Friday, December 2, 2011

Remembering a Unicorn

By now, the name Jamie Hubley is known around the world.  Well over a hundred thousand people have listened to his videos, left comments on his youtube channel, and or joined one of the few Jamie Hubley tribute pages on facebook, leaving poems, songs, and essays.  Even I'm part of the multitude:  Jamie's suicide pushed me off the fence and forced me to get more involved in bringing about change, hopefully through my blog.

Simone Boileau wrote this wonderful essay that delivers a great and powerful message.  I wanted to share it with you...with her permission, of course.

A Unicorn 
“In the end we will not remember the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.” 
-Martin Luther King Jr.

“Remember me as the Unicorn.” A unicorn is special on the outside and inside. This simple post would be his last. You may have read about it in the newspaper or heard it on the radio. For some of you this might be the first time hearing about it. By it I me ean the story of one 15 year old boy; Jamie Hubley.
Jamie was the only openly gay student in his school and for that, he was bullied constantly. He was very talented; he loved to sing and act, but Jamie felt like no one thought he was special (even though he was, very special to friends and family.) Jamie didn’t feel like he could talk to anyone about these feelings. Tragically on October 14th 2011, Jamie committed suicide.
Jamie's story has been eye opening and had an impact on people across Canada, including me. It is hard to believe that bullying continues to be a problem even in my school board. It is sad that we are still harassed for our sexual orientation and that Jamie felt that killing himself was the only way to escape.
Suicide is the leading cause of death in Canada for youth under the age of 24. Most people are aware that bullying slowly chips away at someone with every word. When you're being bullied you can feel completely isolated, completely alone. Deaths like Jamie's could be avoided with things like support clubs in schools to let gay students know that they aren't alone. It's not enough to say it will get better or it will be alright. What if it doesn’t? We can do more. I will do more.

here is my essay hope it spreads awareness

It will, Simone.  Trust me, it will.

The Ugly.... R.I.P. Marjorie Raymond - Age 15

And, sadly, once again, bullying was at the root of Marjorie committing suicide.  According to her suicide note, she couldn't handle any more of the bullying, which she'd endured for over 3 years!  So, now, instead of her family planning Sweet 16 birthday celebration, instead of looking forward to all of the rites of passage that comes along with turning 16, her family now has to plan a funeral and say goodbye. THIS HAS TO CHANGE!!!  The change needs to be decisive.  And, the change needs to come NOW!  We need to work towards the day where there are no more headlines like this.

The Bad...

The GOOD of this situation is that the young boy didn't end his own life.  The BAD of it is that a 12 year old has to endure such an incredible level of bullying, read the story, yourself!, to even make him have to THINK about committing suicide.  Not only had he thought about it, he'd actually planned it.

School districts around the country and in Canada are working hard to place new, (supposedly) stricter anti-discrimination, anti-bullying laws in place.  However, that is our society's standard, knee-jerk reactionary response.  It's business as usual.  No law, regardless how stringent, is going to reach far enough with this.  As we saw in Michigan, there are (and, presumably, always will be) deep pockets of hates all around us.  People who hide behind God and religion as they harm another fellow human being.  Teens who learn to hate and be intolerant from their parents and home life who, in turn, takes it out on another fellow human being which, as we're seeing at an alarmingly high rate, is directly contributing to suicide.

No law is going to reach far enough until it encompasses the source of the hatred and intolerance:  the homes.