Over 89,000 people…

On the Tyler Clementi memorial page on Facebook.

Imagine your life touching 89,000 people.

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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23 Responses to “Over 89,000 people…”

  1. Tucker says:

    Boy you really nailed me. That was what I was after: a popularity contest among dead gay kids. Unfortunately, it is too late for any of these kids to be popular. It is not too late for them to be remembered and mourned. Equally and not based on the sensationalism of the circumstance of their death. They should all be remembered and the loss acknowledged by the institutions that failed them.

    Try not being an a-hole for 30 seconds before you post replies.

  2. Gridlock says:

    It’s not a fucking popularity contest.

  3. BeccaM says:

    No. This does not in any way diminish the other suicides, murders, or assaults.It’s not favoritism or some weird elitism.The edifice of anti-LGBT hatred is coming apart. Or to use a metaphor, the straw that breaks the camel’s back would not have done so if not for the weight of everything else already there. It’s just human nature to notice the straw and wonder at its huge effect for being so small.People are prone to ignoring blanket statements. “Six million Jews were exterminated.” “Thousands of LGBTs are assaulted and hundreds murdered.” 45 thousand people (or more) die every year in the U.S. due to lack of health insurance.Or even something like the tens of thousands of same-sex couples denied the right to marry. By your standard, we’re not allowed to talk about individual injustices, but have to take them all into account, every single time. The human mind cannot do this.We need to put faces to the injustices. There is no particular sense as to why one was picked — why there was a Matthew Shephard, or a Tyler, or a Brandon Teena — but not all of the other dozens of gays and lesbians killed simply for being who they were. Yet if not for them, the suicide of someone like Tyler would be written off as an isolated tragic incident.

  4. Tucker says:

    It is 104,000 on FB now and that is wonderful. But I wonder why it is that the Clementi suicide has received a greater outpouring than the other 4 suicides combined.

    As horrible as his roommate’s action was, Clementi was 18, living independently in a gay-supportive environment (Rutgers apparently has a dean whose primary job is to deal with gay issues along with something like 3 or 4 pro-gay groups), had numerous options to deal with this vile roommate, and generally seemed to be handling the situation 24 hours before he killed himself. By contrast, Asher Brown was 13, in a completely hostile environment, and was physically pummeled every day in full view of teachers and administrators. You won’t even find a 1-sentence acknowledement of his death on his own school’s Facebook page.

    Maybe these other 4 suicides lack a high-tech angle or a sex/voyeurism angle that the media love to latch onto. Maybe people don’t like to think about 13 year olds identifying as gay. But these other 4 are far more representative of anti-gay bullying – a daily grind of violence, stress, and isolation rather than a single lurid act of cyber-voyeurism – and they deserve a little more attention.

  5. threadmonitor says:

    Totally out of line, Thomas. More like it will be deleted and your commenting privileges suspended.

  6. Indigo says:

    I like it that the page Tyler’s friends posted on Facebook does not welcome commentary about that stupid ignorant nasty snot of a roommate of his nor that foolish girl accomplice. I’d like to tell that pair off and let them know directly what I really think of them but this will have to do.

  7. Yes! And the people who call us “whiners” for caring so deeply about the president’s inaction or counter-action are completely clueless.

  8. As bad as it is, all of the scorn and contempt heaped upon gay kids pales in comparison to the pain that self-contempt causes. Self-rejection, confirmed and sustained by the cruelty and rejection of others, can seem like a constant companion from which there is no escape. It is good to see so many expressing sympathy and concern, and offering hope and acceptance to gay youth. The message that they are not alone must reach them. They need to know that the hurt they may feel can be left behind. That it need not always be as it feels now. That there is help. That they can embrace themselves.

  9. Bayside2842 says:

    It seems that we are truly at a crossroads at this juncture of human civilization, not just here in the states, but throughout the world. The philosopher George Santayana spoke eloquently and, I feel, was quite prescient in his observation that if we do not learn from history, we will be condemned to repeat it.

    I feel that the time has truly arrived where we MUST hold ourselves accountable for taking action on so many levels to halt the decline in humanity so evident each and every day, everywhere in the world. Violence will never settle anything permanently because might really does not make right.

    One would have hoped that the death of Matthew Shepherd would have been the definitive clarion call for changing the tide of homophobia, but here we are many years later and it still comes back to haunt us in such poignantly tragic events such as Tyler’s heartbreaking resolution of his personal conflicts.

    Each voice needs to take some action, however small, in reversing the tide before we are truly beyond the point of no return.

    I voted for Obama and am deeply disappointed in his lack of genuine support to pass legislation to rid us of the homophonic plagues of DADT and DOMA, but sitting out the vote on Election Day or voting out of anger for members of the Tea Party or the Republicans are not viable solutions.

  10. Guest says:

    That was my first reaction.

    I would suppose 99% of the people on that page don’t know jack all about Tyler’s LIFE, only about the circumstances surrounding and including his death.

    That doesn’t mean it isn’t important to remember him. Just… remember him for the right reasons.

  11. Guest says:

    “we are truly on our own”

    It’s a sad fact, but it’s the truth.

  12. mauiwahine says:

    so many frightening, salient points in this post. wow.

  13. offspring says:

    I am politely having to disagree I dont know if it is just a different perspective but It didnt seem that way to me, seems a very sincere post, I think you right that maybe at times we word things differently we know that the meaning isnt meant a way but can be interpreted different, I know mine can lol plus I spell on a fifth grade level lol but I see your point but just see it differently.

  14. Skwcw2001 says:

    lee simpson karl joseph walker hoover, eric mohat, jaheem herrera, billy lucas, seth walsh, asher brown just to name a few of our kids that died not for being gay but for the torture of others, bullying isn’t the propper term anymore of what “our” kids go through, if this type of behavior happened at their home by adults child service would take the kids, because it is abuse, it is considered abuse to a child both physical and mental when an adult does this, but for some reason we still use the stupid term the over used term of bullying, this softens the true intent of what is going on, it is assault, terrorism by definition, abuse, child endangerment, and mental cruelity, period no matter if the victim is a child or an adult. It doesnt help that during the last two years we have seen an unanswered challenge to our existence on earth in this country from church leaders and goverment because hell they have contributed to it. We need to have a strong focused legal team in ever state with lawyers willing to work for free for the rights of gay and lesbians both children and adult, people only care when you take money from them. Or when they need money from us, let us learn from the 700 club, yes them, the black rights groups and so on they have strong very aggressive legal teams and are spread out especially in the south we need the same, we cannot win via marches, or writing our congress or senate it used to help a bit but it has no power now, if it did we would already have rights, we cannot count on those that promise us rights that we as legal born citizens of this country and human beings of this earth are born with. I truly think this blog helps not hurts, I dont agree with it always but that is the best part of all of us we dont always have to agree on anything but when attacked we do pull ranks and fight, now we need to refocus that door to door, get out the vote, campain phone bank, register voters, sign petitions stuff to maybe creating a powerful legal team in ever city in this country well funded and not a lobby group no more lobbing group they get polluted. We need more gay friendly home schooling centers, as we have learned from the right this is what they have done, so why cant we learn from them, some things the other sides do, do actually work and get them to their goal, so we should take what we can and work with it, we need safe home schooling places for kids, we need, job assistance for adults, we need REAL community centers in every state and a state by state scholorship program for gays and lesbians to encourage them that they to can go to college, we need to take more effort and power out of the gay bars as our “social” activity, and put it into us as a whole group, not just the bears here, the twinks here, the older generation there, the this and that and so on here and here, we should take more resposibility not for the homophobia but for our perceptions sometimes that we are to self centered, we had to be as we grew up having to rely to much on ourselves, this isnt a bad thing it mad us survive and strong in most cases, but things must change the new generation isnt there for us to pick from for tricking and using, we need to actually make it better for once, sure it was hard for us, and we most if we are honest still have it very hard this leaves us a bit bitter and angry, but that life it is unfair and sucks, so either we need to maybe refocus or just keep letting others do all the work which leaves five to ten groups scattered to do all the work without a central goal, or we just keep going and being mad and bitter, and angry, we need to stop making it so hard on our kids also, and yes for the big fact that noone was there for us, I remeber being young in the 80’s and wanting to die as I would hear my dad say things like faggots should be shot, or seeing kids beat others at school or mentally torture them while teachers stand by, honestly I am a selfish person that tries to rely on myself and that has made me a bit anti social and jaded even from the gay community I in no way what some kid at 8 or 11 going through what i did, nor growing up to be me. We are human we make mistakes we have let ourselves in many ways become what they say we are in many cases, hell just look at a pride parade, but isnt there a middle ground where we can still express that independant wacky out there side, but also have the same energy and money for the side that is for our kids our adults our people for we are a people, we are all we are many right now we are to fragmented but I hope soon we are more centered and still keep our difference’s the ones that help us debate on different views and in some cases change our stance on things but now is the time as obama has shown, as the churchs, dems, repug, and many others have shown that we are truly on our own. But we are not for I have you and you have me, from you bear, twinks, lipstick lesbians, leather boys, pos guys, bald, blonde, all shapes all sizes all colors all religions all races all genders, all cultures, in the end your the people to me that matter even if I dont agree with some things in the community I would die and fight for any person i felt was being destroyed by others because they where gay, none of you nor I, and NONE of our kids for that is what they are, should have to be terrified like some overseas kept prisoner in a hidden prison, to go to school to live to learn to love, we have been a bit to afraid to get to involved in kids as those that equate us with child perves have made us to damn nervous and we are afraid of being seen as perves, and yes some do take advantage of young kids, just as straights, but there are so many people out there like all of you that if they had the option and the way would be there for these kids, we must find a way. We must be the light at the beginning and all the way through of the tunnel not just the end. Also getting involve in school board meetings is ok even if you dont have kids because as taxpayers your funding it, so your within all legal rights to attend and vote on issues and raise concerns. If these kids see that we are there for them that we will fight for them not just harvest them for adam4adam and gay.com that they have more on this earth than being tortured by bigiots, then maybe it will help alot of use realize it also for us. Ok sorry so long.

  15. deant says:

    Can’t see that. The post says that people were touched by the kid’s life rather than his death.

  16. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    It’s okay. We all know he didn’t mean that.

  17. jd says:

    John, I appreciate what you mean with this post, but I’d like to suggest that you may have chosen poor wording. Your words—and I know you don’t mean it this way—almost imply that his suicide was worth it.

  18. rmthunter says:

    Six hours later, it’s almost 95,000.

    Words fail.

  19. Keith says:

    I wish he touched 89 million…he should.

  20. bandanajack says:

    cold comfort…

  21. Butch1 says:

    If he only knew he had this many people in his corner.

  22. Brad says:

    I was at a restaurant having dinner Thursday night and overheard several people talking about it, about how awful and sad it was. Tyler has touched a lot of people. Meanwhile the homophobe-in-chief continues to send the message that LGBT people are second class citizens by appealing the DADT unconstitutional ruling. Way to go Mr. President.

  23. Skwcw2001 says:

    who where the others recently who took their lives what is there story

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