James Rodemeyer, 14-year-old in anti-bullying PSA video, commits suicide over anti-homosexual taunts
BY Larry Mcshane
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
A 14-year-old boy who once recorded an anti-bullying message was remembered at a vigil two days after taunts from his schoolmates led the teen to commit suicide.
Several dozen people turned out Tuesday night in Williamsville, N.Y,, to express their sadness over the death of Jamey Rodemeyer.
The youth – whose parents says he was targeted by school bullies over his sexuality – was found dead outside his family’s home on Sunday.
“He touched so many hearts, so many people,” his mother, Tracy Rodemeyer, told the Buffalo News. “I didn’t realize how many people he touched. He was the sweetest, kindest kid you’d ever know.”
In his blog, Rodemeyer wrote painfully about his life – including one message posted just days before his suicide.
“I always say how bullied I am, but no one listens,” the Williamsville North High School student wrote Sept. 9. “What do I have to do so people will listen to me?”
The night before his death, the teen quoted a Lady Gaga lyric from her song “The Queen” on his Facebook page: “Don’t forget me when I come crying to heaven’s door.”
It was just four months ago that Rodemeyer posted a YouTube video as part of the “It Gets Better Project” aimed at reassuring gay youths that life improved once high school was finished.
“Love yourself and you’re set,” he said. “I promise you, it does get better.”
The teen began enduring online attacks with anti-gay taunts last year, which his family said contributed to the boy’s adolescent unease.
“JAMIE IS STUPID, GAY FAT AND UGLY,” read one nasty post. “HE MUST DIE!”
Tracy Rodemeyer thought her son had come to grips with the cyber-bullying.
“He used to cry about it, be sad and angry,” she told the Buffalo News. “But lately he’s been blowing them off – or at least we thought he was.”
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