Better idea

After Another Teen Suicide, Can We Do Better Than “It Gets Better”?

Four months ago, Jamey Rodemeyer of Williamsville, NY, made an “It Gets Better” video, usually something done by self-actualized LGBT adults who are happy with how they’ve turned out. But Rodemeyer was just 14 and in his video he admits his schoolmates often called him a “faggot” and that anonymous users had been posting vicious comments on his Formspring account—hateful messages including “JAMIE IS STUPID, GAY, FAT ANND UGLY. HE MUST DIE!,” and “I wouldn’t care if you died. No one would. So just do it :) It would make everyone WAY more happier!”

At one point Rodemeyer looks into the camera and says, “I just wanna tell you that it does get better because”—then he looks away and continues—”when I came out for being bi, I got so much support from my friends and it made me feel so secure.”

Near the end of his video, he repeats, “It gets better” for the third time before adding, “Look at me. I went to the Monster’s Ball and now I’m liberated. So, it gets better.” The young Gaga fan then makes a heart shape with his hands and the recording ends.

He uploaded the video on May 4. This past Sunday, he hung himself in front of his parent’s house.

In the month leading up to his suicide, Rodemeyer became a prolific Tumblr poster, regularly uploading images of Lady Gaga alongside the occasional image of muscle-bound jocks. But there were signs he was suffering: On September 8, he posted, “No one in my school cares about preventing suicide, while you’re the ones calling me ‘faggot’ and tearing me down” and he put up a separate post letting everyone know it was National Suicide Prevention Week.

The next day, he blogged, “I always say how bullied I am, but no one listens. What do I have to do so people will listen to me?” He followed it up with lyrics to the song “The Loss” by Hollywood Undead:

I just wanna say good bye, disappear with no one knowing
I don’t wanna live this lie, smiling to the world unknowing
I dont want you to try, you’ve done enough to keep me going
I’ll be fine, I’ll be fine, I’ll be fine for the very last time

On Saturday night, he posted a lyric from Lady Gaga’s “The Queen” on his Facebook page:

“Don’t forget me when I come crying to heaven’s door.”

Then he hung himself. He had just started as a freshman in Williamsville North High School.


NEXT: Are we doing enough to help?

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  • Little Kiwi

    my heart aches.

    we have a war going on – a war in which truth is battling lies based on hatred and fear.

    when this story was posted on Towleroad there were some appalling comments from guys saying it was the fault of “femme gays” for perpetuating a culture of “limp-wristed fags” – which is actually part of the issue that drives young people like this beautiful soul we’ve just lost to to their limits of what they can handle.

    people who find being gay so hard that rather than defy bigotry, they join in – they join the bullies in mocking and bashing and belittling “those femmy faggots” because they’re not strong enough to stand up and say “he has every right to be whom he is, and however he is.”

    it’s not just about winning tolerance or acceptance for those who “pass for straight” or embody what a patriarchal heteronormative culture deems “normal” – it’s about challenging the excuses given for bigotry.

    and it’s about getting our non-gay family and friends to be Visible and VOCAL advocates for LGBT Equality.

    Straight people who are “OUT” in their support of the LGBT Community.

  • Michael

    Ty for finally acknowledging this tragedy. It continues to break my heart to see these innocent teenagers these innocent children be pushed to such desperate limits .

    It also angers me that schools are not doing enough the teachers the faculty the principals the superintendents vice principals etc…. They continue to sweep stuff like this under the rug as if it never happened then ALWAYS lie about they tried to help when they know for a fact that they are only trying to save face.

    These bullies have no shame no conscience and especially no heart they just do not care.It’s amazing and deplorable how despicable and sociopathic these individuals are too especially nowadays.Even sadder is on Jameys It Gets Better videos there have been some incredibly vile disgusting and unbelievably heartless comments made about Jamey and him being gay.

    It disgusts me saddens me kills me inside ive been going toe to toe with many of these people on this video.It angers me so much that even in death this poor kid is STILL being ostracized bullied and mocked.The schools did nothing and Jamey needed their help desperately not only do the bullies have blood on their hands so do the parents of the bullies for not being capable of raising their kids the right way as well as the entire school system all the way up to the higher ups.

    Jameys father has even spoke out about these comments on Jameys video that it destroys lives that it hurts yet these vindictive and heartless people continue with their hatred.

    One person claimed it is our fault for teaching them that they should be proud of themselves he said he was gender confused and needed time to grow out of it.He said that we were the ones responsible for this childs death. I told him that people like him were the root of the problem and they were the ones to blame .If I ever see someone being bullied not just in honor of Jamey but in honor of all those alive and dead who have been bullied I intend on standing up for them and not ignoring it.

    Part of the problem with society nowadays is that it is so used to violence that its something normal.I see people on YT who have posted videos of fights at their school and how much laughter there is in the video and how much cheering its disgusting.

    The main problem with society is those who say: there was nothing I could do or its not me so its not my problem or i watched them get bullied …..

    Watching it happen is just as bad as handing these innocent people a loaded gun and telling them to shoot. Watching it happen makes them feel like no one cares that people will just walk by and stare and not even offer to help in anyway.

    *sighs* This society has so far to go in so many ways and this violence this bullying and these senseless unnecessary deaths need to STOP. RIP Jamey another lost soul who deserved to live just like every other human being does.

    How many more innocent lives must be lost before this world wakes up and actually makes a difference?

  • Michael

    @Little Kiwi:

    OMG you just wrote what I was feeling .

    By that I mean ive noticed on certain types that certain types of macho gay guys act like these kids are weak .They assume that just because they have muscle that they can beat anyones ass and that if these feminine gay guys dont stand up for themselves then they only have themselves to blame.It is THAT kind of attitude from some people in this community that is most definitely the root of the problem with all of this. These people are NOT weak they are scared they need help desperately and most of all they need love and to feel loved.

    I tried to commit suicide years ago due to health issues but I managed to find a way to get through it. Some people though it is not as easy for them to accomplish that and it doesnt make them weak either it just makes them human. With attitudes like the ones you mentioned in this community that is a slap in the face to the term it gets better.

    I can’t even begin to fathom why people would even so much as think that way in this community.

    All of us ALL of us know how it feels to be discriminated against ALL of us.

  • Little Kiwi

    check out this story on Towleroad. there’s a regular commenter who blames LGBT suicides on “femmy gays”. I’m not even kidding. his name is “RICK”

    He says two things – it’s the fault of “gender-confused limp-wristed stereotypical gays who wish they were women because they’re jealous of masculine gay guys” that homophobia exists. He says “we need more masculine gay male role models”

    he then goes on to say that “masculine gay guys who can ‘Pass for Straight’ don’t HAVE to Come Out because they’re allowed to have their own private lives.”

    right. because that makes sense. it’s the fault of those who are Openly Gay for not being “masculine enough” and we need more “masculine gay role models” but “masculine gay guys” don’t have to Come Out because they have a right to be closeted or private if they want to be.

    see the nonsense? it’s a useless complaint. bitching that others aren’t doing what you want them to do, yet giving yourself excuses to not have to do any work yourself.

    we see it time and time again. guys who resent “stereotypical gays” for having the courage, strength and integrity to live Out Honest OPEN lives when they themselves don’t have the balls to do it, despite their nonstop boasts of how “manly” they are.

    it’s a cycle. Equality is for all of us. the “masc” and the “femme” – the gender-nonconformists and those who fit society’s dictated “ideals.”

    I once had someone tell me that it was “easy” for me to Come Out because “everyone could already tell that you were gay because you’re such a stereotypical fag.”

    um…in what alternate dimension is it easier to be a child who embodies what society considers a “stereotypical fag”?
    i was bullied and beaten up every day. it happened. those guys who weren’t “Obvious”? they only had the FEAR of gettign beaten up, should they get “found out” – i was the one who was actually taking the abuse. amazing how some interpret that as an “easier” life…..

  • newcityspot

    RIP little one. Wish we could have saved you.

  • Michael

    @Little Kiwi:

    If you would quit acting like you are above everyone no matter how much you lie and claim you do not.It would be better period.You are no better then those people you just referred to either you get a rise out of questioning people insulting their intelligence and speaking down to them.Then you lie come back and laugh at those who call you out for your real honest actions.If you were truly sincere and genuine about the things you say you would first start by learning what humility entails and then go from there.Otherwise your comments fall on deaf ears considering how hypocritical you act here and how you yourself have BULLIED people here and just will not admit it.What else would you call claiming that people are afraid their daddys dont love them and that people should hang themselves or whatever it was you said.If thats not bullying I don’t know what is sarcastic or not words have POWER.

  • Little Kiwi

    michael, which specific words in my last post do you specifically disagree with and why?

  • Little Kiwi

    …..what in my last post do you specifically disagree with and why?

  • CBRad

    @Little Kiwi: Yeah, but you’re the guy who’s always telling others to go hang themselves, because you think (though it’s only in your own mind) that they have some achilles’ heel about their fathers not loving them. So, you’re really kind of the same (or at least you attempt to be) as those internet bullies who attacked this kid.

  • Little Kiwi

    keep telling yourselves that.

    in other news, Michael just admitted that he doesn’t trust President Obama because “Obama is a Muslim”

    and no, i’m not kidding.

    but hey, keep spreading shit about me. won’t make your own lives easier ;-)

  • Chuck

    This sweet child was a victim of our society. So called Christians and other religions are ultimately responsible for putting hateful, bigoted ideas into the small minds of the idiot parents who breed and then raise little bullies. Part of a reason a bully billies is from insecurities about themself; this has no doubt been reinforced with an economic climate where both parents have to work 10 hour days just to keep shelter, food, and healthcare for their family. So I would say that our greed oriented Capitalism along with con-men masquerading as Christians caused this sweet child’s death. The cause was institutional and the bullies were just tools in this evil which is propagated by conservatives, corporations, and Evangelicals who don’t know the first thing about Christianity and loving one another.

  • Lee

    @Little Kiwi: I believe what Michael is saying is that you are no better bashing that other “femm gay” hater bc you are both half right and wrong. Yes our society needs more “less femm” gay role models just a as much as “fem gay” role models. Last time i checked (as i agree with you) is there is no right or wrong way to be gay. Truth be told many people honestly just think i am a feminine straight guy until i tell them i am gay. Why do i need to go around blasting madonna or wearing visible make-up OR wear muscle shirts and walk like a douche to try and prove how “straight” of a gay i am. All we do is put a label on things and spread hate but at the end of the day BE YOURSELF!!!!! I am not going to lie there have been some fellow gay guys that i have wanted to punch and made it hard for me to come out in high school (YES FEAR!!) bc he went around (blind to how uncomfortable and just plain RUDE regardless of sexuality) and would grab girls boobs and laugh and go “Its ok… IM GAYYYYY!!!!!!” and honestly gtfo of my face… just as much as that muscle straight guy grabbing his crotch for the ladies… We need more people like Neil Patrck Harris that you don’t know are gay, BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY for people to NEVER GENERALIZE A THING!!!!

  • Lee

    @Lee: justa as much as i don’t want to know HOW STRAIGHT SOME ONE IS FOR THE HELL OF IT!!! if your real thats what is acceptable.

  • Michael

    @Little Kiwi:

    I’m sorry for what you went through as well.No one should have to experience much less endure bullying.

    I was bullied my whole life stabbed in the back multiple times by people I considered friends but I tried my best to not let it harden me.I was bullied for being perceived to be gay this was years before I came out.I had friends who came to school one day after we decided to not go 2 girls named April and Ashley now ex friends.They came to school I didnt we were given that choice by our chorus teacher so anyone who chose to do it was not doing anything bad. We all agreed not to go and the next day they changed their mind and decided to go we had a disagreement about this and we had an argument about it.The next day another ex friend of mine told me they had been going around telling people I was going to the prom with my boyfriend all the kids snickered thought it was hilarious.

    I tried so fucking hard to be macho but couldnt help but tear up knowing they treated me that way and they were supposed to be friends.The teacher found out and this is a teacher I called a bitch in a note I put under my friend Aprils desk that my teacher found .I just assumed April would receive the note but she didnt know it was there I wound up getting after school cleanup cleaning up the campus trash and shit. But this teacher even after that and I apologized stood up for me she didnt mention my name out of respect for me but the bullying angered her and she confronted the entire class.It was humiliating and there I was in tears and could hear the snickering in the bg and whispers .

    I think even these so called macho gay guys have ALSO been bullied they are just too pig headed and stubborn to admit it.

  • Michael

    @Little Kiwi:

    Wow I wish you would leave already dipshit.You are no better then the bullies you act like a fucking prick here like you shit doesn’t stink.You’re an utter moron and a hypocrite.Nice try also dumbass I said Obamas being muslim may have to do with why he thinks the way he does about gay americans and gay marriage.I never once discriminated against people who are Muslim though .You LOVE to put words into peoples mouths you hypocritical little bully and you are NO better then the bullies.Fuck off already its people like you that are the problem with this community the air of superiority the BULLYING telling people to hang themselves? Honestly wtf? You have the gall to speak about bullying when you ARE a bully yourself? What an idiot.

  • Michael


    This hypocritical jackass Kiwi is too full of himself to ever admit HIS faults and flaws.

    What an utter imbecile this hypocrite needs to keep his mouth shut about bullying too.Until that is he learns to not BE ONE HIMSELF.Disgusting.

  • Lee

    @Michael: too true!! I agree with this post. Human nature dictates that if we don’t under stand something destroy it. There needs to be an awareness that sexuality does notn define what a person is or doe or chooses to dress or wear make-up or dance or fix cars or be a doctor a fire fighter a body builder. THAT IS THE MESSAGE THAT GETS LOST (and not heard enough) IN ” IT GETS BETTER”!!!!!

  • Little Kiwi


    are you going to blame it on me being a Muslim like you just did Barack Obama?

    seriously, I ask you why you dont’ trust President Obama and you say “maybe it’s because he’s Muslim”

    are you seriously not aware of the fact that President Obama is not a Muslim? Do you know what a Muslim is? it’s not a skin colour, you know….

    You said that Obama is a Muslim, which he’s not, and that’s why he is against the gays….how then do you excuse the GOP being anti-gay when the GOP is also largely anti-Muslim? most of the GOP, in fact, are right-wing Christians.

    it’s just very had to take you seriously. i ask you to explain why you don’t trust Obama and you say “maybe because he’s a Muslim” , which is not only bigoted of you it isn’t even factually correct.

  • CBRad

    @Michael: All bullying is bad. The essence of being cruel to someone solely because they are not as powerful as you, or because that person is outnumbered. It happens to those who are too fat, those with a handicap, a white student in a mostly black school, even if one has a funny accent. And it’s always wrong. Always immoral.

  • divkid

    enough already guys! your private spat might appear to be a LITTLE inconsequential, not to say “in poor taste”…y’know in the circumstances…

    my deepest sympathies go out to the family and friends of this Jamey.

  • Michael

    @Little Kiwi:

    Do you ever stop? *yawning* I bet you’ve had your ass whooped plenty of times for your arrogant attitude no surprise.Not saying I agree with it but man you are pathetic.Here you are making a mockery of this childs death claiming you are against bullying yet here your dumbass is ATTEMPTING to bully ME .Talk about being hypocritical thank god id never associate with your kind of gay.Id rather hang out with people that dont wish harm on others wish that they would hang themselves and had actual humility.

  • Lee

    @Little Kiwi: Actually in the very first post that started your downward spiral you put words in bc he said “Straight guys who pass for gay” obviously live there ow lives but maybe it is bc being gay isn’t wearing make-up to them and subsequently society is obviously blind and stupid and doesn’t gernalize him as being gay. subsequently unless he is asked or is telling some one (by either joking or saying how hot someone was) other people never make the connection… i like cars, nature, deadmau5, Louis Vuitton, cutting the lawn and drinking beer and watching MMA. I DO WHAT I WANT HOW I WANT TO! are you jealous he does not have to go through bullying? it seems like it but really you should know the same fear of being hated that is in you may still be in him. THIS IS YOUR PROBLEM!!! Also swearing shows immaturity. please breath and like the great Mika says RELAX take it easy for there is nothing that we can’t do!

  • Little Kiwi

    @Lee, not really. i would just expect, then a “people cant’ tell that i’m gay” gay guy to not complain about “gay stereotypes”

    after all, if one actually cared about them they’d make a point to be seen and known as gay, right? because them visibly standing up to be counted as gay would, in fact, negate perceptions of gay stereotypes.

    i have no problem with “how” a gay person is. masc or femme, butch or otherwise. couldn’t care less.

    what i take issue with are those who complain about “representations of gay people” who won’t stand up to be counted to represent themselves.

    i don’t mind if someone else goes through a life never once being gaybashed. i do object, however, to those who choose to not Live Out yet complain abotu “gay stereotypes”

    either stand up to be counted, and show that you too are part of the Gay Community, or keep your mouth shut.
    in simpler terms – stand in solidarity with your brothers and sisters, or shut up. but dont’ complain that “other gays” are making your look “_____________” – they’re not making you look like anything. people refusing to stand up and identify as gay are the ones that should be addressed.

    @Michael, i can’t take you seriously. dude, you just said that you dont’ trust President Obama because “he’s a Muslim” and then posted a link to a youtube video that was not only made by a bunch of racist right-wing nutjobs, but doesn’t’ even confirm your statements. so, uh, thanks.

  • SBC19


    “All bullying is bad. The essence of being cruel to someone solely because they are not as powerful as you, or because that person is outnumbered. It happens to those who are too fat, those with a handicap, a white student in a mostly black school, even if one has a funny accent. And it’s always wrong. Always immoral.”

    ‘A white student in a mostly black school.’ ::::: blank stare @ you :::::
    I love your covert attempt at levying racism at black people. How about, more accurately, a black student bullied at a mostly white school.

  • Blake


    1) Obama is a Christian! Hello! He was raised in Hawaii by his white mother, grandfather, and grandmother.

    2) Obama is the most pro-gay president in U.S. history in terms of actions benefiting GLBTs and appointments in his cabinet.

    Where do you get your facts?

  • Michael

    @Little Kiwi:

    I cant take you seriously period you’re pathetic loser with an ego the size of texas who tells people they should go hang themselves for fun.Gee what a wonderful person you are your parents raised a piece of shit they failed you miserably dude especially teaching you how to treat others.Nice try also moron Obama himself admitted to being gay it had nothing to do with where the video came from or who posted it.You’re just one of those blind loyal supporters who REFUSES to ever belief something about Obama that you deem a LIE.

    Now fuck off already you are disgusting to even posting on this video about this young man who took his own life.You get off on telling people to take their own lives and hang themselves.Disgusting shit.

  • Michael

    @Blake: Do people like you just grow up to be pompous shits or does it just come naturally to you? So let me get this straight anytime someone disagrees with you idiots like you have to talk down to them and try to make them look stupid.Am I correct in this assumption? The most hypocritical thing of all is there are more BULLIES in the gay community then there are in the STRAIGHT community.

    Keep drinking the cool aid though being gullible.

  • Emmalee

    Seriously? You two inconsiderate hypocrites are having a go on a post like this? Stuff it and continue it elsewhere. Some of us actually knew this kid and don’t want to see this kind of hate and angst here. You two are acting like the exact same hypocrites your trying to accuse each other of being. Take a step back and realize the bigger picture please! People die EVERYDAY because of hateful persecution and if we don’t take a step in the right direction we could be next. Stop pointing fingers and realize that as far as arguments go this is a petty one. You know how it feels to be bullied and yet your doing it now. What does that say about your character? I knew this kid and I pray I never have to know another person in this much pain. Please stop turning your backs on each other and try to start helping each other instead. It’s not just the straight teachers and school staff who turn their backs in this situation it’s the LGBT supporters who think that if it’s not happenening to them why worry. We are a beautiful people who love whoever we want because we are born with the ability to accept anyone. Show that quality to the world and let’s see where it can take us.

  • Little Kiwi

    It doesn’t make any of us “pompous” to understand that President Obama is not Muslim.

    this has nothing to do with different opinions or disagreements, and everything to do with the fact that you’re making a choice to believe an outright LIE.

    I’m not “making you look stupid” by pointing out that President Obama is not a Muslim. You’re making yourself look stupid by insisting that he is, and then making yourself look astonishingly prejudiced by stating that that’s why you believe he doesn’t support Marriage Equality.

    We’re not talking “down” to you – you keep insisting on stating a lie. You’re making yourself look ridiculous.

  • Adrian

    @CBRad: I agree. Since African Americans being a small minority, they needed military protection from white “bullies” in 60’s.

  • Michael

    @Little Kiwi:

    Whatever flagging you for BULLYING until they take you off this site. Anyone who goes around telling people they should hang themselves the way a hypocritical moron like you does has more issues then can be counted. Amazing how you continue to have the nerve to speak to ANYONE here about what they say or how they think when YOU bully and LOVE it.Sick fuck.

    Arrogance and being egotistical go hand in hand when it comes to you calling someone stupid for having a difference of opinion IS being a complete ass as well .No surprise you not being taught the right way by your parents makes perfect sense.

  • Little Kiwi

    It doesn’t make me a bully to point out that President Obama is not Muslim. This isn’t a difference of opinion, this is about empirical evidence. truth and lies.

    Here’s a thread about a tragic suicide and you’re instead using it as a launching pad to attack me. Very odd. It’s not my fault that President Obama is not Muslim.

    and i love how you’re flagging me for, uh, “Bullying”, when in the thread about Obama you uttered an actual physical threat against me. get help.

  • newcityspot

    Gosh you idiots not talking about the tragedy of Jamey taking his life…selfish idiots. This is one of the saddest pieces of news to come out recently…it just shows that more has to be done and should be done screaming from the rooftops. One suicide is too much, any more just shows that there is something that needs to be done immediately.

    I wish somehow Lady GaGa would say something to address this story at this time. Or that someone would facilitate something for her to say something since he loved her so much.

  • Michael

    @Little Kiwi:

    No and once again do NOT insult my intelligence you arrogant little fucker.

    Talk about a fucking coward which is exactly what YOU are.I cant reach through the screen to hit you first of all.Secondly I do not go around telling people to hang themselves gee your parents sure raised a fine upstanding young man in that area.That was sarcasm .

    Then stfu you were the one initiating all this shit if you would kept your goddamn mouth shut and not even spoke to me I never would have told your dumbass off as usual.

    You mean nothing to me you are and were nonexistent to me … that is until you regrettably had to remind me that you DID exist lol

    Quit speaking to me period Ive had it to up to here with hypocritical BULLIES like you.Always pointing the fingers at others never capable of accepting responsibility for YOUR actions.Typical

  • Little Kiwi

    you’re right, newcity – taking myself out of this. i refuse to do what Michael is doing and use this poor boy’s tragic end as a means of getting off. forgive me. i won’t stoop that low again.

  • Michael


    Excuse me but I do care about these bullied teens.I was the first one who even mentioned Jamey and what happened to him.Yet no one here gave a damn until today odd that.

    My apologies though some people here intentionally try to press buttons talk down to people and treat them with utter disregard because they feel they are above them in every possible way. For someone to claim they have not stooped low when they have told people on this site to go hang themselves numerous times is extremely hypocritical.My apologies I just do not feel it is right for someone who has said such vile comments as that to be posting on a board about a kid who was desperately reaching out for help and sadly did not get any in time. RIP Jamey Im bowing out as well this has saddened me enough and I am regrettable that this took place here of all places to begin with.It taints Jamey and his life and I for one apologize for that.

  • christopher di spirito

    Everyone and everything failed this young man. The epidemic of LGBT suicide MUST stop.

  • Cam

    Ugh, watching his video was BRUTAL! He is trying to be positive and says “It gets better” but he looks like he is on the verge of tears the entire time. That poor poor guy.

    Just a few years and he would have been out of that school and onto the rest of his life. What a tragedy.

  • CBRad

    @SBC19: Because a black student in an all-white school has everybody bending over backwards to not offend him. I’ve actually known cases of whites (and one Asian) being bullied because of the foolishness of putting them in a black school. Don’t get mad at me for beinging up bullying examples I actually know have happened. If I knew, personally, of a black being bullied in an all-white school I’d, of course, put that in the same horrible category.

  • purples

    Wow, this comment thread was not what I was expecting when I scrolled down! It Gets Better if You Take Your Meds

  • CBRad

    @Adrian: Who is talking about the irrelevant 1960’s? Since then the black murder rate, against each other, is four times as high. And blacks who achieve in school are often bullied themselves for being “white”. And don’t even talk about black homophobia. The Harvey milk school in NYC is for minority gay kids who can’t even go to high school because the bullying is so dangerously bad. It’s either the Harvey Milk school or…be a high school dropout.

  • milhouse

    Just a thought. What role does social media play in the bullying equation? Should vulnerable teens be so active in their online presence, if they are sensitive to criticism and hatespeech? Maybe it’s time to build a cocoon of support around those who all too often become the prey until they are able to move on from the difficult years.

  • Michael


    You are such a jackass trying to claim people are mental you are no better then the bullies with that comment.Moron.

  • adam

    thanks, qweerty, for bringing this tragedy to a wider audience, and for weighing both the good uses and the potential bad abuses of the “it gets better” project. if only it could have gotten better for jamey rodemeyer.

    the potential problem with the “it gets better” approach is that it encourages us to resign ourselves to consolations down the road, without getting us to fight to bring that better future about in the short-term. i don’t want adults in schools to condone bullying now just because “it gets better” after graduation. i don’t want kids to accept bullying now because “it gets better,” post-adolescence. i don’t want kids like jamey to suffer through miserable teen years in the faint hope that “it gets better,” that joy lies around some distant corner to come in his twenties or thirties.

    don’t just believe “it gets better”; _make_ it better now. bash the f*ck back against the bashers bullies. call out the bullies in school and get principals to expel them. the meek hope that “it gets better” shouldn’t mean accepting misery in the present, for jamey, or for any queer teen whom it’s not too late to reach.


  • the crustybastard


    Nicely done.

  • RJ

    I think that it should not be ruled out that he was murdered, because depression is too easy to use as a motive. Its one thing to want to kill yourself, and another to actually go through with it. Every apparent suicide should be first treated like a crime scene so any possible evidence is found.

  • purples

    @Michael: Says the person who just wrote 40 unhinged profanity laden paragraphs. Yep, I’m definitely a big scary bully!

  • Michael


    Nope just a smart ass who thinks he’s correct.Regret to inform you but you are not.You’re a real idiot also considering all Ive done was give exactly what others have given me back to THEM.Therefore you treat me like shit I will return the favor.Now go fuck yourself.

  • No Homo

    This just show how “It’s gets better”is just bull shit. Life does not magically get better there are bullies in the gay community.What changes is you,you stop caring what people who don’t matter to you think.

  • CBRad

    @No Homo: Lots of truth there. There are no set rules about life getting better or worse as time goes on. The best chance of life getting better is by trying to take control of yourself and your destiny and- as you say- not caring so much about what basically irrelevant people, gay or straight, think. That said, I still don’t think the “it gets better” videos are a bad thing, but maybe something more really should be added to them.

  • Chris

    What a horrible place for people to bring in their pet “issues” with other posters. Queerty actually had a serious article and people would rather make generalisations about other queers and swear at each other?

    For me, this is the picture for why “It Get’s Better” is a failure. Suicidal people have a lot of issues and cheerful videos don’t solve a thing. I agree that the people making the videos do want to help, and that it can be awesome for us young people to hear that there is a life beyond the club hopping yuppies we see in the media. But as a person who was suicidal, I can tell you cheap slogans are a dime a dozen.

    We can say things get better, but sometimes what we live through is so painful we just want the end. It could be bullying, or parental rejection, or simple loneliness.

    We don’t live in isolation. Schools often turn a blind eye to all bullying, no matter what the reason. My problem was that there was no one to talk to. No one would listen to me. The school counsellors worked on college applications, teachers were too busy, and parents gave the same vague platitudes that I hear in It Get’s Better vids.

  • Chris

    It is not my intention to appear unsympathetic or minimize the very real problem this illustrates, but there is one thing the article does not address. My attention is called to the statement: “at the time of his death he was seeing a therapist and a social worker,” and I have to wonder: had Jamey started taking antidepressants? It’s a well-established–but unfortunately not well-enough known-fact that antidepressants often INCREASE suicide risk in teens and young adults. I’m not on an anti-med crusade, here, but as we fight a battle against bullying, I have to wonder if there are other causative factors we should be fighting as well.

  • Ian


  • CBRad

    @Chris: I hear what you’re saying exactly. There’s often a whole plethora of complicated issues that come into the whole suicide subject. But we do want people to know that “it CAN get better” without the necessarily false promise that “it WILL get better.” Again, though, I’m not criticizing the It gets better” people.

  • Michael


    STFU ALREADY people like you just continue to judge persecute and demonize ANYONE that stands up to BULLYS.Stfu and go away this page has been tainted enough as it is by hate and thats exactly what Jamey endured and faced everyday of his life.Grow the fuck up stop being an asshole to people and maybe just maybe this community will actually start to be better then what it is.

    Sites like this and people like you are an example of how far we still have yet to go hell none of us are capable of showing each other respect.Always an arrogant comment smart ass remark and judging each other 24/7.

  • jeff4justice

    We must teach kids mental & physical self-defense.

    Next, we must build LGBT community (not just political stuff – but support and social groups too) for folks in rural, suburb, and small town areas.

    That’s what I am doing in my hometown. If you want to too email me at [email protected] and let’s collaborate.

    Don’t just feel bad about it. Be provocative. And if you live in a big city where there is an abundance of stuff for LGBTs, donate to us small town gays.

  • jeff4justice

    Another thing: we need to stop all the LGBT on LGBT discrimination, segregation, elitism, racism, sexism, and anti-fem hate.

    I am not an acitivst to empower LGBTs to turn into hating eachother.

    Unite! Love! Look out for one another. Be nice. How hard is that?

  • Patsy Stoned

    Emmalee, I’m with you. Beautiful post.

    Sigh. Another tragedy. Another beautiful young soul destroyed by hate. Words fail me.

  • comus

    Surprising–and naïve–the comments that suggest “standing up” to the bullies is an obvious solution. The children who bully are themselves just the delivery mechanism of the hate they learn at home and in church from their elders. As long as the child haters are acting with the tacit, or explicit, approval of adults, standing up to them is in vain. The “standing up to the bully” narrative relies on the promise of a hard-won respect finally achieved, but that will never happen in the case of homophobes who are validated at home.

  • Chuck

    @comus: Exactly. Which is why we must stand up, point out, ridicule, and condemn the sources of where the parents of bullies get these bigoted views. Conservatives, Evangelical Churches, and any other source is the root of the problem. In this digital age it is somewhat easier for gay people to ban together and do this. As far as I am concerned, it is the Movement of our time. Bullies must be bullied right back and any adult or teacher who stays silent is giving consent to the bullying behavior and is therefore a part of the problem.

  • Tyson

    An internet campaign probably isn’t going to be successful in preventing suicides. Suicide tends to be an impulsive act. Unfortunately, the most deadly forms of suicide – such as jumping from a bridge or shooting yourself- take very little forethought. So, if your goal is to prevent suicide, your best bet is to support bridge barriers and gun safety (such as locks – anything to slow down the person so the impulse to kill themselves passes).

    The best bet to helping a kid deal with bullying is (and will always be) the parent or adult figure in the child’s life. Stop acting like every parent will crap their parents and ship their kid off to an ex-gay camp if they learn their child is gay. As we saw in the gay soldier video, parents can and often do come through with love and support for their kids.

    But well-meaning straight parents who don’t know many (or any) gay people may not know how to help their gay child with bullying. Give them advice. Help them know where to seek counsel. Educate them about the internet. Let them know that a child who is being bullied should absolutely not have unfettered access to the internet. Jamey’s parents probably had no idea that he had an account on a social media site that encourages & supports anonymous commenting. If they had known to monitor his internet usage and been warned about anonymous commenting they could have acted differently. Many straight parents have no idea what type of vitriolic comments are directed at gay people in on-line anonymous formats. From news clips, it sounds like Jamey’s parents thought he was doing better but had they been monitoring his computer usage they may have gained better insight into his mental health.

  • Hermes3X

    While the IGB campaign earns a pass for public awareness, it fails miserably at actually helping the individuals it purports to help. Really, the only people directly helped are those who are able to post maudlin exaggerations of their own angst fill teen years or those who want to prove that they support gay rights. While I won’t deny the need for this kind of therapy and public awareness, it still remains to be shown that IGB, itself, actually makes things better.

    While you can never prove that IGB saved anyone –okay, let me stop for a minute, these kinds of efforts are always prefaced with “While we can’t prove that this will help anyone, but if it prevents one individual from committing suiside…” Then converse is never mentioned “it may actually induce one person to suicide.” Nobody wants to address that and it was a shame from the beginning. The IGB campaign is not good therapy or a route to mental health.

    This poor teen believed that posting an IGB video would help himself. That by going through these motions he was going to heal himself. Obviously, it was a wasted effort and does anybody care that rather than spend his time seeking the help he desparately needed, he was wasting the precious minutes of his life in an exorcise that was designed for and by middle aged gay men?

    Perhaps now, we can actually turn our energies towards actually helping these kids, rather than stroking our egos.

  • Jamie


    “While the IGB campaign earns a pass for public awareness, it fails miserably at actually helping the individuals it purports to help. Really, the only people directly helped are those who are able to post maudlin exaggerations of their own angst fill teen years or those who want to prove that they support gay rights. While I won’t deny the need for this kind of therapy and public awareness, it still remains to be shown that IGB, itself, actually makes things better.”

    Agree 100 %. The whole idea – that somehow kids can escape the pits of suicidal depression to move to city and become a cosmopolitan, “happy” gay consumer – is really troubling anyway.

    It doesn’t tackle (what I and most other lgbt studies students think is) the chief reason for homophobia: namely that heterosexuality is a fragile social construct and has to mark out/beat up gays to shore up its own borders.

    We should be getting these kids to read a bit of the different theories behind what they experience. Why are straight men so afraid of gays? Is it really because they’re afraid of being hit on? (obviously not). Why do ‘effeminate gays’ get treated hideously, even by the LGBT community? Why do ‘straight acting’ gays find it easier to live a ‘normal’ life? These questions aren’t hard to answer.

    All the transfolk I know are SUPER educated on why they struggle with gender norms – and most of them aren’t in college. We are still a minority and I don’t see why we don’t do the same/ encourage it in young gays/lesbians. That is something (unlike It Get’s Better, which reeks of narcissism) that I think could bring real change.

  • Frank

    I always thought that the It Gets Better campaign’s rhetoric rung a bit hollow. Telling some middle or high schoolers that ‘your life is in the dumps now but it gets better at some relatively far off point, trust me!’ is not going to make them feel better. Sure, give the kids hope but if you don’t offer them anything in the time being, than what you truly offering them? Give them advice on how to make their lives better in the HERE and NOW, not later on! This is not how you provide true support to people who are suffering! No therapist would use that as a model!

    The people who provided accounts of themselves overcoming adversity should be congratulated for their honesty. But lets face it, that campaign’s spirit has been completely ruined by these celebs who are only jumping on board because it’s trendy to do so and because their publicists told them to do so. Sure, things are nice for those people since they’re so removed from the world of everyday people, what with being rich and able to exist in their own little bubble of fame. Must be nice, for them!

    But lets face it. Things don’t automatically ‘get better’ just because you’re not in high school or college anymore. Not for everyone. Not for most people. I can recognize that their heart was in the right place with this campaign, but it was very ill-conceived. Speaking as a person who suffers from severe depression and suicidal ideation, when people tell you that things will ‘get better’ in the future, it doesn’t make you feel any better. When you are bogged down in despair, hope for some hypothetical wonderful future seems laughable. It does nothing to alleviate the pain you feel right at that moment, or do anything about the issues that are causing that pain. What people like that need is concrete support and a plan of action to make things better in their immediate reality.

    When it comes to bullying at schools, no online campaign is going to make that stop. Schools need to become proactive in preventing bullying before it happens. That’s a long way off, however.

    I never really liked Dan Savage, anyway. He’s not that great of a sex advice columnist and so I don’t expect him to become that great at saving lives. After all, he has such a disgusting personality and just full of piss and vinegar, with his stupid political comments and antics. He is not a person I would turn to for support. Especially if I was a struggling young person in middle America.

    All people who are struggling with severe psychological distress deserve much more than hollow sentiments of ‘it gets better’. Thanks for trying, though.

  • Frank


    As a trans guy, myself, I don’t really think the answer is to give bullied young people a lecture in university-level gender theory. :/

  • Jamie


    Well, I agree its not for everyone, (and it might be bullshit, I’m not saying it’s all gospel).

    But for me, figuring out WHY I felt so completely rubbish about teh gay issue (both myself and others) changed my life. It made me powerful when before I was just scared and sad. I think a lot of it can take the sting out of bullying and soothe the wounds. Making sense of others’ actions is half the problem, and theory can help do that. But I speak only from personal experience, of course.

    That said, discussing what people who think for a living actually think about these issues has got to be a wiser option than promising suicidal kids some gay paradise filled with shopaholic Aberclonies (where everyone allowed in is a ‘masc’ yuppie not into fat/fem/blacks etc).

  • Chuck

    @Jamie: The simple answer is to not care what unimportant people thing. Period.

  • Chuck

    sorry for typo. Thing=Think

  • Professor Locs

    The heartache I have for this teen. He tried dealing with the hatred, the verbal abuse of his peers—but to no avail. There has to be a way to help people like this that are not yet strong enough—confident enough—to totally accept themselves. High School are trying years because this is the time you try and fit in—if you don’t—you are considered an outcast. The outcast is what others made him feel—this hatred and intolerance is not acceptable towards a human being. The world is not peaceful because we refuse to be tolerant of others views and beliefs—we believe our way is the only way. Is this right??

  • Michael

    Social media also plays a problem in this whole issue also.If you look on THIS site the way people treat people is the same thing as bullying but they would never admit it.

    But especially after watching Jameys parents and sisters on CNN I am reminded of my actions as well as everyone elses here yesterday especially.

    I am not proud of how things went down and if I could I would take them back if only to honor Jameys memory.He would not want any of us to be fighting one another thats the same kind of hate and persecution he went through from HIS bullies.

    Social media is not helping in the least YT for example has so many homophobes I cant even name them all and people who jokingly go around telling people to die or take their own lives.Half of them are not joking to begin with they actually mean it there are also death threats cyberstalking harassment people trying to find out where you live in real life.Thats how deranged and untrustworthy social media is Facebook Myspace Youtube This site and sites where people bully one another are NOT helping this issue in the least.

    I see so much hypocrisy on so many sites about this issue how can someone claim to be against this kind of thing when they wish people would go hang themselves? How can someone claim to be against this kind of thing when they themselves are bullies ?There are different kinds of bullies not just a specific type.

    Jamey needed help the school failed him in so many ways and so did social media YT NEVER does anything about the bullying Ive reported until I was blue in the face and they NEVER do anything about it.Thats because they do not care nor does facebook or myspace or any of these other sites.They only care about the almighty dollar and getting more people to join their sites thats all.If they actually gave a damn about people they would put a stop to the cyberbullying that has lead teens to take their own lives.The sad thing is what makes it even worse is these kids come home thinking they have a safety net away from the bullies… but once they go online it continues.

    So many people get a rise out of trying to make people feel as miserable as they do especially online.Those are COWARDS those who HIDE behind their computer screens trying to make people feel bad about themselves.When the truth of the matter is they should feel bad about THEIR actions and the way THEY treat people.

    If you look up the word sociopath it is an individual who has no conscience nor cares what happens as a result of what they say or do to someone else. The internet is FULL of sociopaths they are everywhere even on sites like this at times.

    These networking sites could truly make a difference if they would do their part and actually reach out to those being bullied and try to help them.

    The It Gets Better campaign is a wonderful campaign but they make it seem too easy and nothing in life is ever that easy.Not only do schools need to do more so do all these sites including this one where bullying is allowed and apparently applauded.

    Jamey needed help and he didnt receive it we ALL failed him as well as all these poor kids who are no longer alive to live their precious lives. Attitudes and behavior within this community needs to change otherwise it will just continue to perpetuate that this community is full of nothing but bullies and hypocrites. Jamey should be alive today it SHOULD have got better for him .Im not religious but I hope that wherever Jamey is it is better there and he finally has peace that he sadly did not have in life.

    It does get better but a majority of this community needs to grow up straighten up and realize that it only gets better when we are a part of the solution not part of the problem.

  • Frank


    I understand what you’re saying. It’s normal to want to comprehend what’s causing you pain.

    I agree that offering a vision of being a urban gay clone consumer in some metropolis is not the answer to the problem.

  • Aaron


    That was a joke… right?

    I mean, you’re just meant to be a parody of all those blindly hypocritical wannabe- Communist gay guys who think destroying Christianity will solve the persecution of LGBT people, right?

    If you’re not; fuck off for bringing that up here. It’s a [email protected]CBRad: Is mostly right. Though this definitely isn’t the place to go into a debate about the self defeatist Urban African-American environment spawned by the Black Panther’s influence. That has barely anything to do with this kid’s death.

    @Frank: I absolutely agree. In the beginning, it was kind of nice – mostly just fellow LGBT people who had overcome adversity and sharing their story. And then the “allies” came in. Ok, that’s all well and good, but it was meant for LGBT people BY LGBT people…. and then athletes? And movie stars? People all part of the homophobic culture? Bull. And Dan Savage…. well, the less said about him, the better.

    I notice, too, that he came out as bi. That must’ve been nice, you know, finding out that when the homophobic straights aren’t taunting you for being gay, that the biphobic gay guys are taunting you for being bi online. I know when I first openly embraced my bisexuality, the… mostly negative perception among gay men was disheartening, to say the least.

    But moving away from that…. I hope that wherever this kid may be now, he’s in a better place.

  • JoeyB

    Dan Savage and his publicity stunt of “It Gets Better”and all its participants did nothing to lobby for laws, or marches, or have actors like Zachary Quinto, who appeared on them without revealing he’s gay, come out and say “I am gay and I am proud.” If every damn gay celebrity, newsperson, politician and sports star came out and made a stand, really speak out and say “America, this is enough!”, this wouldn’t be happening. Instead, we have celebrities and their stupid videos, no real education, and if kids are not bullied by their straight peers, then, when they grow up, they are ostracized by many of their so-called brothers if they’re fat or too femme or ugly. So, we need to start with out own community, to be more loving and caring. We need to take action ourselves, and not depend on people like Savage or Pelosi or any other famous name who appeared on YouTube saying “it Gets Better”. Right. Tell that to this kid now.

  • Dave

    “It gets better” is a total joke if you’re Trans or Bisexual since Dan Savage does not like bisexual men and women or Transmen and Transwomen and he’s made a career out of giving out wrong “advice” about bisexuals and Trans people.

    It’s clear that Dan Savage the media whore clearly did the whole “It gets better” project to get an MTV reality TV show and that he and his husband are all for themselves and just want attention, fame, money, and don’t really care about GLBT youth/kids.

    If you seriously think Dan Savage is trying to make the world a better place for anybody but himself, you ain’t qualified to judge anybody’s actions or words.

    I can understand how the idea of “It gets better” would be good if it was not started by the media/fame whore Dan Savage but it got totally ruined once they had celebrities, national sports teams, and politicians making “It gets better” videos when most GLBT celebrities and pro atheltes and public figures/celebrities are totally closeted.

    Then you had straight people and the idiot pornstar Buck Angel telling GLBT teens “it gets better” yeah as if they’d somehow know and a Transman who does porn and is a semi-famous cum dumpster isn’t a role model.

    Savage acts as though he invented a public service campaign to help stop bullying/help GLBT youth but in reality he didn’t and he’s conveniently ignored the fact that politicians did this like Obama with his “Make it better” project and GLBT youth against bullying, and orgs like the Trevor Project were around for a long time.

    For the people who are going to claim that Savage isn’t biphobic or Transphobic:
    CLEARLY you don’t follow Dan Savage. He is biphobic and Transphobic, bigoted, racist, and a total hypocrite. He supported the 2nd Iraq war!

    Savage has written for decades and said on camera for documentaries and on youtube how he believes that male bisexuals don’t exist, that magically somehow all bisexuals wind up in opposite gender relationships and never in same gender relationships even though that’s not true, that Lesbian women shouldn’t be involved with bisexual women, and he talks out of his ass when it comes to bisexuality and even still tells bisexual teens and young adults that they don’t exist and are going to eventually accept that they’re gay or lesbian while he should be supportive of ALL GLBT people instead of being a self promoting hypocrite for his reality TV show on MTV while pretending to give a shit about GLBT teens.

    I don’t think biphobic gays like Dan Savage help matters. With their ‘bisexual men are really gay men who are lying’ and ‘bisexual teens and young adults are really gay/lesbian and will eventually come out as such’ tropes.

    As a gay man I’ve noticed that when other gay men who are biphobic or practice bisexual erasure like Dan Savage does, are not eagerly cruising bisexual men in laybys, saunas, hook up sites, and chat-rooms, are too often keen to denounce the ‘dishonesty’ and ‘double lives’ and ‘repression’ of bisexual men – because they have the temerity to not be just like them, all the while there are tons of gay men that are deeply closeted, lie and cheat on each other, and who act and pretend as though they are the ultimate victims and pariahs of society.

    Dan Savage also supported the junk science “studies” done by a biphobic and homophobic eugenicist who wants to find a gay/GLBT gene so people don’t have to have gay/GLBT children and can abort them.

  • Sebizzar

    I can’t stop getting chills… i really want to cry but can’t… idk… i’m becoming numb to these suicide stories & everything… it just never ends… i want all homophobes dead right now! R.I.P. Jamey i wish i could be with you in your new life T_T

  • Carson Rhodes

    I can’t watch that video again. I’ve seen it twice and I can’t hold myself together long enough to make it through without bawling. RIP Jamey.

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