Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bullycide Struck New Year's Morning: Rest In Peace Jeffrey Patrick Fehr

It's painful having to document so many teen suicides.  However, unless we're constantly confronted with the shear enormity of the situation, the fear is that people will again become complacent.  We can not afford to let that happen.  Not now.  Not ever.

In the wee hours of New Year's morning, when folks were winding down from their New Year's Eve celebration of whatever form it was, 18-year-old Jeffrey Patrick Fehr ended his life of turmoil.  According to his family, Jeffrey had been bullied since the sixth grade because of his sexuality.  It only got worse in high school as Jeffrey excelled on the school's cheerleading squad.

Off to college, and out-of-the-closet, Jeffrey met a young affair of the heart who lived some distance away.  He apparently went to spend the holiday with his new heartthrob, but that ended in a breakup.  Alone, he drove back to Granite Bay.  While others were preparing their celebrations, Jeffrey was plotting his last moments.

Left unanswered forever, of course, is what was Jeffrey's breaking point?  Was it the breakup?  Was it the years of taunting and bullying?  Those questions will haunt his family and friends for many years to come.

Here's what IS known:  the LGBT community has lost yet another rising star.  Jeffrey's friends have lost one of their own, as well.  And, his family is now carrying the heavy burden of picking up the pieces of his suicide while trying to make sense of it all.  No family should have to do that.  It's been said here, as well as many other places, too many times already; however, it bears repeating again and again and again until we begin to see a noticeable change.  A change in this mean-spirited culture which breeds a climate that makes it ok, even acceptable, for people to taunt, berate, and attack other who they perceive as different.  A change in the verbiage of our leaders, from the schools to local government to the state level, and all the way up to the national players.  Their hatred and intolerance breeds the ignorance that fosters a climate that allows this type of behavior to flourish.  And, from that ignorance, we're losing young life after young life to the mournful fate of suicide.  Bullycide.  And, here's my point:  it will begin to end when enough of us make enough noise to enough people and make it crystal clear that this is absolutely no longer acceptable.  There truly is power in numbers.  With effort, every single one of us can make the difference that is needed to end this black mark on our society.

Rest in peace, Jeffrey Patrick Fehr.  So sorry to see you go.

7 comments:

  1. Hi... I would like to share with you my son's story: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Depression/chemical-suicide-austin-muellers-story/story?id=13788360

    He was gay also, and a wonderful, brilliant artist and person, brother and son... RIP Autie.. will this never end? I pray for all the other young men and women whose lives have ended before they even started... RIP babies.. we truly love you...

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  2. It is our job as adults to ease the burden of young people in their coming of age! Let's get to it and not stop until we no longer see the kind of rhetoric that comes from uneducated close minded holier than thou people!

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    1. Will, I couldn't agree with you more.

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  3. This is so sad and such a sad ending to a young life - RIP Jeffery, rest in the arms of the Angels.

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  4. Need everyone to stand up and say it is not ok to bully. When public figures come out against equality and exceptance for all they should be taken out of the spot light and not reported on. They don't really care what attention they get as long as they get some.

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  5. ...there are so many unique lives...so much that is being lost that we will someday need to help us overcome an unexpected dilemma...each time this unique life is shattered we lose a very necessary member of the human race!...:-)...

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  6. I feel so horrible for Jeffrey and for his family... It's such a dark, black place they are when it comes to this..they feel so alone.. I just wish .. I don't know, not that they would "reach out", because so many times they do, over and over and over.. it's a last resort in SO many cases.. If there was a way we could have more support in the form of larger, more visible groups that work on their behalf, and if help were more readily available, I think it would make a difference..In Austin's case, he had counseling, medication, etc.. The *psychiatrist* he was seeing pretty much refused to talk to me because Austin was 18, even though Austin requested I go with him.. I tried to tell his psychiatrist he was noncompliant with his meds and would not take them.. he told me in front of my son, "Next time he can come in by himself"... He killed himself approximately 2 months later... This psychiatrist was only in it to write a prescription and make a buck.. it's horrific... What these kids need is a large, VISIBLE outreach program to which they have easy access, and peers to talk to, who have been through what they are going through, and survived.. Who can say, "yea.. I know what you are going through, I've been there, and this is how I survived"...

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