The recent, leaping, suicide death of 18-year-old Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi from the edge of the George Washington Bridge reads like “Lori Drew: Part II” in so many sad ways.  Two Rutgers students are charged with “invasion of privacy” because they secretly streamed live internet video of Tyler making out with a guy in his dorm room.

Was Tyler’s suicide forced, impulsive or pre-planned?

Clementi’s post on his Facebook page, dated Sept. 22 at 8:42 p.m. read, “Jumping off the gw bridge sorry.”

This morning’s New York Times reports Tyler was able to reach out online for help before his death:

The messages in the forums of a pornography site, JustUsBoys.com, appear to have come from Mr. Clementi, a talented violinist from Ridgewood, N.J. The postings show a student wrestling with his rising indignation over a breach of privacy and trying to figure out how best to respond.

In one of the person’s last messages, at 4:38 a.m. on the day Mr. Clementi took his life, the person wrote in a post that the roommate had tried again to catch him on camera the previous night, and had messaged friends to watch online.

He decided to act. “I ran to the nearest R.A. and set this thing in motion,” he wrote. “We’ll see what happens.”

Was Tyler “pushed over the edge” in deciding to take his life?  Or was his leap completely of his own free will?

Do you think the webcam taping was a cruel joke, or was it a hate crime?

Do Gay young adults deserve more protection under the law because of their perilous minority sexual status in mainstream America?

A recent study found gay kids are four times more likely than straight kids to commit suicide and that nine out of 10 gay kids have reported being harassed.

Could Tyler Clementi’s suicide have been prevented after he discovered the betrayal of his life broadcast over the internet?  Or was there something else brewing inside Tyler that ignited him into leaping?

12 Comments

  1. How much protection under law do they get at present – and is this different to straight kids and other minority groups. Just asking before I get on my soap box before getting my facts right.

    1. I don’t think there really is any sort of protection based on age or gender or sexual preference right now. The case is being prosecuted simply as an “invasion of privacy” and, with several added counts, the max time to be served if found guilty would be five years. This is not being prosecuted as a “Hate Crime” which would provide substantially more punishment for those found guilty.

    1. I agree, Gordon. Hate Crime all the way. They marked him for his sexual identity and then found their own sick thrill in broadcasting two guys making out. For some reason Gov. Christie is happy it isn’t being prosecuted as a Hate Crime case. I don’t understand his reasoning.

      In a surprising turn, it looks like Rutgers will expel the two students for their involvement because they violated the Rutgers Honor Code. Finally, some common sense in meting out the appropriate punishment!

    1. It’s a difficult topic, Anne. Can people be able to be teased and made a fool of without the fear of them leaping off a bridge? Are people who leap from bridges pre-conditioned in some way to take that fatal step no matter the trigger for the behavior?

  2. he was pushed.
    he was pushed by these two insensitive homo-phobic cretins who thought it would be ‘funny’ and ‘cute’ to out the boy on the world wide web.

    and he asked for help and never got it. his blood is on Rutgers hands too.

    this is a hate crime, pure and simple and I hope they ALL asses burn in h3ll for it. whether they go to prison or lay awake at night seein’ that boy’s crumple body layin’ in that river forever, i will be satisfied.