October 17, 2011

Another Gay Teen Tragedy - 15 Year Old Commits Suicide


“People said ‘It gets better.’ Its fucking bullshit.” Jamie Hubley



A 15 year old gay student and resident of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada’s capital city, committed suicide this past weekend. Jamie Hubley had been chronicling his battle with depression, and was writing about being bullied, with the attendant fears and anxiety that accompanies being targeted by bullies, on his tumblr blog, that he called “You cant break. . . When you're already broken.” Jamie’s blog reflected the inner pain he felt as a bullied and out teen. Some blog entries reflected his angst very clearly.

How fucking long is this going to last. People said “It gets better”. Its fucking bullshit.

Cut my face. Fuck.

Two weeks ago he wrote:

One day, I hope I will actually want to live.

His last blog post was tagged as “suicide note.”

Im a casualty of love.

Well, Im tired of life really. Its so hard, Im sorry, I cant take it anymore.

Being sad is sad : /. I’v been like this for way to long. I cant stand school, I cant stand earth, I cant stand society, I cant stand the scars on my arms, I cant f***ing stand any f***ing thing.

I dont want my parents to think this is their fault either… I love my mom and dad : ) Its just too hard. I dont want to wait 3 more years, this hurts too much. How do you even know It will get better? Its not.

I hit rock fucking bottom, fell through a crack, now im stuck.

Jamie’s Dad - Allan Hubley is an Ottawa City Councillor, and his biography reflects that he “was recognized for his extensive community service in Kanata South and was chosen the City of Ottawa’s Citizen of the Year. In 2008, Allan was chosen by the Governor General to receive the Caring Canadian Award at Rideau Hall for his community and volunteer work."

My heart goes out to Allan Hubley, his wife Wendy, and Jamie’s brother and sister. I can't imagine how tough this is for families experiencing the loss of a child, especially when the tragedy was unnecessary.

The Ottawa Citizen reports that “suicide disproportionately affects gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth.”

Just a few weeks ago, on September 24th 2011, Erin Anderssen wrote in the Canadian newspaper, The Globe and Mail, that suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among teens in Canada.

“In Ottawa and the surrounding rural area, a shocking number of families are still trying to understand why their children made similarly terrible choices and what they could have done to prevent it. In June last year, six young people died at their own hands in small towns southwest of the capital – stoic, old-fashioned places where most parents still worry far more about kids driving home in the dark from bush parties than about problems like depression or anxiety. At least two more suicides followed last September.”

In the United States, our land of the free and the home of the brave, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that in 2007 34,598 Americans committed suicide. The Morbidity and Mortality Report stated that suicide was the 11th leading cause of death, and also said that the rate of suicides are influenced by biological, psychological, social, moral, political, and economic factors. The statistical report also stated the following:

“To reduce the rates of suicide among groups that are affected disproportionately, substantial public health investments are needed to address the health and well-being of persons at risk and to support the widespread implementation of culturally relevant and effective programs. Prevention efforts and resources also should be directed toward adults aged 40--54 years, the population that recently has had increases in suicides but often is overlooked as a specific group for prevention efforts.”

It is incredibly sad when a human being elects to end their life. That sadness is magnified when a teenager takes their life. We rarely hear about suicides in the news unless someone famous, or lately - a gay teen, tragically ends their life. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry says:

Suicides among young people continue to be a serious problem. Each year in the U.S., thousands of teenagers commit suicide. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15-to-24-year-olds, and the sixth leading cause of death for 5-to-14-year-olds.

The CDC also reports that there are an estimated 8 to 25 attempted suicides to 1 completion. Imagine those numbers if you can - that translates to 280,000 to 875,000 suicide attempts a year.

The Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE) website cites the following statistics:

  • Many who attempt suicide never seek professional care.
  • Over half of all suicides are completed with a firearm.
  • 80% of people that seek treatment for depression are treated successfully.
  • 1 in 65,000 children ages 10 to 14 commit suicide each year.
  • Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the U.S. (homicide is 15th). (CDC)
  • Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-old Americans. (CDC)
  • It is estimated that there are at least 4.5 million survivors in this country. (AAS)
  • An average of one person dies by suicide every 16.2 minutes. (CDC, AAS)
  • Research has shown medications and therapy to be effective suicide prevention.
  • Suicide can be prevented through education and public awareness.
  • In 2004 it is estimated there were 811,000 suicide attempts in the US. (AAS)

Tony Perkins, the President of the right-wing extremist organization and hate-group that sponsored the Redneck Values and Teabagger Voter Summit, famously wrote in The Washington Post that gay teens commit suicide largely because “their same-sex attractions are abnormal.” He falsely thinks that the anti-gay dogmatic views expressed by his hate-group is in line with healthy living and telling the truth.

There is no contradiction between Christian compassion and a call for holy living. But the life which is holy (from a spiritual perspective) or even healthy (from a secular perspective) requires abstinence from homosexual conduct. We would do no one a favor if we ceased to proclaim that truth.

How many more kids have to die before we do something about this? Within this context, I’m sure you can understand how harmful these largely Republican hate groups are to our kids, and to our society at-large. We must unite to do everything we can - to stop these tragic sucides.

If you’re a parent today, raising a child, communicate with your child as openly as you can. If you’re child is a day old, or a teenager, remember that straight parents raise LGBT kids - and you never know if your child will grow up to be straight or gay.

Explain why bullying and name-calling is harmful to the vicitm, and the bully. If you want to raise a kid to be the best that he or she can be, communicate with your child from an early age, that whoever they grow up to be - whether gay, or straight, or green, or fuschia, that you will love them and be proud of them, forever. You’ll be able to live with yourself knowing that you did your best, and your child won’t be saddled with the nagging doubts, self loathing, and excess psychological baggage, often etched in their psyche - when bullying, put downs, and rejection is the norm.

RIP Jamie Hubley.


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