Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Victoria Tristan Roxas Alora, 15, Bullied to Death

This just came across the online site, TrevorSpace, tonight:  15-year-old Victoria Tristan Roxas Alora, from Bakersfield, ended her life tonight after being bullied because she was a lesbian.

According to Brett Simpson, who contributed heavily to this article, Tristan (which was the name she went by) joined TrevorSpace, an online site for LGBT youth, just this March.  Her profile was promising:
I'm Tristan. Im Fillipino! Haven't "Technically" came out yet. Just tired of lying and covering it up. So I just tell ppl, I'm pretty easy going, I'm bisexual. I believe that it doesn't matter who you are, If you love somebody, or If they have a good personality, It shouldn't matter if you're guy or girl.  I love robotics.  I plan to go to MIT, I am in love with KPOP!  I am a busy person.
My favorite saying is:  Dont Be Afraid Of Shadows.  It only means Light is near!
I hate it when I'm in love cus I fall too hard. I'm Catholic.  I am strong in my faith. Music is my life. I'm Asian. I play many instruments, I do MMA, Mostly TKD, JuiJitsu, and Kickboxing.  I'm a huge tomboy! I don't agree with bullying
I am constantly bullied everyday just because I'm "Gay"
I'm real friendly & Straight forward, so feel free to message me anytime,
I'll practically answer anything,
That's so heartbreaking in its honesty and hopefulness.  Dammit!  Tristan didn't want to die!!!  Tristan had high hopes for her life.  Unfortunately, because people couldn't or wouldn't leave her alone to live her life, and because there was no adult she could turn to for help, she saw no way out.  Tonight, she took matters into her own hands and ended the bullying.
Subject: I hate my life with a passion.
Sent: Today 6:46 PM
Message: I hate my life,
I'm constantly bullied,
Today some guy I know named Casey called me out cus I got something in my eye almost the same time a girl had to use the bathroom. When I told him to shutup cus he was making fun of me more he told me to suck his d***. I told him "uhmm no thank you".  He said yeah cus your afraid of d***." I told him just cus I can get more girls then he can doesn't make it right to pick on me. He ended up stating that I have bad shoes and clothes. I have a girl at the school I go to named Zarea.  She pushes me against lockers, pushes my head down from behind, and once she took me by my hair and threw me down. I am sick and tired of this and the school isn't doing crap about it. When I told the first time, they only got talked to, and then it got worse. Then, when I told the school it got worse, they said unfortunately that happens. THEY DON'T DO ANYTHING! When I fight back I get csp (Suspension) When I leave the school until i feel strong enough to come back, it gets even worse. I already tried to commit suicide once, but it's starting to sound real good right now.
So, there you have it, in her own words.  She posted this just tonight.  When she tried to reach the school officials about the bullying, they did nothing.  They did nothing!  Now, she's gone.  Listen, these suicides are preventable, dammit!  There is no reason I should have to writing about Tristan right now!  She was full of life, had big dreams.  She was failed by the adults, doomed by the bullies in her life.  That is an atrocity!

I don't want to hear one more person saying that they think it's "absolutely absurd" that the school officials can't make a difference or make this end.  If a student is reaching out to them, it's their responsibility to provide protection for that student!  End of story.  The fact of the matter is this:  we are failing our young people, gay and straight, in grand fashion.

It's been suggested several times that the young people who are being bullied needs to learn to defend themselves, perhaps through martial arts.  That's reasonable enough.  On a purely logical level, it even makes sense.  What's not being fully understood, I believe, is that the bullying that is occurring today cuts to a very deep, emotional level.  Martial arts can't solve that.  Tristan was a MMA student.  She knew how to defend herself, physically.  What she couldn't do was defend against the constant emotional attacks.  Worse, there were no adults willing to help her deal with it.

I'm going to spell this out as plainly as I can:  we need to stop trying to rationalize, and intellectualize, what's going on with today's LGBT youth.  Period.  The hard cold fact is they are being bullied to a point where they feel the only way to stop it is to end their lives.  That is not acceptable.  Someone needs to be held accountable.  The message that's being sent to the LGBT teens is "we don't care that you're being bullied."  And, that is not acceptable.  Yes, it needs to start in the homes.  Yes, we need to re-educate the adults first and foremost.  But, most importantly, we need to reach out to these at-risk young people and let them know that there are people who care...that life will get better.  WE need to be the change that we want to see!! 

I, for one, want to go on record right here and now for letting them know that there ARE people who care!  There ARE people here waiting to reach out to you!  You life IS worth living, and you DO matter!!  Who's with me?  Here's your challenge:  starting this very day, make it a point to reach out to someone you DON'T know.  Sometimes, even a simple smile and hello could be the difference between life and death.  Don't talk about doing it:  just do it.  Your life is not that busy that you can't take just a few minutes out of your day to reach out to someone.  Tonight makes 5 teen suicides that we know about in the past 11 days.  All 5 were from bullying!  I'm deeply saddened, but I'm also seething.  Much, much more needs to be done.

Tristan, I'm so sorry we failed you.  You had such a bright future.  May you rest in peace.