This has to stop.

I’ve been pretty sad and broody for the last little while.  A major news story in my local (Ottawa) media this past week was the death of a 15 year old student, Jamie (it’s also been reported here in Montreal, as well as across Canada) .  Jamie had a loving and supportive family, but he struggled with clinical depression.

He was also coming to grips with his sexual orientation.  Every day, kids at his school yelled hurtful obscenities at him. They called him “fag”. He tried to establish a safe space in his school for himself and kids like him, by starting a Rainbow club.  Other kids tore down and defaced the club’s posters.

Last Friday, Jamie committed suicide.

I am so, so heartsick by these stories of young LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans) people who take their own lives because it seems like the only way for them to end the suffering inflicted upon them by their tormentors.  A 2010 study published by Zhao et al. of McGill University and the McGill Sexual Identity Centre showed that queer-identified youth are at greater risk of suicidal thoughts and attempts than their straight counterparts.  Yet, for some reason, we’re not talking about this problem.


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