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Gay Ohio Student in Coma After Attempting Suicide Following Bullying at School: VIDEO

Austin Rodriguez, a gay teen at Wellsville High School in Ohio who came out of the closet 6-8 months ago and immediately faced bullying from fellow students, attempted to take his own life last Friday by swallowing pills, and remains on a ventilator in the hospital, WFMJ reports:

RodriguezShe says at first her son appeared happy and relieved [after coming out], and then she thought he may have been going through a depression and asked him about it several times, but he never really explained the extent of what he was going through...

...From what his mother has learned, the bullying was not only cruel, but enough to make a teenager who was already introverted, feel like an outcast. "It was electronic, it was face to face bullying, they were hiding his gym clothes because they didn't want him changing in the locker room with them. They didn't want him to eat by them, or in the school lunchroom," Rodriguez said.

The Wellsville mother prays that what happened to her son will spark open discussions on the issue of bullying in school. She warns parents that if you feel there's something going on with your child, trust those instincts and be aggressive in getting to the bottom of it.


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  1. Poor kid.I hope he'll be ok.

    Posted by: Miguel | Mar 23, 2012 12:32:57 PM

  2. I am so grateful he failed in his attempt at suicide and pray he pulls through his coma. My heart breaks for him and his family.

    Posted by: KP | Mar 23, 2012 12:47:41 PM

  3. So "it gets better", does it? That is far too simplistic a message to send to vulnerable teenagers, without even knowing what level of animosity their gender expression might trigger. Dan Savage is so self-centered, he's divorced from reality. His much-ballyhooed IGB Project is myopic, irresponsible and dangerous. Our kids need PROTECTION. Our kids need adults who offer them more than empty, smiley-faced platitudes.

    Posted by: Stuffed Animal | Mar 23, 2012 12:55:31 PM

  4. here's why you're an idiot, Stuffy -

    Dan Savage is not the It Gets Better Project. And the It Gets Better Project is not Dan Savage.

    "simplistic message"

    Curious - what's stopping YOU from making your own video, or series of videos, where you give a more specific, applicable and useful message of hope and HOW to make things better?

    Seriously - what's stopping you? You hate dan savage. Congrats. You also hate non-Christians, as evidenced by your own blog where you tout that Jesus is the Only Way.

    so, you take your selfish time in a thread UNRELATED to the IGB to b**ch about Dan Savage again.

    you could very well be making your own videos wherein you share the messages that you feel the IGB videos are not doing.

    which is odd, as the IGB project can involve ANYONE - ANYONE can make a video and share ANY specific message that they feel is helpful.

    Your obsessive hatred with Dan Savage is pathetic and renders you useless.

    What are YOU doing in the world, besides complaining about Savage and those of us who self-identify as Queer?


    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Mar 23, 2012 1:01:52 PM

  5. And, in further news, water is wet and christians still hate us.
    No, the "It gets better" project is not going to help with the haters in the short-term.
    In fact, with every step forward we queers take towards the full restitution of our civil rights and the recognition of our human status, the hateful christians are going to more and more viciously aggressive.

    The attacks on those of us least able to defend ourselves, the queer children, will continue to increase. Indeed, should the Republicans win in November, we will see a short span of terror against queers and women such as this country has never seen since the attacks on 'uppity' Negroes for demanding their rights in the early '60s.

    So - shall we all just shut up and stop trying to help the children? Or, should we keep trying our very best, as Dan Savage has done, as have the many thousands of contributors to "It gets better".
    I vote that we keep fighting.

    Oh, and, yes, any way we can help this poor child and his family to fight back in Ohio, we should.

    Posted by: enough already | Mar 23, 2012 1:12:39 PM

  6. It Gets Better has saved COUNTLESS numbers of lives. Dan Savage is doing something to protect LGBTQ (and straight) youth. Unless you yourself as an individual can say that you are doing something to make a change, you have no right to criticize Dan or anyone else making a positive impact, making a difference.

    With that said, it's not enough, because the reality is............it ain't gonna get better in Ohio (and similar states) anytime soon. Religious homophobes, hyper-masculine dudes with identity problems, ignorant idiots, they aren't going to immediately change their ways of thinking. Things have definitely gotten better, except for the fact people who hated us before, for the most part, still hate us now, in many cases, more than ever. And their kids, the society these bigots reside in, reflects that. That is the problem. As a community, we have to continue to educate, continue to fight for our youngest.

    Most importantly, LGBT folk and straight supporters these areas that are HIGHLY VULNERABLE to homophobia HAVE to do their part. Gay people in these communities have to come out of the closet and give gay youth people to talk and look up to and some semblance of community within their communities. Parents of gay teens HAVE to do their part in listening to their children, being involved in their lives, and being proactive whenever they first find out that their children are facing any sort of discrimination. The reason why kids in these communities are attempting/committing suicide is because they feel helpless, hopeless and alone. That can change, but it's up to all of us, and specifically people in these at-risk communities, to stand up and make a difference. Instead of talking about it, we got to do something about it.

    Posted by: Francis | Mar 23, 2012 1:36:32 PM

  7. Stuffy, what have you done besides gripe on this form. You sound like a presidential candidate, this has to be done and that has to be done and nothing ever gets done. Get off your stuffed butt and help Dan get the word out. Trust me Dan is more real than you will ever be. He has a voice, he speaks out. What are you?

    Posted by: Tim | Mar 23, 2012 1:40:50 PM

  8. the IGB campaign was never intended to be "the only solution" - merely one of MANY ways that people can, for FREE, send messages of hope, inspiration, and directly-applicable actions to make life better for LGBT people, and youth.

    nothing is stopping anyone from making their own video where they share a message they feel would be most beneficial.

    thanks to the IGB campaign the non-gay world is, for the first time ever, actually giving a f**k about LGBT Youth suicides, despite the fact that the rate has NOT increased. This problem has been going on for a LONG time - it's just that nobody talked about it.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Mar 23, 2012 1:43:34 PM

  9. Stuffy's message is "it only gets better if you believe in Jesus. if you dont' you're gonna go to hell when you die"


    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Mar 23, 2012 1:47:56 PM

  10. Poor kid probably watched the "Testimony" video and all the old, ugly people saying it gets better and saw through that sham (bitter snark, that).

    Posted by: TJ | Mar 23, 2012 2:15:45 PM

  11. From the beginning, the IGB message should have included a warning not to come out unless it's absolutely safe. Because it hasn't been included in any of the zillions of versions, I have to conclude that IGB was either more sentimentality from the self satisfied crowd, or was hijacked by celebrities and activists willing to use others as pr.

    Posted by: Wilberforce | Mar 23, 2012 2:22:09 PM

  12. Wilberforce, there is not "IGB" message - there are only individual messages.

    perhaps some of YOU guys only searched for "celeb vids"

    LGBT YOuth certainly didn't. There are countless videos out there from young people, gay and straight, who are offering direct and specific messages of HOW to make life better, and addressing those concerns you just raised.

    nothing is stopping you, for example, from making a video where you lay out a safe and applicable plan for How To Come Out.

    i've done it. others can do the same.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Mar 23, 2012 2:26:50 PM

  13. Little Kiwi, when it comes to Stuffed Animal, he's definitely no friend of mine; but on this one, it looks as though you're the one being somewhat naive.

    It's become obvious the It Gets Better Project has become nothing more than a feel good project, elitists and oligarchs, and politicians running for office or seeking reelection. How can you sit there in front of your PC, reading of Jamie Rodemeyer, Eric Borgas, and now this kid and be in denial?

    Posted by: Nelson G | Mar 23, 2012 2:38:11 PM

  14. Get stuffed, stuffed. The ItGetsBetter project has helped teens. I have MET teens that are helped by these videos. At the youth shelter I work with weekly there are tons of kids that watch these videos for comfort. I also know ADULTS who have benefited from these videos.

    Dan Savage has done more for the LGBT community than anyone that comments on this blog, get over yourself.

    Posted by: Bryce Ageno | Mar 23, 2012 2:39:00 PM

  15. WilberForce, Dan Savage has stated many times that you should only come out when it is safe to do so. The IGB project isn't supposed to solve homophobia it is there as a coping tool for a lot of teens and even some adults. It wasn't hijacked by celebrities, it is important for heroes or what some teens consider "role models" to state that being gay is OK.

    Your criticisms are callous and frankly, ignorant.

    Posted by: Bryce Ageno | Mar 23, 2012 2:42:55 PM

  16. To those of you bashing the 'It Gets Better' movement....what the EFF have you done for our gay kids?! List them. List everything you have done for GAY YOUTH. Not self serving things for *you* to gain equality but our gay youth. Aside from making sassy little comments on a gay blog...what have you done to help our vulnerable gay children?


    Posted by: Kevin C. | Mar 23, 2012 2:45:46 PM

  17. Nelson G do you work with LGBT teens at all? Well I do and I can tell you that these videos are a comfort for most of them. Also, the IGB project has helped me personally.

    I wasn't out till my 20's and one of the first things I did as an out man is join the Microsoft IGB video. It got better for me and it is still getting better, I met my first bf though the filming of the video and wonderful members of a community that I wasn't yet integrated into.

    Posted by: Bryce Ageno | Mar 23, 2012 2:47:19 PM

  18. I truly feel the most vulnerable, overlooked, and abused sector of our worlds entire population is gay children. I sincerely say that with great confidence.

    Gay children often have absolutely -zero- support around them. When I say zero, I mean zero. Their families will rather them be homeless than know they are gay. Their peers constantly pick on them for even suspecting they are gay. Churches tell them they will burn in hell, and politicians say they would rather they not even live in this country. Imagine hearing all that at 11...12 years old. Knowing (or feeling) like the entire world hates you.

    We're failing our LGBT kids and every single adult LGBT has a responsibility to contribute to helping here.

    Posted by: USC Trojan Fan | Mar 23, 2012 2:49:04 PM

  19. I recently decided to become a mentor at our local Gay and lesbian center for LGBT questioning and LGBT open kids. Let me tell you, it has been the most eye opening and emotional experience of my life.
    You guys have no clue what some of them go through! none. To those of you who judge them, or consider them weak, you are absolutely clueless. Go become a mentor for an Gay and lesbian center that helps GLBT youth and list to their personal stories of what they endure. It will rip your heart out.

    Posted by: Michelle | Mar 23, 2012 2:51:29 PM

  20. To those of you that reject the 'It gets better' project...do you suggest we not talk about this issue? that we ignore it?
    Admit it, those of you who resent the 'It gets better' project are the same that resent and criticize every single gay oriented movement. You see visibility as bad. You believe silence is the best treatment and resent that there's orginizations that champion vocally our rights and respect.

    If some of you had it your way, we would all pretend our problems don't exist, because your ignorance dictates that adressing problems makes them grow bigger. I pity that fool...

    Posted by: IonMovies | Mar 23, 2012 2:56:29 PM

  21. "Denial" about what? Here's the facts: for the first time in history, straight people are talking about the LGBT Youth suicide rate.

    yes, there are still gay suicides. but unless you can empirically show how the suicide rate has increased (which it hasn't) then I'm not sure what you're complaining about.

    what's stopped YOU from making a video, or series of videos, wherein you give applicable advice to LGBT Youth?

    my family and I have made numerous videos, not just saying "wait it out, it gets better" but showing, and giving, directly applicable advice for LGBT and non-LGBT people to make life better for themselves and others.

    the vast majority of the videos are made by your everyday folks. not celebs. not policians.

    everydaypeople, gay and straight, sharing their own experiences and messages of hope and solidarity.

    again, you can't blame a "celeb" for making a message you didn't relate to when you yourself didnt' share a message that you feel would be more relevant or useful.

    check this out- mi familia


    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Mar 23, 2012 3:04:47 PM

  22. Michelle, I know exactly what you are talking about. The only problem is, it is very hard to shield your own mind from the stories of these kids. I become so full of anger and sadness, it is very overwhelming.

    Posted by: Bryce Ageno | Mar 23, 2012 3:07:41 PM

  23. I wish there were easy answers. Don't come out unless it's absolutely safe - yeah, and when, exactly, will that be? Don't get me wrong. I absolutely agree that the message to kids be one of exercising caution and prudence - because, that's such a wheelhouse for teenagers, right?

    It's hard to kow when it's absolutely safe. And it's hard to be absolutely ready for consequences. That's why it's so important to offer support, even though the flaw and catch 22 is that someone has to accept that they need help, and then be willing to get it. Working at universities and trying to organize therapeutic support groups was very frustrating. The "out" kids didn't think they needed support. And those willing to admit individually that they were having issues were reluctant to join a group (of course, that was true for most areas of concern; stigmas hold people back in many ways).

    My one bit of advice would be that parents accept but not accept what their kids tell them. Don't take refuge in the "okay" response to "how are things going?" Keep asking, keep letting them know that you are willing to give and/or get help.

    At least, the IGB videos are something positive, however flawed and imperfect. For a kid with no family support, whose only friend is the computer screen, it's better than nothing. When it's not enough, do what you think will help. Don't just qvetch.

    Posted by: TJ | Mar 23, 2012 3:24:59 PM

  24. *tosses purple roses to TJ*


    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Mar 23, 2012 3:29:45 PM

  25. *tosses purple roses to TJ*

    LOL. Not a high five or a bro' bump, mind you, but a toss of purple roses.....

    Just what a conflicted gay teen male athlete wants to hear in his hour of need.......

    Posted by: Rick | Mar 23, 2012 4:26:59 PM

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