Jamie Hubley Suicide: Rick Mercer's Passionate Rant On Gay Bullying (VIDEO)
Canadian comedian Rick Mercer used his weekly televised rant Tuesday night to passionately denounce gay bullying after the suicide of Ottawa teenager Jamie Hubley.
Hubley, 15, killed himself earlier this month after weeks of suicidal musings on his blog and social-media websites such as Twitter and Tumblr. His father, Ottawa city councilor Allan Hubley, said the boy had been treated cruelly at school because of his sexuality.
As Mercer says in the rant:
"He was gay alright. He was a great big goofy gay kid singing Lady Gaga on the Internet. And as an adult, you look at that and you go, you know what? That kid's going places. But for some reason, some kids, they looked at that and they attacked and now he's gone."
Hubley’s suicide made national headlines. Hundreds turned out for his funeral, bloggers rallied to challenge the status quo, and politicians such as Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and several other high-profile Conservative MPs contributed to a YouTube video in honour of the teen. In it, they tell kids "it gets better" — a reference to the It Gets Better campaign to help young people facing harassment.
But Mercer suggested "it gets better" is not enough and issued a direct challenge to gay people in public life to step up:
"It’s no longer good enough for us to tell kids who are different that it's going to get better. We have to make it better now," Mercer said. "So If you're gay and you're in public life, I’m sorry, you don't have to run around with a Pride flag and bore the hell out of everyone, but you can't be invisible. Not anymore."
Are you in crisis? Need help? Find links and numbers to 24-hour suicide crisis lines in your province here.
A FRIEND'S TRIBUTE
HUBLEY'S RENDITION OF COOLER THAN ME
The disturbing rash of LGBT teen suicides began receiving attention last fall. Among those who took their own life was Tyler Clementi, an 18-year-old Rutgers University student who jumped off the George Washington Bridge between New Jersey and New York after his roommate allegedly filmed him having sex with another man.
Seth Walsh, a 13-year-old California teen, hung himself in September 2010 after reportedly being bullied because he was gay.
Raymond S. Chase
Gay Rhode Island-based student Raymond S. Chase, 19, became the fifth in 2010's disturbing spate of teen suicides last fall.
Obama's Anti-Bullying Video
In October 2010, President Obama released a video in support of LGBT youth who were struggling with being bullied.
In November 2010, Jim Swilley, the pastor of a Georgia megachurch, revealed to his congregation that he is gay. The 52-year-old father of four said the recent spate of teen suicides, particularly that of Clementi, prompted him to change his mind. "For some reason his situation was kind of the tipping point with me," Swilley told CNN's Don Lemon this weekend.
Daniel Radcliffe Honored
In June, "Harry Potter" actor Daniel Radcliffe was honored with the Trevor Project's "Hero" Award for his <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/26/daniel-radcliffe-speaks-o_n_478960.html" target="_hplink">ongoing suicide prevention efforts</a> for LGBT youth.
In September, Jamey Rodemeyer, a 14-year-old boy from Williamsville, N.Y., took his life Sunday after what his parents claim was years of bullying because of struggles with his sexuality, months after posting this "It Gets Better" clip on YouTube.
Lady Gaga's Dedication
After vowing to stop bullying and make it illegal, Lady Gaga -- a longtime advocate for LGBT causes -- dedicated a performance to Rodemeyer at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas. "I wrote this record about how your identity is really all you've got when you're in school," Gaga told the crowd. "So tonight, Jamey, I know you're up there looking at us, and you're not a victim. You're a lesson to all of us."
Bachmann Speaks Out
Days after being faced with a petition that urged her to publicly address gay bullying in her district, Rep. Michele Bachmann noted, "That's not a federal issue," according to CBS News. Previously, Tammy Aaberg, the mother of Justin Aaberg, a gay teen in the Anoka-Hennepin school district who committed suicide after having been bullied in area schools, delivered petitions to Bachmann's office asking her for support.
Jamie Hubley, a gay 15-year-old from Ottawa, Canada, committed suicide Oct. 14. In this clip, the teen performs Mike Posner's "Cooler Than Me."
Hubley Tribute Video
Friends created a poignant tribute video to Hubley, the Canadian 10th grader who committed suicide on Friday.
With files from The Canadian Press