Prevent teen suicide; add light, not darkness

Seth Walsh, 13, attempted to take his life on September 19, 2010. He was found by his mother hanging from a tree in their backyard, and was on life support for ten days. He had tried to take his own life because of the constant bullying he endured at school for being openly gay. Even before coming out he was called derogatory names and had to be home schooled on two seperate accounts.

Tyler Clementi, 18, a freshman from Rutgers took his life by jumping off the George Washington Bridge on September 22, 2010. Walsh was bullied at his middle school in California for being openly gay. Clementi had posted on his facebook page before taking his life, telling the world he was jumping off of the George Washington Bridge and that he was sorry. His reason for taking his life – the harrasment he endured at school for being gay.

There are countless others who have taken their lives because they were harassed, taunted or victims of homophobic slurs. I think this is absolutely wrong. No one should want to take their life because they are being mocked for their sexuality or any other reason.

Many organizations are helping by letting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth know that there are people out there listening and that they are not alone in their struggles. One of the organizations sending this message out is the It Gets Better project. This was created by Dan Savage to help LGBT youth, that are being harassed, know that they are not alone and that there is a community of people just like them listening. Savage started with just a youtube video that he and his partner made. In the video Savage let LGBT youth know that everything gets better and that they shouldn’t feel like outcast because of their sexuality.

I think the work that Savage is doing is amazing. He has brought so much attention to this subject. After doing some research and not finding much on this subject (most was just about bullying in general), I realized that not many people recognize this sector, in particular, as being a problem. This was very upsetting because so many lives are lost everyday because of the cruelty of our peers. Instead of encouraging one another on being ourselves and being satisfied with who we are, we are putting each other down and unknowingly causing teens to spiral down a dark path.

Teens and others committing suicide is unnacepptable, no one should ever feel that isolated and that unaccepted to end up in such a dark place. We should strive to treat everyone equally and make everyone feel like they can be themselves, no matter sexuality. We are all people.