Saturday, October 9, 2010

Pushed Over The Edge

A young man walks by himself alongside a pathway on a large bridge. He looks over the railing separating him from the ledge that’s outstretched over a frigid river. He can hear the water as it quickly thrashes around below his feet. A cold chill brushes past his exposed face reminding him that a tear had rolled down the side of his cheek. The young man then slowly lifts his leg, one and then the other, over the railing. He stands on the edge of the ridge and pauses for a second as he tries to clear the frustration from his mind. Then he jumps.

This is the story of one gay teen who had suffered enough bullying to push him over the edge.

Recently, several teenagers from California to Rhode Island committed suicide in the past few weeks, including New Jersey college student Tyler Clementi, who jumped off a bridge into the Hudson River.

According to a story from ABC News, Tyler was the victim of bullying and the invasion of his privacy after, prosecutors say, his roommate and a friend secretly streamed his sexual encounter with a man on the Web. He was hurt and made fun of like so many other gay and lesbian teens spanning the world are right now. And it’s time that something should be said.

According to SAVE, suicide is the third leading cause of death for young people ages 15-24 years old. Adolescents that were rejected by their families for being gay were 8.4 times more likely to report having attempted suicide, according to a Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey. But the sad fact of the matter is that the majority of these suicide attempts could have been prevented.

A heartfelt attempt at tolerance and understanding could have saved Tyler Clementi. His life was shattered the second his private affair went public. He was a human being who suffered from gay bashing with a cyber twist. And it shouldn’t matter if you believe that homosexuality is a sin or not because these are people that we are dealing with. We live alongside the same pathway in the world with these souls. And I just hope we can all understand this fact before we push another person over the edge.

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