Thursday, September 23, 2010

Movement from Tragedy

Billy Lucas was a 15 year old kid from Indiana who didn't fit in at his school. As a result, he was the target of bullying and regularly called "fag". This had a tragic result - Billy committed suicide on Sept 9th.

From a local news channel:  It was alleged bullying that, according to the Billy Lucas Memorial Facebook page, caused the outgoing freshman to take his own life.

"He was threatened to get beat up every day," friend and classmate Nick Hughes said. "Sometimes in classes, kids would act like they were going to punch him and stuff and push him."

Friends of Lucas say that he had been tormented for years.

"Some people at school called him names," Hughes said, saying most of those names questioned Lucas' sexual orientation, and that Lucas, for the most part, did little to defend himself. He would try to but people would just try to break him down with words and stuff and just pick on him," Hughes said.

This tragedy follows a string of other youth suicides that were the result of harassment and bullying. Schools and districts across the country are creating or amending policies to attempt to address the growing problem and protect their youth, however most DO NOT protect the youth from harassment/bullying due to gender or sexual orientation - which leaves kids like Billy out in the cold, so to speak.

Billy's tragic story is catching national attention quickly. One person who was particularly moved by it is Seattle advice columnist, author and activist Dan Savage.
He has since launched the "It Gets Better Project" - a Youtube channel currently seeking video submissions from adults in the GLBTQ community sharing their stories of surviving harassment and how they've moved on to find happiness in their lives since.

When asked why he created the channel, Dan said "I put up a link to the [Billy's] story and someone said in a comment that they wished they could have talked to the kid for five minutes to tell him it gets better." read more of the article...

If you are being bullied or know someone who is and want to talk about it, give Teen Link a call. 

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