Skip to main content

After Tyler Clementi took his own life in the aftermath of a extraordinarily cruel act of bullying, you might think the real victim was Tyler.  You might also think the young GLBT people still living with bullying are victims too, ones that we can and should try to help before the next tragedy strikes, and the next.

You would be wrong, according to an unsigned editorial in the Rutgers student paper, the Daily Targum.  The real victims are those poor dears who've been made uncomfortable by pro-GLBT activists exploiting Tyler's death with their unseemly gay talk about preventing GLBT suicides.

A few nuggets of wisdom from the editorialist:

The death of University student Tyler Clementi might have been properly mourned if it were not for the massive rallies and aggressive news coverage that altered the nature of the situation.

Improper mourning:  talking about anti-gay bullying that contributes to the unconscionably high suicide rate among GLBT teens.  Proper mourning:  dab your eyes with a hankie and say "What a shame.  Too bad we just have no idea how this could have happened."

Yet people's relentless agendas took his death and turned it into a cause based on false pretenses.

Ah, yes, an agenda:  that thing that only scary militant GLBT activists ever have.  In this case, we want to keep our people alive.  That's an agenda.  The editorialist wants  to be sure nobody ever mentions something that might make him/her uncomfortable.  That's also an agenda, but we're not supposed to call it that, because only GLBT people have agendas.

Essentially, an angry mob fending for their rights turned the death of a young boy into a cause for "safe spaces" for gays across the University -

Elsewhere the writer admits the "angry mob" consisted of about 20 people gathering together and - brace yourselves, this is soo scary - chanting.

all the while, these spaces already existed.

For Tyler, whose roommate secretly used a webcam to film Tyler and his boyfriend, even his own dorm room was not a safe space.

The focal point of Clementi's tragic death should have been a boy's inability to deal with the hardships of life.

At first glance, "the hardships of life" appears to be the editorial's only mention of the cruel bullying by the roommate and his accomplice, and the devastating humiliation that Tyler suffered at their hands.  As it turns out, that's not what the writer is talking about.

Homosexuality is not the only reason for which people kill themselves. In this case, it might have pushed Clementi over the edge, but

That's right, the "hardship of life" that "pushed Tyler over the edge" wasn't homophobia, it was homosexuality!

Let us - family, friends and the University together - mourn for Clementi, and just for him, rather than using him as a martyr for a cause that has yet to be proven.

As opposed to a cause that has been proven:  the all-important agenda of never mentioning icky gayness and/or bullying that doesn't look quite so hilarious in hindsight.

Tyler discussed the bullying incident (and the school's inaction on it) on a gay website shortly before his suicide.  The writer claims that we don't know why Tyler killed himself - but has no problem claiming to know the "agenda" of anyone who dares to talk about the circumstances of this very preventable death.

I'm glad to say that the comments on the editorial are overwhelmingly negative, articulate, and unwilling to let the writer's agenda off the hook. The only compliments seem to be coming from the "Gayz is evil" crowd - and, sadly, they didn't take the day off either.

I came out in college in the 1980's.  A lot of things have changed since then, but some haven't.  I remember an editorial depressingly similar to this one in my college paper.  After an ugly incident targeting a woman of color, a privileged young white guy was complaining that all this talk about racism and sexism was so unfair to non-racist, non-sexist white guys like him.  He truly couldn't grasp that those living on the receiving end of racism and sexism might not think his discomfort was the most pressing issue.

Today is National Coming Out Day. There are a lot of important reasons to keep taking the next step, keep coming out.  It's good for your own peace of mind to live as your authentic self.  It's good for GLBT and questioning youth to see GLBT people living happy, productive lives.  It's good for straight neighbors, colleagues and family members to know us as real people.

It's even good for anonymous editorialists whose agenda consists of demanding that no one ever make them uncomfortable.  They just might learn there's something a little more important happening here.

Mostly, though, it's good for the next Tyler, and the next, who are too afraid to come out yet.  I'm not willing to let anyone exploit their silence for the sake of a do-nothing agenda.

Originally posted to Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 07:40 PM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Meteor Blades, Tookish, JekyllnHyde, Phoenix Woman, Brainwrap, ogre, Better Days, mattman, emal, Bob Love, TechBob, ortcutt, musicalhair, LynnS, hubcap, chipoliwog, ironist, scribe, kayebee, cskendrick, BlackSheep1, wanderindiana, liberaldregs, Bensdad, molls, chimpy, Larry Bailey, bruh1, Fe, splashy, Cedwyn, wader, revsue, Quege, tomephil, psnyder, danthrax, jlynne, ranger995, MA Liberal, gmb, TiaRachel, Steven Payne, MmeVoltaire, Greg in TN, Kitsap River, lyvwyr101, homogenius, vacantlook, Nova Land, Gowrie Gal, Big Tex, marina, CTPatriot, OpherGopher, PBen, triciawyse, ZappoDave, YucatanMan, ratzo, boofdah, eru, jcitybone, cassidy3, lotlizard, blue jersey mom, Savvy813, WisePiper, serrano, Doodlespook, coolbreeze, Rogneid, peacestpete, Alan Arizona, grada3784, begone, lcork, Nowhere Man, rserven, juliewolf, trashablanca, Kingsmeg, katynka, Clytemnestra, tobendaro, fou, luckydog, blueoasis, gpoutney, bubbanomics, Glorfindel, gooderservice, tommyfocus2003, sceptical observer, doinaheckuvanutjob, RantNRaven, blueintheface, andrewj54, Joelarama, tonyfv, asilomar, mamabigdog, Dartagnan, gloriana, yoduuuh do or do not, FishOutofWater, Richard Lyon, la urracca, Cofcos, ezdidit, joyful, Shadowmage36, Strabo, steamkettle, RokkiBlueboa, jnhobbs, Moderation, gchaucer2, hopi13, MadAsHellMaddie, Rumarhazzit, M Sullivan, Puffin, JML9999, homerun, the1sage, roycej, LynneK, JDWolverton, Dem in the heart of Texas, revm3up, mconvente, TheFatLadySings, brklyngrl, rontun, ScottyUrb, Tchrldy, dave1042, bythesea, CDH in Brooklyn, lineatus, Lujane, kyril, luckylizard, Nona D Above, magicsister, Simply Agrestic, watercarrier4diogenes, Celtic Merlin, JWSwift, Sportin Life, ALifeLessFrightening, Scott Wooledge, Carol in San Antonio, be the change you seek, Nebraskablue, Partisan Progressive, h bridges, Valhalla, CamillesDad1, DefendOurConstitution, Daily Activist, elziax, asym, ZilV, billssha, sfarkash, futureliveshere, davespicer, jpmassar, kydoc, marabout40, pyegar, FogCityJohn, BFSkinner, elginblt, elengul, dwayne, stevenaxelrod, Vega, yellow cosmic seed, MidwestTreeHugger, StateofEuphoria, nicethugbert, croyal, Kharafina, m00finsan, We Want Change, Tim McMahon, imokyrok, feeny, ThePensive, RfrancisR, moldyfolky, whoknu, Safina, Aquagranny911, jaebone, Dakit, Monsieur Georges, ridemybike, banach tarski paradox, congenitalefty, peachcreek, jan4insight, belinda ridgewood

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site