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A Plea for Empathy

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The terrible secret is that being young is sometimes less fun than being dead.

In the last week, it’s been absolutely heartbreaking reading these stories about queer kids discovering this secret firsthand.

  • 13-year-old Seth Walsh from Tehachapi, CA hung himself from a tree on September 19 after being targeted with taunts of his sexuality. He died nine days later.
  • 15-year old Billy Lucas from Greensburg, IN hung himself in a barn at his grandmother’s house, also a target of taunts about his sexuality.
  • 13-year old Asher Brown from Houston, TX shot himself in his parents’ closet also a victim of bullying.
  • 18-year-old Tyler Clementi, a student at Rutgers University, jumped off the George Washington Bridge after his roommate used a webcam to broadcast Clementi’s tryst with another man on the internet.
  • 19-year-old Raymond Chase of Johnson and Wales University in Providence, RI who was openly gay hung himself in his dorm room. The circumstance surrounding his suicide is still unknown.

As I type these words I can’t help but sob uncontrollably thinking about what had to go through these kids’ minds to make such a drastic decision when those words from Pump Up the Volume rang in my head.

It absolutely sucks being young.