Taking Action

Should We Be Surprised the Suicide Boys’ Mothers Are Talking?

For all the stigmatization felt by boys like Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover and Jaheem Herrera for being called gay, their mothers don’t see it that way. The horror stories of these boys — whether gay or just too feminine or different for their classmates — actually killing themselves after being bullied and taunted in school are being done justice not simply because the mainstream media are reporting on them, but because the parents of these kids are speaking so openly about it.

Jaheem’s mother Masika Bermudez talked to CNN’s Anderson Cooper. Carl’s mother Sirdeander yesterday talked to Ellen DeGeneres (above).


The parents of kids who are being bullied right now SHOULD SPEAK UP. Teachers who witness the bullying but find their administrators turn a blind eye SHOULD SPEAK UP. Older brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles who see their tormented loved ones growing more depressed and shut off SHOULD SPEAK UP.

Bullying in schools will never end. But by going on CNN and talking to ABC News and appearing on Ellen and writing in to Queerty and blogging and Twittering about these experiences, we can at least put a face on the problem and demand tolerance, respect, and action.

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  • Beto


    That’s can be a nice phrase for a campaign about it.

  • Johnny

    Actually a better slogan would be STOP HITTING YOURSELF.


  • rigs

    suicide boys? ugh

  • bigjake75

    @rigs: yeah i don’t know if calling them that is so cool…

    but yes we all need to speak up.

  • Riandra

    I agree. Bullying is wrong, we’ve all experienced it and we know how it destroys our self-esteem while growing up, especially if you’re gay.

  • sal

    @Riandra: sad and true

  • Rebecca

    I was bullied in high school constantly called a dyke by some guys from my division I was lucky enough to have a fighting spirit and not be willing to give in to them. But in the end it ended up being detrimental to me when I finally excepted that I was attracted to everyone. I was lucky and I fear for those who arn’t as strong as I was.

  • Rebecca

    @aalesbian: Actually I’m not a lesbian I’m pansexual, I’m attracted to all people regardless of sex or gender identity.

  • Lenny

    “Suicide boys”? That’s how you want these kids to be remembered? Really?


  • CitizenGeek

    Labelling these victims the “Suicide Boys”?like a disgusting tabloid is bad form, Queerty.

  • jason

    This is how the stigma associated with male homosexuality begins. It stems from the parents – who also tell their sons that holding hands with other boys is unacceptable – and develops from there. The double standard is palpable. Daughters are told to admire other women as “pretty” and that hugging other girls is OK. Sons are told to avoid calling other men “handsome” or hugging them.

    Mothers are just as much to blame for this double standard as are fathers.

  • Mike

    This is tragic and will hopefully lead us in the right direction… Parents should stand up, teachers should stand up, administrators should stand up… however, this problem will never be solved as long as the students themselves are not allowed to stand up. There is only ONE thing a bully understands, raw force. If however a student were to actually fight back they will be lucky to only be suspended.
    I speak from experience on that… in 6th grade this boy, Jason, did everything he could to make my life miserable, called me a fag every chance he got, pantsed me in front of the class (though… *cough* that in retrospect wasn’t that unpleasant *cough*… moving on), would regularly steal stuff, at one point he even went so far as to try to hit me over the head with a shovel. When I finally did break and beat the crap out of him I got suspended for it… and the part that is really screwed up, the principle thanked me for putting Jason back in his place, she knew that he would think twice about bullying knowing that people may snap and fight back… she told me that while she was signing the paperwork to suspend me for a week.
    That’s right, I was punished for doing something that every teacher there knew was a more effective way of dealing with their bullying problem than anything they could do. Until that is changed, the problem will never be solved.

  • Mike

    ok, bad timing on when I posted… the Jason in my story is in no way related to the Jason who posted right before me.

  • Hazel

    Here we go again. More bullying and still no honest response from schools and administrators.

    Blame the victim.

    Our culture has returned to a form of masculinity and bullying we haven’t seen since the fifties. Welcome to Nazi America again!

  • bigjake75

    @jason: interesting..although there is something to what you say…
    The fact is that no parent ‘wants’ their kid to be gay…and i don’t think you can undo that, or change the parental response too much..after all, they are only human.

    But we can demand and GET bullying laws in force. this bullshit has to end.

  • that one chick from oregon

    yeah the “Suicide Boys” title really bugs me. It doesn’t help at all, but it might get people’s attention. There isn’t really a point to blaming this on anyone because everyone is responsible in some way. You could blame his family, his school, his classmates, society for not being accepting…The list could go on forever and it won’t help other children out there in these situations.

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