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Jamey Rodemeyer, 14-Year-Old Who Made ‘It Gets Better’ Video, Commits Suicide After Anti-Gay Bullying

September 21, 2011 by Brett Wilkins in LGBT, Racism & Discrimination with 5 Comments

A bisexual Buffalo-area teen who suffered from years of anti-gay bullying and made a YouTube video as a message of encouragement to other LGBT teens has killed himself, WGRZ and the Huffington Post report.

Jamey Rodemeyer, who just started high school at Williamsville North in Williamsville, New York, was found dead Monday after an apparent suicide. There was no note, but his family believes they know why their son killed himself.

“It was a constant taunting,” his mother Tracy told WGRZ NBC2. “The same people over and over.”

The bullying went on for years, and Jamey’s parents went to school officials, who could only do so much.

Jamey underwent counseling and seemed to be doing better recently. He even made a YouTube video for the ‘It Gets Better Project,’ in which celebrities from the world of entertainment, sports and politics, both gay and straight, post messages of encouragement to teens dealing with the despair that comes from being ostracized and victimized by bullying because of their sexual orientation.

“People would just keep sending me hate, telling me that gay people go to hell,” Rodemeyer says in his video. But he tells those watching to stay positive. “That’s all you have to do. Just love yourself and you’re set. And I promise you, it’ll get better.”

But it didn’t get better for Jamey. Despite appearing happy to start high school, friends say the bullying continued.

“He fooled everybody,” his father Tim told WGRZ. “He put on a brave face and I wish he wouldn’t have.”

Jamey’s parents believe that their son was put on earth to show people that it’s okay to be different and that bullying is a serious problem that is more widespread than many people think. “I think that was my son’s number one mission in life, why he was put here a short time was to get that point out, and if that means I have to carry it on for him, I will,” Tracy told WGRZ.

Tim and Tracy have a message for other bullies: “To the kids who are bullying they have to realize that words are very powerful and what you think is just fun and games isn’t to some people, and you are destroying a lot of lives,” Tim told WIVB.

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5 Comments

  1. JulieSeptember 21, 2011 at 10:56 amReply

    This breaks my heart…..

  2. ClaireSeptember 21, 2011 at 2:37 pmReply

    This is such a tragedy – Instead of saying it gets better, more focus needs to be put on helping to make it better In order for it not to get any worse… Such a tragic end… You have touched me Jamey… God Rest Your Soul x NOH8

  3. StevinSeptember 21, 2011 at 4:22 pmReply

    Jamey you are never alone and to all the kids who are out there in the same situation get help and never give in to hate. Suicide Prevention Hotlines:

    1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) or

    1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)

    You may call this number from anywhere in the United States, 24 hours a day.call The Trevor Hotline, which is a 24-hour toll-free suicide prevention line aimed at lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youths:

    1-866-4-U-TREVOR

  4. Malcolm J. ChaddockSeptember 23, 2011 at 1:25 amReply

    It is not enough to support the bullied after the fact. It is necessary to confront the bully. Witnesses need to stop looking at the floor and pretending they see nothing, hear nothing, just glad it’s not them. Speaking up might not stop the behavior, true enough but silence encourages it.

  5. WindspiritSeptember 23, 2011 at 6:51 amReply

    RIP Jamey…your message of despair is being shared to the world.The one thing your death is teaching me is that parents must teach their little ones how to handle bullying behviours (emotionally and mentally) and help them realize that we cannot control what other do or say but we can control our reaction to it. How I wish we lived in a world that accepts difference but the reality is we don’t. In my culture, you would have been held in high esteem as two-spirited person. I pray others find a different solution other than ending their life..being able to withstand rudeness and hatred are skills that need to be developed at an early age…may your Journey Home to Spiritworld bring you the to a place of belonging..

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