James Clementi, Tyler’s Brother, Speaks Out About LGBT Youth Suicide

This is from Anderson Cooper’s show on CNN. (h/t Bilerico)



It is interesting that James talks about resiliency without using that word.  It seems that we as a society have a “suck it up” mentality when it comes to bullying and it is true that kids need to learn coping skills because bullying is part of life. The good thing is that most of us outgrow it. But our parents’ capacity to imbue us with resiliency is critical. In the 1980’s there weren’t active counseling programs and advocacy projects and awareness campaigns.

I’m fairly certain my parents had no idea how to help me cope with the bullying I endured (not LGBT related.)  I certainly continue to struggle with being resilient. There are triggers that send me back to 7th grade. Ledcat and I often discuss those things and how tough it is when they follow you into “grown-up” life.

When I was bullied about being LGBT, I was an adult. I knew what was going on and I knew what resources were at my disposal. I did the best I could to stand up for myself. I was frustrated by a poor systemic response and a lack of support, but I never doubted myself or believes the hate they spewed – I wasn’t acting “too gay,” I wasn’t “bringing that,” and the fact that I was a lesbian was not offensive on the part of my employer.  It wasn’t fun, but I didn’t internalize it so I can see the difference.  And I can appreciate that enduring that day in and day out in the workplace would be horrific.

I was recently talking with a friend about the “It Gets Better” project and she flatly refused to make a video, saying that it didn’t get better. While she wasn’t being shoved into lockers, she had to listen to homophobic comments at work, in public and on television. She was tired of it and just thought it wasn’t any better. I think that’s a valid point.

How do we instill resiliency when the people “getting it better” are still under assault?


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