... As one boy sleeps forever.
September 18. 2011: 14-year old Jamey Rodemeyer takes his own life.
Hundreds of people came to his funeral, yet so few knew him personally.
Thousands of people mourned his death, but have never even seen him before.
Millions of people cried as his idol, an international pop superstar, dedicated a performance just for him.
Jamey Rodemeyer, 14-years old, was a victim of the most underrated hate crime in the world -- bullying. At school, he was insulted, demeaned, humiliated, psychologically tortured... He had had enough. His strength was no longer enough to endure the torment of his peers. He decided to end it all with the ultimate escape: death.
He was gay, was bullied for it, and ultimately died because of it.
He did, however, make the infamous "It Gets Better" video which aimed to inspire and bring hope to the people who were just like him -- not necessarily gay, but misunderstood, neglected, mistreated, hated for being themselves. It is his legacy.
It may be no exaggeration to say that he was Lady Gaga's number 1 fan. Her message contained in the song "Born This Way" served as Jamey's mantra. It was a song that stood for equality among all human beings. It gave him strength and hope, as it continues to do for so many others like him. I suppose the bullying simply eroded his spirit. The hate he endured, the emotional stoning, the soul-crushing verbal abuse was all too much. He cried for help, and nobody who could actually do anything... actually did anything. His calls fell on deaf ears.
Lady Gaga is now on her way to making bullying illegal, for she considers it a hate crime. I respect her a hundredfold for this, for I myself am no stranger to bullying. I'm sure a lot of us are familiar with it. We have either done it, seen it, read about it, imagined it, or endured it ourselves.
Jamey Rodemeyer's death is a wake-up call for society.
Hundreds of teens and young adults are taking their lives because of the unwillingness to endure another day of pain and undeserved emotional thrashing.
Thousands of teens and young adults are contemplating the thought of suicide, unsure if there are people who will care enough to miss them when they are finally gone forever.
Millions of people of all ages continue to kick people who are already down, only because it makes them feel superior, stronger, more important, more admired. Or just because they choose not to understand or sympathize.
If you've ever been bullied for anything... for being gay, fat, short, slow, poor, ugly, for wearing glasses, for having brightly colored socks, for tucking your shirt into your shorts, for reading novels instead of comics, for writing poems instead of playing video games, for planting trees instead of climbing them, for loving your parents when it was deemed lame, for listening to Björk instead of the Black Eyed Peas, for being different in a way that nobody else wanted to understand... please share this post. Let the world know how evil the hate crime of bullying truly is.
Jamey Rodemeyer (@hausofjamey)'s last Tweet was:
"@LadyGaga bye mother monster, thank you for all you have done, paws up forever"
"No matter gay, straight, or bi, lesbian, transgendered life,
I'm on the right track. Baby, I was born to survive.
No matter black, white, or beige, Chola, or orient-made,
I'm on the right track. Baby, I was born to be great."
-Born This Way, Lady Gaga.
His death has trended the following on Twitter:
BULLYING IS FOR LOSERS
EVERYONE IS BEAUTIFUL
Rest in peace, Jamey Rodemeyer.
It will get better. We promise.