By now, I'm sure everyone has heard about Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers freshman who committed suicide after his dorm roommate publicized a video of his private sexual encounter online.
I hope, hope, hope that the young man who was Tyler's roommate thought of his harassment as just a prank. I hope that his behavior was not the result of bigotry, but just immaturity. However, since Tyler committed suicide, I think that all kinds of anti-gay rhetoric has bubbled to the surface. I do love that celebrities like Neil Patrick Harris are calling out to gay teens to be strong and be proud.
As someone who was pretty depressed as a teen, my message to young people is that it GETS BETTER. Leave your home town, leave the people who make you sad, form your own family of close friends, go to a town that's friendlier to you. Plus, as you grow older, you'll find that you become less sensitive, events seem to affect you less. You gain a little perspective.
What happened to Tyler though, was enough to ruin any adult. The breech of trust, the invasion of privacy. I'm sure Tyler felt like he'd been violated. That would be enough to deeply disturb any individual. And for Tyler, with all the anti-gay rhetoric in the media, it would seem like life wouldn't get any better. I'm sure that he thought that college would be 10x better than high school. I'm sure he went in with a lot of hope, only to be completely let down.
I saw a video over at The Friendly Atheist with an interview between Anderson Cooper and the Michigan Assistant Attorney General, Andrew Shirvell. For the past 6 months, Shirvell has been blogging against the openly gay student body president at Michigan University. He's called him a Nazi, a bigot, and the servant of Satan. Shirvell claims he's not against the young man because he's gay, but because of his "radical homosexual agenda" to petition for gender neutral housing at the university. What a great idea, especially considering what happened to Tyler Clementi. My first year of college, I had a lot of friends who had to change roommates because of issues surrounding their sexuality. Even if they weren't open, they knew that their roommates would be difficult if they found out.
I know this post is a little redundant because it's been talked about so much in the blogosphere, but I just felt like I had to comment on it because it upsets me so much. So-called "Christians" attacking gay people and feeling like they have a moral imperative to do it. It's so much god obscuring perception that I just can't stand it.