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CA Teen Filmmaker Commits Suicide After Making “It Gets Better” Video

 

Nineteen-year-old gay filmmaker Eric James Borges, who often went by EricJames online, committed suicide yesterday, a month after recording an “It Gets Better” video and seemingly finding support in the gay community.

Jim Reeves of Oueerlandia reports:

Word began spreading late Wednesday among shocked and saddened friends and acquaintances.  Not accepted by his birth family, EricJames was striking out on his own, trying to deal with his personal situation, but also wanting to help others.  Sadly, even involvement with the Trevor Project was not enough to help him navigate the turbulent waters of young adulthood.

I met EricJames recently, at the launching of My LGBT Plus, a youth oriented resource site, based in Fresno, California.  A brief introduction left me with the impression of a fine young man, and I regret that I did not get to know him better.

Memorials have begun pouring in at My LGBT Plus. Justin Kamimoto wrote:

Throughout the Central Valley we remember the life of Eric James Borges, 19, of Visalia, California. I first met Eric at the Reel Pride Film Festival where he helped with The Trevor Project booth at the Youth Pizza Party and again when he came to support My Lgbt Plus at our unveil in November. Not only was he a very kind and talented individual, you could see that he had a passion in his eyes to do something great. I wish I had more time to get to know you Eric – your LGBTQ family we will always love and miss you.

Rest in peace, EricJames.

By:           Evan Mulvihill
On:           Jan 12, 2012
Tagged: , ,

  • 66 Comments
    • ron
      ron

      What a goddamn shame.

      Jan 12, 2012 at 6:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Johnny
      Johnny

      Michelle Bachmann, her idiot gay husband and Rick Santorum should be criminally charged for adding to the chorus of hate that helped to drive this young man to his desperate act. Lunatics and homophobes listen to them and immolate their hate speech.

      We must get the message out to LGBT youth that it matters not what anyone says about being gay. Know that you are a member of a privileged elite group who see the world and the people in it in ways that no straight person ever will. We are the most creative group of people on the planet. We can form friendships and bonds faster than straights and we know how to love.

      I talk to isolated gay men all over the planet, through Twitter, and everyday I am astounded as to how many beautiful guys are isolated, home alone with no gay friends and no meaningful social life.

      We must all work together to develop a solution to this never ending problem. And it starts with silencing hate speech and educating those who are susceptible to totally ignore these bastards from hell.

      Jan 12, 2012 at 6:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Johnny
      Johnny

      Rest in peace Eric James. Your gay brothers will always love you.

      Jan 12, 2012 at 6:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Johnny
      Johnny

      @Isaac C: What? No it was NOT! Eric was driven to escape the torture and hate he was experiencing. Don’t ever say something as idiotic and insensitive as that! Are you out of your mind?

      Jan 12, 2012 at 6:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike
      Mike

      His story is a carbon-copy of my growing up.
      As I listen to his words I am counting my blessings. I could have ended up like EricJames. Fortunately I am now married to a wonderful man that makes me feel special and treats me well. We have two dogs and we’re in the final phase of adopting two children.
      I guess, in a way, this is my “It gets better” story that I want to share. I don’t want to take anything away from EricJames’ story but I feel it is important to show that not all stories end badly.
      R.I.P. EricJames

      Jan 12, 2012 at 7:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Isaac C
      Isaac C

      @Johnny: It seems that Eric created a good, accepting life for himself away from his hateful family and friends. So, he had already escaped the “torture and hate he was experiencing.” At least that’s what he made it seem like in the video. So, if that wasn’t enough, then maybe he just didn’t believe it was worth staying alive. That’s all I’m saying.

      Jan 12, 2012 at 7:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Troll
      Troll

      Darwinism.

      Jan 12, 2012 at 7:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hyhybt
      hyhybt

      @Isaac C: Sometimes, it’s *not* enough. Perhaps, for instance, he also had a chemical imbalance of the sort that causes depression regardless of circumstance.

      Jan 12, 2012 at 7:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Triple S
      Triple S

      @Mike: Hey there, Mike. This may be an odd question from a younger guy such as me, but my mind lingers to it quite often. Also, to any who read this, sorry if it seems insensitive in the context of this article, but Queerty, believe it or not, is more helpful to me talking about gay stuff to other gay people than my family (not to say that I’m depressed or my family isn’t supportive, but I find it more helpful to discuss this stuff here).
      Anyway, back to the original question; I think everyone thinks about children and marriage even as children. At my age and maturity, it’s more than just some little fantasy I have. I actually give very careful thought to who I will have children with? How will I have children? When will I have children?
      And because you are in the final stages of adoption, I would like to ask how you came to your decision to adopt.
      Thanks for your answer.

      Jan 12, 2012 at 8:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • newcityspot
      newcityspot

      Damn. Fuck. Shit. I’m already crying again. Ugh, if I had a guarantee that gay oppression would end if I gave my life, I’d do it.

      Jan 12, 2012 at 8:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • lorifern
      lorifern

      especially shame on his parents! I hope this haunts them forever.
      RIP Eric James.

      Jan 12, 2012 at 9:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • michael
      michael

      I wonder how many of us go to sleep hoping we don’t wake up. The damage done during our youth can affect us forever. This whole It Gets Better campaign is crap. A Make It Better would at least be proactive, maybe pointing out gay men have influenced history immensely. All one needs to do is look at the GOP to realize homophobia is alive and thriving no matter how old you get. Telling a kid it will get all peachyfuckingkeen one day is counterproductive when u could be telling that kid what losers homophobes turn out to be and what a change he might make in the world if he learns how to cope.

      It obviously isn’t getting better for this kids who kill themselves.

      Jan 12, 2012 at 9:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • EmmaMTF
      EmmaMTF

      I think I’m going to blame the media on this one for sensationalizing the gay teen “it gets better” suicides.

      Jan 12, 2012 at 9:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Triple S
      Triple S

      It seems from what I keep seeing, that things like the ‘It Gets Better’ campaign aren’t actually doing a whole lot. When people say that gays are getting a far better deal than what they once did, it really only applies to the Western World, and even then, it still ends up with stuff like this happening! It seems as though what really needs to happen is some enforcing power to deal with the crap that happens. Words are only so useful, anyway, the support groups, as helpful as they are, can only provide so much.
      But on the other hand, suicide is certainly not the way to fix something. The usual justification is that it harms the family as well, however, in this case, it is said that the family didn’t give a damn. So instead of the family, the friends probably would have copped the damage. So even though this is indeed a tragic thing to happen and the family should feel terrible that they didn’t help fix the problem, seeing or hearing people killing themselves is detrimental to teaching younger gay people that it is alright to be gay. If they see suicides from fellow gays all around, then it teaches them that it just might be a suitable escape.

      Jan 12, 2012 at 9:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Johnny
      Johnny

      @michael: Thank you for so aptly calling out “It Gets Better’ for what it is, virtually worthless. The ONLY answer is 1-on-1 intervention because each person’s dilemma is different. When you are living in hell in middle school, saying that “It Gets Better” when you become an adult is beyond worthless. Only those who are not severely affected by bullying and psychological trauma can appreciate that message.

      I say a campaign to tell all who are bullied and every bystander observing to call 911 is the answer. If the emergency systems are swamped out by these calls nationwide, then lawmakers will be forced to act. It is the only think I can think of that will attract nationwide media, law enforcement and the attention of the general public. Most people just don’t care.

      Every bully needs to serve time in juvenile detention. Then they will get the bulling they so very much deserve in return!

      Jan 12, 2012 at 9:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike
      Mike

      @Triple S: @Triple S We decided to adopt for multiple reasons. One was that there are so many kids in need of love, parents and a stable home where they can grow up, be healthy and live happy lives.
      Another reason was the fact that surrogacy carries certain risks and there is a considerable cost to it, where local adoption was free and comes with a solid support from social workers, educators, etc. Those are not the only options available. If you are looking into having children do your research and figure out which option works best and is suitable for you.
      All the best wishes and good luck!
      Mike

      Jan 12, 2012 at 9:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Triple S
      Triple S

      @Mike: Thankyou kindly

      Jan 12, 2012 at 9:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles
      Charles

      How many more? How many more should die before something is actually done!! The vast bulk of homophobia originates from Fundamentalism. Go see the documentary entitled “Prayers for Bobby” It shows exactly how this shit starts. From the pulpits it filters down to the congregates and then into the general public. The many roads to Hell are paved with so called “good” intentions.

      Jan 12, 2012 at 9:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jeff
      jeff

      Amazing how empty i felt when i listened to his vidieo. My reflex way of coping just kicked in “don’t think, don’t react, don’t feel” after close to fifty years of work on this very subject. My story is quite similar. I spent forty years growing beyond it. Looking for answers in all the wrong places as they say. While sucide attempts were just a way of life. Not the cute ones with the wrists but things like driving my Fiat into a cement bridge embutment at 90 mph. Not sure why nothing seemed to work. And they just patched me back together sometimes better than new. Now i am old ugly and as happy as one my age can be. No one terrorizes me any more even devout religious people and especially red-necks treat me with due respect. But the horrible memories creep into nightmares at night. God bless this kid. Yes it gets better but the “pain” and “emotional scars” tend to remain. Guess i could say something inspirational like they make me stronger. Or they have given me character. And in a way they have. But……… what else can i say.

      Jan 12, 2012 at 9:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Johnny
      Johnny

      @Charles: Exactly right Charles! These idiot lunatic Baptist preachers who I have personally had it out with in front of Congregations of sheep who listen to their psycho babble. All of these people are criminals. But you have to wonder just how fucking stupid the people are who listen to their ranker and BS.

      That is another answer. Large groups of gay men breaking up these insane church meetings and telling these people in plain English that they are in-fact the spawn of the Devil. That is the only thing they seem to understand.

      Jan 12, 2012 at 9:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      I just checked a map. Visalia is between Fresno and Bakersfield (between 1/3 and 1/2 the distance starting at Fresno). This is probably the most socially conservative portion of California. It’s more like parts of the South – a lot of people from Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, and Kansas migrated to the San Joaquin Valley (particularly the southern part of it) between 1924 and 1939 due to an environmental disaster called “The Dust Bowl”.
      http://www.csub.edu/library/special/dustbowl/dustbowl.shtml has some articles and interviews. With the large influx came their religious beliefs and cultural biases as well. The area has still not recovered socially, even thought it is much better off economically. It’s kind of a Republican stronghold, mainly because the Republicans have figured out how to exploit religious beliefs (delusions, really) in order to get people to vote for politicians working against their constituents’ interests. In that sort of environment, a 19 year old obviously gay kid doesn’t stand much of a chance, particularly after a lifetime of abuse.

      His parents were also trapped in the culture, if they grew up there, and plausibly lacked the intellectual ability and self-confidence to question widely held beliefs (widely held among the people they have direct contact with). If these people ever wake up en masse and realize what was done to them and how they lost members of their families because of religious beliefs pushed on them by people who should know better, it really will be Armageddon for the preachers. The preachers would be lucky to get out of town in one piece, and I don’t mean figuratively – there would be that much anger directed at them.

      Jan 12, 2012 at 10:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CBRad
      CBRad

      @hyhybt: Chemical imbalances are always a factor in suicide and depression. Well….not always, but often. The other teens (straight) who committed suicide this week probably had that going on too. Not that outside influences don’t affect the situation too, though.

      Jan 12, 2012 at 11:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MKe
      MKe

      You just can’t make it on your own in this world at 19. It’s not the 1970′s anymore, you can’t get a job with a living wage until you finish college or have been working for several years. I wish the older generations would wake up to this fact. Obviously homophobia was a bigger factor, but I’m sure financial reasons were prevalent in this as well.

      Jan 12, 2012 at 11:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kylew
      Kylew

      The really scary thing, is that it’s almost starting to look as though “It gets better” videos are precursors to suicide. I can’t help but wonder if the videos are a public expression of kids trying to convince themselves into believing it. But then, almost like the hollowness of an average new year’s resolution, they come to the painful realisation that nothing has changed, and the possible elation or optimism that drives them to make these videos is as short-lived as a politician’s promise. The resulting comedown is clearly too much to bear for some.

      I had quite mixed feelings about the whole campaign – believing as I did, that telling kids that they only had to endure for another 5 or 10 years till school finished, was almost verging on cruel and unusual punishment. But now I’m beginning to feel that the campaign is worse than nothing, because it re-enforces kids’ belief that the adult world has nothing to offer but lip service. The feeling that adults are unable to help resolve your situation must be terribly oppressive, and seeing anti-bullying legislation emasculated not once, but twice in the past three months must paint a bleak picture of their future. I only hope that the guilty politicians are unable to sleep until they correct the legislation that they have stymied.

      I feel deep, deep sympathy for this boy, and all of the others who are suffering a similar burden.

      Jan 12, 2012 at 11:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CBRad
      CBRad

      @MKe: That’s really true. I left my (wealthy) family at age 20 and was on my own, with no formal education or job skills, and that was rough enough, trying to make rent and pay for food. I don’t think I could do it today- everything is just too too expensive.

      Jan 12, 2012 at 11:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Erik
      Erik

      I know if I watch it I’ll cry. This is too much already… I don’t want to know any more. I’ve been there, and failed. This pandemic is spreading too quickly.

      Jan 12, 2012 at 11:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RKent
      RKent

      It is sad to see that a young man has taken his life, in the early stages, no less. Suicide is always heart-rending, and the fact that it is tied to one who is in tumultuous stages of life (being gay in a conservative area, to start) only lends more questions that cannot be answered.

      However, I must say that I take exception to the notion that being gay makes one elite, with a view of the world, a grasp of creativity, and an ability to love that straight people do not have. Take pride in yourself, take pride in your group – do not take pride in a superiority over another group, as that is how bigotry starts.

      Jan 13, 2012 at 12:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kurt
      Kurt

      Rest in peace. People make the choice to commit suicide for a variety of reasons but in the end it is their own personal choice. I agree with Kylew the “it gets better” program is a joke and it’s not helping GLBT youth but it was started by Dan Savage a transphobic, racist, and biphobic media whore who only did it to self promote, get money, and get a reality TV show on MTV.

      Jan 13, 2012 at 12:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rick Brock
      Rick Brock

      I think we all have been in the dark place that Eric was in .I attempted suicide at 19 and never told a soul until years later.I just wanted to be free of the constant pressure to fit in sa world that seemed to despise gay people.After coming out to family and friends last year at 46, It was kind of anti-climatic in many ways but I can tell you that in my part of the country it is definately easier to be gay now than it was 30 years ago.Many of my gay friends left and went to more open minded areas of the country and had a much easier way fitting in and finding their voices. I chose to stay here and wait it out.Everything happens for a reason but, I often think of the things I missed in my younger years because it was not o.k. to be myself.My opinion is that it will get better just by taking some small steps like talking to another gay person about it. Even someone on line that you don’t personaly know .You will be surprised at the amount of people that share your same hopes,dreams and fears.We gay people are a a special and needed community in this world and smart people are realizing that all over the place.Small minds will always be there.Someone once told me”If you don’t like your surroundings,then change your surroundings.” I finally understand what that meant after all these years.Lets make it better for each other. Let’s all talk about it.Rest in peace Eric James.And to the rest of you suffering right now.Please hang on. We are making things better. It is gonna be worth it.Peace to you all.

      Jan 13, 2012 at 12:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • james
      james

      Hang in there guys! We are working on making it better.Things are better now than they were when I was 19 for gay people and we have only just begun to build momentum.Rest in peace Eric James and to the untold others that have’t been accounted for .Let’s talk to each other about it . We wilol figure this out together.Peace brothers and sisters.

      Jan 13, 2012 at 12:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Triple S
      Triple S

      Just out of curiosity, how big would it be if I came out at sixteen compared to other times? It didn’t seem too hard for me as I was always comfortable being expressive, plus I live with two gay guys (dad and his partner). That was last year. So, with that in mind, how much progress do you think has been made?

      Jan 13, 2012 at 12:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • newcityspot
      newcityspot

      I’m so glad I live in Texas where concealed weapons are allowed. I’m not living one moment in fear, as long as I have my trusty little gun. I won’t hesitate to defend myself. Watch out homo haters!

      Jan 13, 2012 at 1:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tim
      Tim

      Tragic, yes. But by giving this attention, it’s only going to proliferate suicides. Make a video, kill yourself and maybe Lady Gaga will dedicate a song to you. Maybe Anderson Cooper will do a piece on you. Maybe Huffingtonpost will blog about you. It’s almost a fad.

      Jan 13, 2012 at 2:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • pedro
      pedro

      Yeah, I hate to say it…But some of these disturbed kids see the attention other suicide victims have gotten and in their sick minds…It becomes even more of an legit option to kill yourself…then your parents can be interviewed on the Today Show like those other kid’s parents were…And everyone will finally get to see how miserable you really were…It’s warped thinking, but it’s not implausible for these kids…

      This also sort of illustrates the vapidity of the whole “it get’s better” video meme…Some of these kids need more than pretty words, they need emotional support and psychological counselling from the REAL people in their immediate lives…Not strangers on YouTube.

      Jan 13, 2012 at 2:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Esculapio Mitiríades Torquemada de la Cueva
      Esculapio Mitiríades Torquemada de la Cueva

      I think some of you have watched Heathers one too many times. Kids don’t kill themselves to be trendy, or to gain pop stars’ attention.

      Jan 13, 2012 at 3:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andy
      Andy

      @EmmaMTF: Agreed, at this point, we’ve got grown adults engaging in copycat suicides.

      Jan 13, 2012 at 3:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      I wish there were some way to see this kind of thing coming. I mean, he worked for the Trevor Project, for crying out loud! All those counselors, weren’t there signs?

      It’s just gut- wrenching, every time I read one of these tragic stories. By now, people should realize the harm they are doing, the lives they are costing the human race with their ignorant, homophobic rhetoric. Or does their hate really run so deep that they don’t care?

      Jan 13, 2012 at 6:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CBRad
      CBRad

      We don’t know, but there also could be an unknown factor that pushed him over the edge. Not saying this happened..!.. but to some peoples’ perceptions, finding out they have HIV is a reason for suicide (but they’re wrong).

      Jan 13, 2012 at 7:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • aki
      aki

      @Tim:

      I’m so with you here . I have been bullied , I even went into psychiatric care at age 16 but I never tried to commit suicide . They had group therapy there and one session everybody talked about why and when they tried it . I felt left out and invented a situation .

      Jan 13, 2012 at 10:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • pedro
      pedro

      @Esculapio Mitiríades Torquemada de la Cueva: No one is saying that a healthy kid will all of a sudden want to kill themselves for the notoriety…But for mentally disturbed kids already comtemplating suicide, the attention of passed suicides could be that last push over the edge…It’s a fact that teenagers are influenced by the actions of others…People have committed suicide in series before. It’s a huge problem in Japan…Also I think that gay bullying is definitely a major problem, but a lot of these kids are jut plain disturbed with issues of depression, bipolar disorders and other mental health problems just like some straight kids, and would have had issues regardless…In a sense, making the issue gay bullying might actually cause people to ignore even bigger problems in these kids emotional lives under the surface…

      Jan 13, 2012 at 11:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CBRad
      CBRad

      @pedro: I think that’s an excellent post.

      Jan 13, 2012 at 11:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ngblog
      ngblog

      @Shannon1981: I’ve been asking that question myself, Shannon1981: How can someone work for a suicide prevention organization and no one at that organization noticed the obvious pain he was experiencing.

      But it seems that since asking that question, The Trevor Project is basically saying something along the lines of the operation was a success but the patient died.

      Jan 13, 2012 at 11:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Martha
      Martha

      Hypocrite much? I don’t know but if you kill yourself when your 19 wtf? I mean what when hes 30 and owns a house and has to manage his finances hes going to get all depressed then like he was there and kill himself? If you can’t handle life seriously just game over…

      Jan 13, 2012 at 12:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      Learn to stick up for your fucking rights instead of making these stupid videos. Videos aren’t going to help you when you’re bullied. Learn some fucking karate or judo. Stop spending all your money in bars and start spending it on self-defense courses.

      As for these kids who are committing suicide, I just wonder how many of them are doing it for reasons other than being bullied. I don’t know about the particular case being cited in the article – which makes me sad and concerned – but you have to wonder whether some of these kids are unbalanced for reasons that we don’t know about.

      Jan 13, 2012 at 12:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John-David
      John-David

      That was sad and moving

      Jan 13, 2012 at 1:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike in Asheville
      Mike in Asheville

      @Triple S: Triple, it is completely different to exactly the same, and everything in between. (I am 52, and came at 32 years ago to my parents and 4 brothers.)

      It is completely different because today’s Earth has continued to spin 44 years, and counting, from Stonewall, when 48 states still enforced sodomy laws, where gays/lesbians were fired and kicked out of housing when caught being gay. There were no gay/lesbian characters on TV, and when in a movie, always the villain deserving of death/prison/humiliation. Except for Quentin Crisp, there were no out-and-proud celebrities — every one of them were closeted.

      Of course, then there was AIDS and our whole community was further stigmatized and ostracized.

      But those of us then marched on, to make things better.

      Different today because, after 44 years, the in roads are paying off. When I came out, I never would have believed that I would ever get married. Now I am.

      And, it is also exactly the same: each and every gay/lesbian has there own path and journey. That path/journey is as equally valid to each — a scary road of unknowns, except that lying about it just makes matters even worse.

      And everything in between too: some gay kids are the kids of religious fundamentalists and some are raised with the care and love and acceptance you experienced. Most gay kids fall in between those extremes.

      BTW, you are mistaken in thinking that “It Gets Better” is failing. It is because of its success that we know of the very sad cases of when it has failed. In this sad case, Eric’s friends are the ones who have, out of sadness, publicized his plight — notice, though, this is because of his friends, friends who were there, but, alas, Eric did not feel were enough “there” to overcome his suicidal thoughts and action. There are over 2000 It Gets Better videos, and most are from kids who have overcome the bullying and lending support for the many kids still subjected to bigotry. We know of these cases because of the Internet, something that has only been so active in the last decade. Believe it or not, but the vast majority of Americans have only had access to the Internet in the past 10 years; before then, only the savvy and affluent were using the net. Also, remember, Twitter and Facebook are 5 years old. I think that more Internet and Twitter will further advance our rights.

      Good luck to you; I love knowing that our youth are picking up the fight and marching on. Hopefully, should you have kids, gay kids, this will no longer be the big issue it is today because of the efforts of those who care, like It Gets Better.

      Cheers.

      Jan 13, 2012 at 1:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lady Donna Royce
      Lady Donna Royce

      I am so sorry to see that you had to leave this world young one. I beg the Mother to have her Fay folk watching over you and comforting you at all times.

      Lady Donna Royce

      Jan 13, 2012 at 1:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike in Asheville
      Mike in Asheville

      @jason: That’s it jason, blame the victims! Who needs Santorum when you are here ready to bully victims instead of the bullies. Fucktard.

      Jan 13, 2012 at 2:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rick Rosio
      Rick Rosio

      As a 55 yr old gay man I came out at 15 in northern Wisconsin. I cried when I listened to this because he could have been saved.
      Where the F— are the compassionate “christians” whose hate filled retoric provided an enviorment that made life unbearable for this young man.
      NO MORE HATE

      NO MORE HATE SPEACH FROM THE FUNDIMENTALISTS

      WE ARE ALL EQUAL AND DESERVE LOVE AND THE RIGHT TO HAPPINESS

      REST IN PEACE
      Too many tears…………….

      Jan 13, 2012 at 2:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Caliban
      Caliban

      “It Gets Better” was never going to END gay teen suicide. That’s not really possible for ANY campaign or project. Each one of those videos is like a message in a bottle sent out into the world in the hope that the right person sees it and it helps. Is it enough? No. Is it going to “fix” the problems of gay youth in the US? No. But if you have a better ideas you think will help then by all means DO THEM instead of just bitching about what other people have done. Frankly that’s far too easy, especially when you yourself haven’t done shit!

      EricJames (his chosen identity) was just 19 years old and 17 of those years were spent with a family who told him he was bad, defective, and evil every day and then they threw him out of the house. No matter what friends and groups he found after that he still had those voices in his head, those constantly repeating scripts he’d heard since early childhood. He probably made that It Gets Better video hoping that saying it would make it true. So how about we keep the blame where it belongs instead of spreading it around to organizations like the Trevor Project, which can only do so much with its limited funding and staff?

      EVERY one of these suicides is a loss to our community and to the world. Do everything you can to help, but it’s unreasonable to expect superhuman results from any one organization.

      Jan 13, 2012 at 3:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      MIke in Asheville,

      I’m not a part of the gay pity industry like you appear to be. Wallow in it if you must . You’re not helping anybody who’s being bullied.

      Jan 13, 2012 at 4:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Caliban
      Caliban

      Jason, how the fuck are judo or karate lessons going to help when his attackers were his own goddamn parents?! Really. He was INDOCTRINATED to hate himself, to think he was defective, for almost his entire life! Absolutely that CAN be overcome, many people have had to do it, but that’s not easy for a teenager who’s been kicked out of his home with few resources and in only a few years.

      Jan 13, 2012 at 4:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      Caliban,

      I don’t know the specifics of this particular case, and I said that earlier if you bother to take the time to read my earlier post. Therefore, I haven’t commented on it in particular.

      However, I have commented on the general “It Gets Better” campaign. How are things getting better if young people are still committing suicide? It seems to be a phony campaign now.

      I honestly think you’d be better off learning some martial arts than uttering the pointless words “it gets better”.

      Jan 13, 2012 at 4:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nelson
      Nelson

      @Caliban: So how about we keep the blame where it belongs instead of spreading it around to organizations like the Trevor Project, which can only do so much with its limited funding and staff?
      Because he was working for Trevor Project and they should have been witness to the very warning signs they tell everyone to watch for.

      Jan 13, 2012 at 5:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Drew
      Drew

      Jason, “It gets better” always was and has been a phony campaign. It was started by the media whore Dan Savage who is highly biphobic, transphobic, and racist. He did it only to get a reality TV show on MTV, and to self promote himself and get money of course.

      Jan 13, 2012 at 6:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Trenton Franks
      Trenton Franks

      I believe that the problem lies in people. The life long struggle to obtain peace amongst each other despite our major differences. I pray that one day we will be able to stop the madness and treat one another with respect, dignity, and much love. I am truly sorry that society left you in despair Eric. May you rest in peace brother.

      Jan 13, 2012 at 7:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Triple S
      Triple S

      @Mike in Asheville: Thanks for being so thorough! I didn’t mean that the IGB campaign if failing per se, so sorry for saying that, it’s just that the nature of such a thing would imply more results. It’s still getting a lot!
      And I feel quite proud to be contributing to such things like Queerty at my age. I’m not sure how many guys or girls at my age are also on here, but I’ll stick to it nonetheless!

      Jan 13, 2012 at 7:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kylew
      Kylew

      @Nelson: “Because he was working for Trevor Project and they should have been witness to the very warning signs they tell everyone to watch for.”

      The suicide rates amongst psychiatrists is apparently way above average, and you would think that that their colleagues would also be able to spot the signs, to say nothing of the fact that their minds should be stronger. But I actually think that surrounding yourself in other people’s misery is like trying to rescue someone drowning by walking out into the water with them – often they drag do you down with them.

      I think it’s easy to point the finger, but if he worked at suicide prevention, he knew what the signs were and how to hide them.

      Jan 13, 2012 at 10:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TMikel
      TMikel

      How many must die before poeple accept those different from themselves? This is tragic and very sad. What things this young man might have accomplished had he gotten the acceptance and support he deserved? We will never know. Ret in peace, Eric James, peace you did not know in life.

      Jan 14, 2012 at 6:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike in Asheville
      Mike in Asheville [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @Triple S: Nice response, thanks.

      At your age and continuing to today, I am a pretty big biography/autobiography and history fan. I mentioned in my earlier response that the only out and proud celebrity of the day was Quentin Crisp. While his “The Naked Civil Servant” is not the best of writing, and the story is very tough, Crisp is very open about who he was and his struggles of being openly gay, quite effeminate, in the world before Stonewall and the emergence of gay civil rights. His is a great story of overcoming plight.

      Jan 14, 2012 at 12:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • btseven
      btseven

      At 51 , I stayed in the closet till I was 33. But growing up in a white, bigoted, mostly Christian household and surroundings , with 4 other brothers and sisters ( all younger than me) It was hard to keep my mind in one piece…I drank a lot, and did drugs to keep out the pain and to try and fit in. I was also one skinny Mofo as well, and that didn’t make anything any easier. The ridicule I suffered at school and in public was brutal. Yes, suicide did cross my mind many times. I would lay awake at night thinking about how I would do it…. I cried myself to sleep, thinking about how I would lose myself and the pain would end.

      My family was no support to me. It wasn’t till I was in my early 20′s that I met this wonderful girl (later my wife) and her parents. They made me feel whole and were not condemning to the way I looked. I grew up around them, and learned I wasn’t that bad a person. I married her in 1983… we divorced in 1990. We remained friends till her death in 2010. I came out in 1993 and had a long term relationship ( 6 years) with my first boyfriend, whom I am still friends with.

      It does get better..sometimes it takes half your life to get better. But it does… You have to search out the ones that can help you – they are out there.

      Jan 14, 2012 at 2:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      Perhaps “it gets better” might refer to the bank account of Dan Savage, the man who instigated this campaign. I’d be interested to know how much money he’s made from it. Let’s do a before and after comparison.

      Jan 14, 2012 at 2:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gabe
      Gabe

      RIP Eric

      As tragic as his death is, actions like this are undermining the meaning of the It Gets Better Campaign. Don’t make a video only to become a hypocrite in the end.

      Jan 14, 2012 at 11:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • matt
      matt

      I just wish i could have been there for you man. It really speaks to how important it is to have your family and friends behind you. So to all the parents, siblings, friends and even strangers that meet someone that is coming out or is already out, you don’t have to understand right away. Heck, for the person that is coming out it sometimes takes years (for me at least) to understand what im feeling, so i dont expect you to right away. What you can do is just respect them and support them and just acknowledge that you have your own things that you need to work out, but you’ll be there for them.

      This is what my parents did when i came out about 3 weeks ago now. I have had amazing support from them, my friends and hopefully one day my extended family. My dad told me he feels frustrated for the fact he is so used to being able to give me advice, but now he has no clue what to say. I told him, knowing that i have your support and respect means more then anything you could say.

      This death could have easily been prevented and it makes me angry. RIP man, im gunna keep living my life as an out and happy man so hopefully one day i can show people who are struggling with their sexuality and homophobia that it does get better.

      Jan 15, 2012 at 3:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tc
      tc

      Poor kid, this is so damn sad! We can’t know what might have precipitated this but he was clearly overwhelmed with serious problems, being kicked out was most cruel.

      His short film Invisible Creatures (on YT) broke my heart and belies a beautiful soul despite what he was living through. Hope he is remembered with all the tenderness and love he so wanted. RIP Eric.

      Jan 17, 2012 at 1:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rob Moore
      Rob Moore

      @B: I don’t think the poison of religion can be expunged completely, but a good start would be to yank the tax-exempt status of any place of worship in which the preachers seek to control political opinions. I don’t think they should be tax-exempt in the first place, but since they do, use it to push these preachers back under the rocks from which they crawled.

      I live in the South where theocracy bubbles just below the surface. We are a despised minority so we must continue to push back. The preachers have too much power and the educational systems are too shitty. It is a region that thumps its patriotic chest while at the same time still considers the secessions that led to the Civil War as honourable rather than the nation destroying treason they really were.T

      This young man died for many reasons, but high on the list has to be the rejection by his parents and isolation from his family. His parents should go to their graves haunted by the death of their child in large part caused by them.

      Jan 28, 2012 at 1:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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