In September teenage suicide hit the international news. Six boys and young men in different places across the US killed themselves that month after enduring bullying from their peers, who saw them as targets because they were - or were perceived to be - gay. The most notorious case was that of 18-year-old Tyler Clementi, who found that his sexual activity had been secretly webcammed by dorm-mates and streamed live online: he jumped off the George Washington Bridge.
Asher Brown shot himself in the head. He was 13 years old.
This is just sickening. Bullying is human nature at its worst. It is the powerful picking on the powerless. It is the many picking on the few. It is the Average Joe picking on those who do not conform to the majorative norm. And we have all seen where that leads.
There have been a number of responses to all this coming to light. One is the It Gets Better project, created by Dan Savage, who posted the initial video above on YouTube. It took off like a rocket. If you go there right now you'll find a video message from Hillary Clinton at the top of the queue.
Dan said he started it because:
Another response to the suicides: Canadian teenager Brittany McMillan started a campaign on Tumblr and Facebook. Today people (particularly students) are wearing purple in honour of the teenagers who died, and to promise support for those who are still abused, harrassed and outcast by mainstream society:
Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh, Raymond Chase, Asher Brown, Cody J. Barker and Billy Lucas