Tyler Clementi: Gay Bashing and Social Media
I am a professor at Rutgers University where Tyler Clementi was a student. I did not know Tyler, nor do I know the two young people accused of filming his sexual activity and posting it-but what I do know is this act was a gay bashing and the weapons were as powerful and wounding as a baseball bat-perhaps more so. Photo
Imagine being a very young boy, recognizing you have romantic feelings toward other boys. However, you come to realize to your horror that there is something wrong with these feelings--horribly wrong. Perhaps you have been bullied and harassed by the other kids in school who knew something was up because you looked or behaved differently than the way boys were expected to. Or perhaps you became proficient at hiding your feelings deep down in a place where no one could find them, not even you. Photo
As you mature, and with much concentrated effort you become somewhat more comfortable with your feelings-comfortable enough to explore and act on your sexuality while away at college. You then find that this most intimate of acts, stigmatized by large segments of society, was secretly videotaped and broadcast to hundreds, perhaps thousands of people…
It gets better:
A video campaign featuring hundreds of videos by people standing up for gay youth
by Dr. Brian Mustanski
October 8, 2010 – Psychology Today
Video campaign to gay youth says, "It gets better."
In September several LGBT young people tragically took their own lives. In the media it was reported that they had experienced bullying, victimization, and harassment. While the reasons why someone chooses to take their own life are very complicated, we do know that things do get better and that suicide is not the answer. To help tell the story of how things get better famous syndicated columnist Dan Savage launched a YouTube channel that allows gay adults to upload videos of themselves describing the bullying they might have experienced in high school, but also talking about how much better their lives are now.
It is a rare opportunity for gay adults to speak directly to gay youth and explain that while sometimes you may feel isolated, that life gets better. Many celebrities joined in and shared their words of encouragements with the simple message that "it gets better."
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