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Monica Lewinsky Says She Empathized with Tyler Clementi Over Public Online Humiliation

Lewinsky

Monica Lewinsky is talking about her affair with Bill Clinton in a new Vanity Fair profile, and talks about why she's going public:

When Tyler Clementi, the 18-year-old Rutgers freshman who was secretly streamed via Webcam kissing another man, committed suicide in September 2010, Lewinsky writes, she was brought to tears, but her mother was especially distraught: “She was reliving 1998, when she wouldn’t let me out of her sight. She was replaying those weeks when she stayed by my bed, night after night, because I, too, was suicidal. The shame, the scorn, and the fear that had been thrown at her daughter left her afraid that I would take my own life—a fear that I would be literally humiliated to death.” Lewinsky clarifies that she has never actually attempted suicide, but had strong suicidal temptations several times during the investigations and during one or two periods after.

Lewinsky writes that following Clementi’s tragedy “my own suffering took on a different meaning. Perhaps by sharing my story, I reasoned, I might be able to help others in their darkest moments of humiliation. The question became: How do I find and give a purpose to my past?” She also says that, when news of her affair with Clinton broke in 1998, not only was she arguably the most humiliated person in the world, but, “thanks to the Drudge Report, I was also possibly the first person whose global humiliation was driven by the Internet.” Her current goal, she says, “is to get involved with efforts on behalf of victims of online humiliation and harassment and to start speaking on this topic in public forums.”

More at VF...


Tyler Clementi's Story to Be Told by SF Gay Men's Chorus in Musical Suite

On March 25th, the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus will premiere a series of songs, "Tyler's Suite," celebrating the life of Tyler Clementi (right). The college student was himself a musician before his suicide in 2010, which in turn prompted a great deal of national discussion surrounding the issue of LGBT youth and bullying.

ClementiThe musical piece will be comprised of multiple movements written by some of today's great composers, including Stephen Schwartz, and is being presented as part of a larger performance titled "Luster: An American Songbook."

BroadwayWorld.com reports:

"As a soundtrack of American life during the time of the Great Depression and two world wars, the American Songbook consists of timeless music that translated positive values and an optimistic spirit," says [Artistic Director Dr. Timothy] Seelig. "The Chorus continues that tradition, presenting a new set of songs by today's premier American composers, offering hope and bringing to light the important cultural issues of today through the story of Tyler Clementi."

...

With the help of the Tyler Clementi Foundation, SFGMC commissioned a musical work that will add eight new songs to the soundtrack that is the American Songbook of the 21st century, honoring the memory of a beloved son, brother and friend. "Tyler's Suite" creates a new story of inclusion, dignity and acceptance for other youth and their families, through a musical experience that inspires community, activism and compassion. The story is one of hope and encouragement to families everywhere.

Other composers involved in the project include "John Bucchino, Ann Hampton Callaway, Craig Carnelia, John Corigliano, Nolan Gasser, Jake Heggie, Lance Horne, and Pamela Stewart." The piece will also be performed by gay men's choruses in Chicago, Los Angeles, NYC, San Diego, Dallas, and Seattle.

Visit the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus website for tickets and more information.


National Cathedral Dean: Homophobia is a Sin

Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 4.23.51 PMAs part of a weekend honoring LGBT young people at the Washington National Cathedral, Rev. Gary Hall (pictured right) spoke out against homophobia and heterosexism, denouncing both as 'sin.' The Huffington Post reports:

"We must now have the courage to take the final step and call homophobia and heterosexism what they are. They are sin. Homophobia is a sin. Heterosexism is a sin. Shaming people for whom they love is a sin," said Dean Hall. He continued, "Only when all our churches say that clearly and boldly and courageously will our LGBT youth be free to grow up in a culture that totally embraces them fully as they are."

He criticized the role that some churches have in advancing oppression of LGBT youth, saying, "It's more than tragic - in fact it's shameful - that faith communities, especially Christian ones, continue to be complicit in putting out children at risk and abetting the attitudes that oppress them, thereby encouraging the aggressors who would subject our children to pain, humiliation, and violence."

Hall's sermon marked the 15th anniversary of the death of Matthew Shepard and the third anniversary of the suicide of Tyler Clementi. Both Judy Shepard and Jane Clementi were at the Sunday service to honor their sons' lives. 

Back in January, Rev. Hall announced the prominent Episcopal cathedral would begin celebrating same-sex marriages.

(photo via National Cathedral


Tyler Clementi Center Established at Rutgers University: VIDEO

Clementi

The Tyler Clementi Center at Rutgers University, in honor of the student who took his own life in 2010 after being spied on and harassed for being gay, was established on Monday, the Star-Ledger reports:

The center will focus on helping students make the transition from home to college. It will also offer lectures and training on issues related to bullying, the misuse of social media and suicide among gay youth.

“Through the Tyler Clementi Center we have the chance to impact not only young people at Rutgers, but young people across the nation,” said Joseph Clementi, Tyler’s father, at a ceremony announcing the project.

Several hundred people, including students, gay rights supporters and mental health activists, attended the ceremony at the Rutgers Visitors Center in Piscataway. The Clementi Center is a joint project by Rutgers and the Tyler Clementi Foundation, a non-profit group started by the freshman’s family after his death.

Additionally, legislation was introduced to coincide with the announcement of the center:

During the ceremony, Rep. Rush Holt (D-12th Dist.) announced he and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) reintroduced legislation in Congress today that would require colleges to have anti-harassment policies. The Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act was first introduced shortly after Clementi’s death, but did not gain enough support to become law.

Holt said the legislation would make grants available to help colleges find creative ways to battle bullying and help students in Clementi’s memory.

You can donate to help fund the center at The Tyler Clementi Foundation website.

Watch ABC7's report on the announcement, AFTER THE JUMP...

(via david mixner)

Continue reading "Tyler Clementi Center Established at Rutgers University: VIDEO" »


News: Tyler Clementi, Twitter, Stacey Campfield, Ghana

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Tennessee Senator Stacey "Don't Say Gay" Campfield starts his interview with TMZ just the way you'd think he would. By declaring that "the biggest bullies in the world out there is really the homosexual community."

Tylerclementi6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d On Monday, Rutgers will officially open the Tyler Clementi Center: "The work (at the Center) would examine not only bullying and youth suicides, but also topics like how young people use, and abuse, new technologies."

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Justin Bieber goes horseback riding in LA.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d The White House releases proof that President Obama used a gun at Camp David.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Alabama gay rights group calls for removal of teacher who called gays "an abomination against God. Says GLBT Advocacy and Youth Services: "This is wrong, unethical, unprofessional, on so many levels, that there should be no question that if it is verified that this happened in a classroom, that this teacher should be removed from his position."

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Senator Ann Romney?

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Frank Ocean won't be pressing charges against Chris Brown.

Lana6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Lana Del Rey covers the latest issue of Numéro Tokyo magazine.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Ghana President John Mahama: "Homosexual conduct which is unnatural carnal knowledge of one person or another is criminal and punishable by the laws of Ghana."

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d The HRC backs Christine Quinn for mayor.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Twitter hacked: "The San Francisco company said it identified this week computerized attacks that may have accessed limited information such as Twitter user names, email addresses and encrypted passwords for 250,000 Twitter users."

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Arrests made yesterday during protest of nudity ban in San Francisco.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d No shadow for Punxsutawney Phil means an early spring.


Rutgers Has Seriously Beefed Up LGBT Inclusion Since 2010

RutgersLGBTTyler Clementi's suicide opened the nation's eyes to homophobic bullying, but no place was deeply impacted as Rutgers University, the New Jersey institution where Clementi had just started his freshman year. Since Clementi's death, the school has vastly improved its LGBT outreach and extracurricular efforts.

According to The New York Times, Rutgers Center for Social Justice Education and L.G.B.T. Communities' budget has expanded from $45,000 the year Clementi died, 2010, to $70,000 today.

And campus participation too has become a cornerstone of the University's fight against anti-gay attitudes:

...Today, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students and their supporters can choose from four specialized housing options, three of them new, ranging from a service to pair them with like-minded roommates to Rainbow Perspectives, a floor in a residence hall organized around common interests. They can now turn for support to the 130 staff and faculty members who have been trained as official campus liaisons, or to the graduates of a new training program for “allies,” whose inaugural session is already booked to capacity. This year’s edition of a handbook that lists campus resources for “queer issues” is 92 pages long.

And this week, Campus Pride, an organization that rates schools based on the inclusiveness of their policies, upgraded Rutgers’s main campus in New Brunswick to the maximum rating, five stars. Out of the 32 possible categories in which a school can distinguish itself, Rutgers scored in 31.

Though there's no way to completely eradicate homophobia, it's clear that the inclusive culture is gaining ground, and outright anti-gay sentiments are clearly becoming less socially acceptable. "A lot of people who might be homophobic probably won’t say so because of the consequences they can see can happen," said Robert S. Goopio, president of the school's gay fraternity, Delta Lambda Phi.

Perhaps the most telling manifestation of an increasingly aware campus is the consistent run on "ally" lapel buttons being provided by the Social Justice Center. They're being snatched up faster than the school can make them.


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