Mar 22, 2012

Tyler Clementi - The Story of a Suicide

In September, 2010, Rutgers freshman Tyler Clementi committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge, after his roommate used a webcam to spy on his hook up with an older man. The tragedy became national news, and an example of cyber bullying to be made symbol of. Recently, the roommate Dharun Ravi was found guilty of most charges, including invasion of privacy and bias intimidation (hate crime). His verdict is due in May, but in the mean time, opinions vary as to what part of this is justice, and what - making an example. That bullying is a horrifying problem in the US is undeniable, and that cyber bullying is largely ignored by the law is a sad fact as well. However, many details of this particular case were misrepresented by the media, trying to paint Ravi as a bloodthirsty gay-basher who posted Tyler's sex-tape online thus ousting him. In fact, there was no sex-tape, no sex even, it was never "posted" anywhere, and Tyler was already out. However, even if many facts were not entirely clear, one was undeniable - a gay teenager ended his life after a gross invasion of his privacy.

I was recently made aware of this wonderful article from the New Yorker:

The Story of a Suicide

It is very long, and detailed, but if you want to have as comprehensive an account of the events as possible, I think it is invaluable. It is a horrible tale of ignorance and stupid mistakes born of careless arrogance and insecurity. And as a member of JUB (which is mentioned here), I can't help but be reminded that there might be other Tylers, right now, posting topics asking for advice, reaching out for help. And I ask myself if I have in me the words to prevent another tragedy...

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