But he also wrote of his sadness and despair, about being called a “fag.”

In a post three weeks ago, he said he was depressed, that medications he was taking weren’t working, and that being gay in high school was so hard — a thousand times harder in real life than on the popular television show, Glee, which he loved. “I hate being the only open gay guy in my school ... It f---ing sucks, I really want to end it,” he wrote.

The blog postings are interspersed with angst-filled quotes and startling images of self-harm — gathered from all over the web, as well as other pictures of celebrities, clothing and men kissing passionately.

Here's Hubley's YouTube channel, and a tribute tumblr. Jamie's final blog post, below.

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A cover of Lady Gaga's "Born This Way", AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. When I was bullied at school, at LEAST when I went home, it stopped. I didn't have Facebook to continue the bullying around the clock. Maybe these kids should be cut-off from the internet, if they are havign such a hard time. Use that time to strengthen the relationships with their parents and family, so they are better equpped to handle the bullying at school.

    We have got to get some solutions for these kids.

    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | Oct 17, 2011 12:07:53 PM


  2. @Zell
    "Is it because Jamey and Jamie were bullied more?"

    Perhaps they were more sensitive - like canaries in a landmine. Perhaps homophobia was tolerated in the world around them - in a way that, say, racism, wasn't. In other words, it irresponsible to attribute it to mental illness.

    Posted by: Eugene | Oct 17, 2011 12:09:57 PM


  3. Because, Jamie, your insistence on "Mental Illness" as the be-all and end-all to this problem is (to put it mildly) dangerously simplistic.

    People who kille themseleves aren't all "crazy." My friend Anthony Hollad went as far as he could go with "full-blown AIDS" until he reached a point where he could no longer go on, and with great care, planning and consideration committed suicide.

    An earlier poster asked why "three more years" was too long for these kids to wait to be free of th pirson that is "Middle School." That's fogetting how time warps when you're being persecuted day after day after day. The reust is kids -- even those aware of the fact that "it Gets Better" like Jamie Rodemeyer -- find they can't see a future. To say they're mere'y "Mentally Ill" is to dismiss what's at stake here. Moreover it subdivides those gay kids being subjected to homophobic atack. Those who "take it" are apprently of better quality than those who can't -- and are therefore "Mentally Ill" for killing themselves.

    You're really a pro when it comes to playing "Kick the Corpse" Zell.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Oct 17, 2011 12:13:39 PM


  4. I know that we have all asked these questions before... "how many have to die, before it stops?" "Who can help these kids?", etc... but is anyone really DOING anything to help them. Making a video and posting it on the internet is one thing (remember the yellow rubber bracelets... it was the "in thing" to do). .. talking about how it is going to "get better" sounds great coming from a person who has made it through the other side of this kind of torment... but what are WE (THE GAY COMMUNITY) really doing to help these kids? Is there a hotline that they can call? Is the Lambda Legal/ACLU actively involved in pursuing and prosecuting cases of bullying that result in suicides? Are there plans in place so that if a kid needs help, they can get out of the environment, quickly, to potentially save their lives? There are so many "practical" things that could be done to help these kids that I just don't see happening.

    Who is the philanthropist out there who will start a foundation to save these kids on a large scale, mobilize resources and give more than just lip service to helping them out? Tim Gill, Cyndi? Others? I'm calling on you guys, because you appear genuinely interested and have access to the money and power structures needed to organize something of this magnitude. Short of folks like these, who else can devote the time/money/power to create something large enough to address this increasingly desperate situation?

    I love the "grass roots" idea, but at some point, you need a person with the money, voice and access to power to make a change of this magnitude as quickly as this is needed.

    Who is it going to be?

    Posted by: BobinBoulder | Oct 17, 2011 12:20:14 PM


  5. You obviously have an archaic and rather insulting idea of what it means to be mentally ill, Ehrenstein. Who said anything about anyone being of "better quality?" And who used the word crazy--you did! And you STILL didn't answer how excusing bullying (which I didn't do) would benefit me at all, as you stated earlier.

    The only thing "irresponsible" here is reporting on the suicide of a smattering of mentally ill teenagers, attributing it to bullying, case closed, and then when copycat suicides happen, blaming THEM on bullying, too.

    Posted by: Zell | Oct 17, 2011 12:24:03 PM


  6. Andy, please stop glorifying these acts of self-murder. I know your intentions are good – I love this site and read it many times daily – but bestowing attention and celebrity on these kids is literally dangerous. Other kids who are prone to suicidal thoughts and actions may hope to be glorified here as well. I'm not angry. I don't think you're screwing up royally. I just want you to understand that there are better ways to go about addressing these kids' pain. Making each one famous, even if for an hour or day, isn't the way.

    Many years ago the CDC published guidelines for the media to help prevent suicide contagion. Contagion is a real problem – it's not a theory; we've seen it happen many times, most recently and famously at NYU. And I'm afraid we're seeing it again. I'm writing as a guy who knows more about this than your average person. Tragically I lost a sibling to suicide ten years ago. Again, I think what you're doing, generally, is great. Your politics are spot-on, and of course I know your heart is in the right place. But please reconsider the attention you're bringing these kids in their afterlives.

    I know this is a heated topic, so to remove it from context, here's a piece I wrote about suicide contagion regarding the financial crisis. In it, you'll find a link to the CDC's guidelines.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/douglas-faneuil/suicide-contagion-will-ma_b_155727.html

    I want these suicides to end as much as anyone. I know we all do. You just need to look at this problem from a slightly more clinical perspective. We as doctors and professionals understand a lot more about the hows and whys of suicide than most people realize. Contagion is a serious threat, and it CAN be avoided. We just have to be careful – and not trust too deeply in our common sense.

    Thanks for listening. I really hope you understand.

    Posted by: dougfan | Oct 17, 2011 12:27:07 PM


  7. "a smattering"

    Well isn't that special. Guess there'll have to be be more corpses piling up to please your demanding taste, Zell.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Oct 17, 2011 12:28:07 PM


  8. "It doesn't matter that there a smattering of gay blogs-and I repeat smattering..."

    This one statement throws all the rest of what you wrote in doubt. A "smattering"? If you were an extraterrestrial on the Internet for the first time today, you would know there are more gay blogs than there are enough days in your life to follow them all.

    Why minimize the reality that there is no shortage of online resources for gay people?

    Posted by: ohplease | Oct 17, 2011 12:30:03 PM


  9. You are disgusting, David, and I'm done arguing with you. The fact is, people here WANT bullying to be the cause, because it gives them something to rally behind. They (you) are using these kids as martyrs for their own cause. And no matter how noble the cause is--trust me, I know how difficult bullying can be and I know what a problem it is--it's not worth the lives of more kids.

    We will never stop bullying. NEVER. There is absolutely no way to change whatever it is about human nature that causes the weaker minds among us to prey on those perceived as weaker than them. So instead of blathering on about what can be done to prevent bullying--and again, the answer is NOTHING--our time and effort would be better spent on getting people like this the help that they need.

    Posted by: Zell | Oct 17, 2011 12:34:07 PM


  10. @Zell

    Why are the teenagers "mentally ill", though? Do you believe it has nothing to do with bullying and homophobia?

    We know that gay men are much more likely to kill themselves. Does it mean that homosexuality is a mental illness that leads to suicide? Or does it have something to do with the world around them?

    And, yes, there are "copycat suicides" - but they only demonstrate that other teenagers are in the same painful position. So it's ridiculous to pretend that "contagion" is a serious issue.

    Posted by: Eugene | Oct 17, 2011 12:42:21 PM


  11. It's not just because of "being gay" - everyone was bullied at some point in their life, for having a belief or simply out of jealously. You have to learn to deal with it, it's part of life. People aren't always going to like you, they will express that, and that's that. Especially when you are in the minority, the majority will disapprove. As a vegan, a minority, I know this well. The ideal is to overcome it and move on, show those people that you're stronger and unaffected by them, even doing better than them.

    I put more suspicions on the medications he was taking, if serotonin levels drop low enough, you'll desperately want to kill yourself no matter what.

    Posted by: OccupyReality | Oct 17, 2011 12:43:28 PM


  12. To Jack M. This is not the result of a Christian Society. A true Christian knows of the preachings of Jesus and would never treat one of His own children this way. I hate that this is such a big part of society now. We need to learn to live together and embrace everyone as our equals. Different isn't bad! Different is what makes us beautiful. My heart to you Jamie. I would have loved you no matter what!!!

    Posted by: Karrie | Oct 17, 2011 12:45:27 PM


  13. No, Eugene, I don't believe that it has nothing to do with homophobia. You're right, the statistics say that gay men are more likely to commit suicide and there is definitely something to that. I do believe, however, that to take a case like this and say that bullying was 100% the cause and then to ignore all other factors that might be present is incorrect and, frankly, dangerous. Of course people commit suicide for their own specific reasons. But, as Occupyreality said, lots of people are bullied, lots of people go through bad times, and most people don't commit suicide. There has to be something different about the ones who do, something that is present in them or their situations but not in other people (or vice versa).

    And I don't agree that it's ridiculous to pretend that contagion isn't a serious issue. When we make heroes out of these kids, other people who are in the same painful position, as you say, are going to want to follow their example so that THEY can be tragic heroes, too, and everyone writes songs about them and feels sorry for them. That seems like common sense to me.

    Posted by: Zell | Oct 17, 2011 12:50:30 PM


  14. I could try to think rationally about this, as most of you do, and discuss the why's and the wherefore's but I'm too broken up.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Oct 17, 2011 12:50:31 PM


  15. I'm not going to address the shrill(s) by name, but when people within your own community use words like "mentally ill" or trivialize the death of teenagers by saying it's just a "smattering" of them who are mentally ill, there really shouldn't be any wonder why LGBT teens feel hopeless in many situations. In our own community we have people blaming the kids for their own death and saying it's a result of problems they have, and not the situations around. Sort of highlights what these kids are dealing with. They feel like no-one understands them whatsoever.

    BTW, we need to stop looking at celebrities to do our dirty work. We need to stop criticizing each other. None of us are at fault for this. Doesn't mean we can't all do more. But ultimately, it's a COLLECTIVE effort of people in these communities (and all communities) where bullying and homophobia is most prevalent to do their part to prevent situations like this occurring, both in the home, on the street and in the schools. Rome wasn't built in a day but something can be done to make sure that these areas/schools/etc. aren't as hostile towards gay youth as they are now.

    Posted by: Francis | Oct 17, 2011 12:51:46 PM


  16. Gay teen suicide is tragic but I'm not sure if we should all blame it on "bullying" since there seems to be disparity in group incidence. Most of the reported cases seems to be white males. Most minority gay teens have to face homophobia in their communities (church) and even at home....in addition to good ole racism and bullying from outside society. Yet documented report seem to indicate suicide rate is higher for white teens...many of whom come from a good home and middle-class background.

    Posted by: upsetter | Oct 17, 2011 12:56:19 PM


  17. What Francis said.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Oct 17, 2011 12:57:56 PM


  18. Look, I'll answer Francis since he's clearly referring to me, at least in part. I think people here have a TERRIBLE association with the phrase "mentally ill." I'm not dismissing their suffering, I'm trying to explain it in a way that can be dealt with realistically, as opposed to people who cry "bullying!" and cluck their tongues and say that "something" simply MUST be done. Does everyone think that people who are diagnosed with a mental illness are merely being written off as unredeemable? If so, you're only revealing your own prejudice.

    Posted by: Zell | Oct 17, 2011 12:59:40 PM


  19. Well according to Zell "We will never stop bullying. NEVER. There is absolutely no way to change whatever it is about human nature that causes the weaker minds among us to prey on those perceived as weaker than them."

    Kind of invitation on oyur part to "Take the gas pipe!" isn't it Zell?

    After all these "weaker minds" need to be separated and cordoned off lest "contagion" set in. And we all know what "weaker" means -- GAY.

    Internalized homophobia, your magic spell is everywhere. Right Zell?

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Oct 17, 2011 1:04:42 PM


  20. Zell I think people have a problem with your original post because it was so black and white. These kids are obviously more susceptible to bullying. There is a reason why gay teens are more likely to attempt/commit suicide. We need to address the whole problem and not one aspect.

    Posted by: Bryce Ageno | Oct 17, 2011 1:06:45 PM


  21. It is worrying to read he was prescribed anti-depressants. There has been a documented link, and a warning issues, that such medications often increase the risk of suicide. The FDA made such warnings and there are too many physicians who are ignoring them and prescribing psychoactive drugs to kids.

    Posted by: cls | Oct 17, 2011 1:08:48 PM


  22. @Zell

    Have you actually read the post? Jamie had been taking medications. Someone clearly had explained his suffering "in a way that can be dealt with realistically" - and we know how it ended. So maybe the people who cry "bullying!" are actually right.

    Posted by: Eugene | Oct 17, 2011 1:15:47 PM


  23. R. You make a great point. If I understand it, you imply that some of these suicides arise because of institutional homophobia that prevents children knowing about the homosexual community. You also imply the fault of institutional anti-intellectualism which fails to give teens the tools and confidence to develop objective means of understanding and evaluating their lives -- they have no means for approximating this outside of public opinion, rumor, and stereotype.

    Posted by: Chuck Mielke | Oct 17, 2011 1:19:19 PM


  24. I hate to martyr these children, but this should be a wake up call to the gay community. I do volunteer work at a youth shelter (25-40% LGBT youth) and I know of only 1 other LGBT person volunteering there on a regular basis. I am a fervent atheist, but the people I work with are mainly all religious. I hate to say it, but talk is cheap, get out there and do something!

    Posted by: Bryce Ageno | Oct 17, 2011 1:20:00 PM


  25. I would like to understand how a disorder like depression is being so highly critiqued as though it is an "insult". Mental illness is no different than asthma. Why is everyone so angry with Zell for describing chemical depression, which is what this child had obviously if he was being medicated for it, as a mental illness.

    Quit demonizing mental disorders. That would be a starter in helping to prevent teen suicide. By accepting that in some people their genetic markers predispose them for a chronic disorder enables them to get the help that they require. It is dangerous to politicize what could be a medical issue. Dangerous and counter-productive.

    In the United States there are 75 million school-aged children attending public schools. Let's say that the 1 in 10 ratio of gay to straight is applicable then that means that 7.5 million children in public schools are gay.

    If gay bullying is so pervasive that all gay children are affected enough to promote anti-bullying legislation than the proportionate numbers of suicide to the general population is less than 1% of all gay, bullied children commit suicide.

    This is directly proportional to national teen suicide averages in general, thus making it a mental health issue like Zell suggested.

    You can be suicidal and chemically depressed without killing yourself, and then be met with a "trigger" such as these two young men that puts you over the edge.

    Does that mean that the cause is the trigger, or is it a dopamine or seratonin deficiency?

    I'm not arguing that his death wasn't directly related to his sadness over being bullied, nor am I arguing that chemical depression does not contribute to it.

    I'm stating that the issue is complex and I'm not at all certain that Zell should be met with such vitriol for suggesting that suicide as a public and mental health issue should be considered and addressed.

    I'm also stating that I think that being offended by mental illness is medieval thinking. Someone chemically depressed with a bipolar disorder or borderline disorder can no more help the fact that they have this disorder than someone can help orientation. It just 'is'.

    Posted by: Rin | Oct 17, 2011 1:21:50 PM


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