Update: I’m leaving this post up for the weekend because it’s been such a devastating week for so many people and because these events have touched so many people. And here’s a link to my friend Ryan’s blog that goes into more detail and offers links and phone numbers where gay people in crisis can find help: http://aguyinlove.blogspot.com/
I’ve been watching this story all week and wanted to post something about it. My blogging buddy, Ryan, posted about it on facebook. And because Rutgers University isn’t far from where I live it caught my eye. According to aol news, “The Rutgers University student who committed suicide after two students allegedly streamed a video of his gay sexual encounter over the Internet may have reached out for help before killing himself.” It’s worth the time to check out the link and read the rest of the article.
Years ago, in small towns, it wasn’t unheard of to learn that young men, especially effeminate young men, killed themselves for no apparent reason. It was always kept quiet by the family and always swept aside. Everyone in town knew the reason, and no one ever discussed it openly. And it’s obviously still happening today, in spite of what some people choose to believe.
I’ve ranted about how characters in my own books have been reviewed poorly by readers who are living in social dream worlds when it comes to knowing and understanding what it’s really like to be gay. In this post I tried to explain to an online book reviewer that it’s not at all what you see on TV or read in magazines. Gay men, in most parts of the country and around the world, are still facing harassment and all kinds of abuse and shame. They don’t all have options and choices, and some even choose taking their own lives as a way out.
Unfortunately, this Rutgers student took his own life for reasons directly related to the fact that he was gay. He didn’t think he had any options or choices. He probably had no self-esteem and he couldn’t accept who he was. And I know there are many others who either comtemplate or do commit suicide for reasons directly related to them being gay. Even though we’ve come a long way, and there are people living in liberal west coast cities who think young gay men have all the choices in the world, young gay men are still being bullied and harassed.
But there are people working hard to change this. They want to help and offer guidance to young gay people who don’t think they have any choices. We just have to be louder and push a little harder, until all gay people have the same choices and options as everyone else.