“You can’t break when you’re already broken”
Another teenager gave in to frustration, fear and loneliness by ending his life in October 2011. Jamie Hubley of Ottawa, Canada, suffered years of bullying due to his perceived and then openly gay status. During his last month, Jamie posted regularly about his pain and struggles with depression.
The title of this post was Jamie’s blog title and it contained the following statement: “I hate being the only gay guy in my school . . it —-ing sucks, I really want to end it.”
Once again, as is common in these cases, Jamie’s friends weren’t aware of the real person under the mask. Steph Wheeler, 16, a close friend said “From the outside, he looked like the happiest kid. He was always smiling and giving everybody hugs in the halls. Even though he was feeling down all the time, he always made everybody else feel better.”
Jamie was a gifted actor and singer. He looked forward to dance lessons this winter. Classmates at A.Y. Jackson Secondary School posted memories of Jamie on a memorial site. “You left a big footprint in everyone’s heart, and you will always be remembered” was one such message. A wristband is being created in Jamie’s honor. It will read “Acceptance” on the outside and “Rest in Peace Jamie Hubley” on the inside.
On Jamie’s last day, October 14, 2011, he wrote “I’m tired of life really. Its so hard, I’m sorry. I can’t take it anymore. Being sad is sad. . .I’ve been like this for way to long.”
We must work together to make the world a better place for everyone, adult and child alike. LGBT youth are particularly vulnerable to abuse – 90% report being victims of bullying at school. Think before you post an online message or send a cruel text. Think about the consequences to yourself, your family, the victim and victim’s family. Mean-spirited comments have backfired on many teens. Educational, civil and criminal sanctions have been the result of irresponsible emails, blogs, Facebook and YouTube posts. “Think B4 U Send.”
For real-life cases of teenagers in trouble at school, home and with the law over their cyber-posts, take a look at “Teen Cyberbullying Investigated” (Free Spirit Publishing, 2010).