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Who Killed Tyler Clementi ?

Recently, a Rutgers University freshman, a young man named Tyler Clementi... killed himself.  He was only three weeks into his Freshman year at Rutgers.  Two of his fellow students thought it would be a cute idea to secretly film Tyler having sex with a man in his dorm room... and then put the video of the "encounter" on the Internet.

Clementi then became the victim of such intense harassment, and the crude rudeness of so many... that he finally just "gave up."

He went through absolute hell.  He felt hopeless.  In his despair, three days later... Tyler left a final "update" on his Facebook page:  "Jumping off the gw bridge.  Sorry."

It took a week for his body to be found.

Time after time... the bullies take over the school, the campus, the playground, the mall.  The hallways become battlegrounds. 

One could so easily ask the question:  Where the hell do kids get the idea that it is perfectly alright... to harass and bully homosexuals ?

Where do they get that idea ?

It's simple.  We give it to them.  As a society... we tell them it's ok.  We show them by our example. And, when they see the adults around them do it... they figure... and logically so... that if their parents can do it... so can they.

We do it in two ways.  First, by acting as they see us act.  Or... we do it by NOT standing up to those who do act that way... and saying "enough is enough."

Nonsense, you say. 

We don't tell them that !  Uh huh.

The US government continues to enforce a policy of exclusion and un-equal rights... which, in effect, says that it is ok to "bully" gays and lesbians by treating them as second-class citizens.  They are told they MUST keep quiet about their sexual orientation... or risk being bodily thrown out of the service... no matter how bravely or nobly they have served their country.

We don't tell them that, huh ?

One state after another continues to pass laws... making it the "law of the land" that insists that gay and lesbian Americans are second-class citizens.  They are prevented from marrying, or entering into civil unions.  Even Florida... recently... tried to ban gay couples from adopting children, as well.  Some even want to ban them from teaching in our classrooms.

We don't give them permission to abuse their gay classmates, huh ?

I guess you haven't see some of the Televangelist preachers lately.  Or even seen the headlines from their so-called churches of God... that preach the gospel of hate, declaring homosexuality a perversion in God's eyes... and a danger to innocent children.

No... we are Christians... we would never encourage them to harass or bully !  Uh huh.

Newsrooms all across the country bring us stories of that twisted cretin minister in Kansas... the "Reverend" Fred Phelps... preacher of hate... taking his troop of vile creatures... his "flock..." to mock the dead.  As their grieving parents bury their children... those who lost their lives in the service of our country... they picket military funerals with signs reading "God Hates Fags" and "Thank God for AIDS."

Who gives our children permission to bully their classmates ?  We do.

America continues to bless and sanctify the bigotry that empowers the bullies.  And when the bullies go too far... children die.

How do we, as adults, encourage these bullies ?  By continuing to show them that hatred... driven by fear... is ok.

These children... these children of ours, and of others.  By our continuing to allow gays and lesbians to be treated as second-class citizens... refusing them their rights as both Americans, and as children of whatever God we believe in... we show these bullies that it's ok.

These children did not kill themselves by commiting suicide.  We killed them.  When, oh when, will we stop ?

Comment balloon 59 commentsKaren Anne Stone • October 08 2010 10:21PM

Comments

It's a shame he killed himself. So very young and just getting started in life. There are many that kill themselves for many reasons, always makes me shake my head.

Posted by Scott Baker, Realtor Homes for Sale in Cincinnati, West Chester, Mason, OH Area (www.eHomeReports.com Coldwell Banker West Shell) almost 8 years ago

Scott:  Of course, it was such a horrible shame, and such a waste of a talented young man.  Rarely, though, do they act alone in bringing about the end of their lives.  They always have "help."  And often in such subtle ways... but unfortunately, at times, in very blatant ways.  Thank you for being brave enough to comment.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 8 years ago

Well Karen, you certainly expressed your anger for this misfortune, and rightfully so. It is a tragedy and my heart goes out to the boys family. You have a compassionate heart and it takes people like you and an Act by Washington to implement laws against this type of behavior. Have you seen Ellen Degenerat's YouTube video? She does an excellent job speaking her mind too.

Posted by Patricia Feager, Selling Homes Changing Lives (DFW FINE PROPERTIES) almost 8 years ago

Patricia:  No, I have not seen Ellen's video.  I will try and find it right now, but could you include a link to it in your comment... if you would be so kind.

It's so ironic that as a little girl in Catholic grade school... I remember singing a hymn named "And They'll Know We Are Christians By Our Love."  I wonder what happened ?

The boy's family will never recover.  Never.  Such a waste.  Such a shame.  Thanks so much for your comment.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 8 years ago

Such a tragic shame. I was some what surprised by the harassment from students. I thought the younger generation was more tolerant.

Posted by Mitchell J Hall, Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn (The Corcoran Group) almost 8 years ago

Progress does not always move in the right direction - remember the dark ages - with some of the candidates out there - we are headed right for them...

Posted by Ruthmarie Hicks (Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605) almost 8 years ago

Mitchell:  They are so surrounded by so many signs of prejudice.  Yeah, I thought they would be more tolerant, and I think many of them are.  But the ones who are not... are pretty arrogant about it.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 8 years ago

Ruthmarie:  Progress ?  Well, for some.  And I think there ARE a lot of folks who are much more "accepting"... or even beyond that... to the point of how being gay or lesbian simply doesn't matter.  And then there are those who resort to violence.  Be it harassment or bullying, or shooting pro-choice physicians in Church... of all places.

I DO think that more folks are more tolerant, but honestly... so many of those who are not... just don't seem to care who they hurt.  Yes... there are some candidates out there... on the far right... some of them even make John Boehner look like a moderate.  Such a shame.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 8 years ago

Karen, Thanks for the post. I attended the vigil in your photograph. In the organizers' closing remarks they issueda call to action to love one another and support each other. However, there was no mentioning of all the blatant encouragement that bullies get from society at large. Your very eloquent and passionate delivery here, speaks to the root causes that need to be addressed.

Posted by William Collins, Director of Property and Asset Management (ERA Queen City Realty) almost 8 years ago

I'm glad that you framed your post with the logic that you did.  If it "takes a village" to raise a child, then it also "takes a village" to kill a child.  We can not continue to say how awful "those bullies" are without also accepting the responsibility as a whole for the actions of those same bullies.

There's a group of talented young college students here in Maine who put together a beautiful video about this called We're (NOT) straight:  A Call to Honesty & Rest.

This has to stop.  WE have to stop it now.  Everyone has to take a long hard look at the examples they are setting.  EVERYONE also has to ACTIVELY teach their children tolerance and love of ALL of their fellow human beings.  If we wait for them to just "pick it up along the way" we will continue to be appalled at what behaviors they do pick up.

Posted by Kristen Wheatley, Supporting Success - Best Job in the World! (Better Homes & Gardens | The Masiello Group) almost 8 years ago

Regarding your post...well said. And good for you for saying it. I have gay friends -- adult friends --  who have endured abuse all of their life, and I have heard the horror stories. It is a pathetic comment on the state of who we are as a people when intolerance and ignorance rise to the level of murder. We don't like what we don't understand...it is the human way. Sad, but all too common.

That said, there are many, many people out there who DO get it...who DO have open minds and open hearts and who are NOT governed by fear of the unknown. These are the people who will slowly turn the ship around...

Here's a link to the Ellen DeGeneres message...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Br7nbQSIyhg&list=QL&feature=BF

Posted by Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC, Selling the Upstate since 1989 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner) almost 8 years ago

And he was someones child, someones life!  My heart goes out to his family. Thank you for posting this and bringing it to the forefront.  Life is so precious!  Bully's don't seem to have any sensitivity to the pain they can cause a wonderful young man.

Thank you Karen for posting this story.

Posted by Elizabeth Arduain, Lubbock Texas Real Estate (The Diamond Group @ Keller Williams) almost 8 years ago

Sheila, thank you for the link.

Karen Anne, thank you for a well worded blog.  Hatred of others is STUPID and it needs to stop.  Perhaps you reached just one more person who will think twice about bullying someone who has done no harm to you personally .  IT'S STUPID.

Posted by Juli Vosmik, Scottsdale/Cave Creek, AZ real estate 480-710-0739 (Dominion Fine Properties) almost 8 years ago

William:  I am just blown away by the fact that you were physically AT that candlelight vigil for Tyler... that I used in my post.  I would have loved to have been there.

I would also love it if you had written a post about it.  Have you already written one ?

So much of our society encourages bullies.  We, as a country, have at times played the role of the bully.  Thank you so much for your very kind words.  Take care...

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 8 years ago

Kristen:  What can I say.  So many people laughed when Miss Hillary spoke of how "it takes a village."  But, as you so eloquently said... it really does. 

Nothing happens in a vacuum.  Nothing.  If we are not part of the solution, then we are ALSO part of the problem.  This is not a time when our silence is allowed.  Not if we want to be truly human.  Forget about "being Christian"... just being "human" will take care of it.

I watched the video your link led to... and I recommend that everyone who reads this... watch it.  We're (Not) Straight was so well done.  I watched it, and just sat here... tears in my eyes... as I so often have.

It's the culture we live in... that says that if all else fails, try violence.  I occasionally have told the story about... way back when, in the time of the drive-in movies, when parents would pack up the kids, and drive everyone to the movies.  A friend of min had a part-time job working in the ticket booth at the drive-in.  Parents would see in the papers that a certain movie was rated "R"... and they call up wanting to know if it was "R" for sex, or violence.

When my friend say it was "R" for violence... the caller almost ALWAYS said... good... we can bring the kids.  Violence is fine, we just don't want to take them to an R-rated movie that is R... for sex.  What a culture.

Yes... it must stop.  But... as I said... and as YOU said... it is WE... as "the Village..." that must be part of the solution.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 8 years ago

Sheila:  I just HAD to write this.  I just HAD to.  A lifetime of abuse.  Sure, in many folks... it IS getting better.  But... for those who hate... somehow that hateful group has become even more empowered than they were before.  And WE... are the only ones who can stop it.

When someone is an adult, and is one who has endured the abuse, it's one thing.  But for a child, or a teen... who has enough crazy emotions to start with... adding being gay or lesbian, or being different in some other way... and then throwing these abominable bullies into the mix... wow, talk about having the deck stacked against you.

Those of us who feel that what we see going on is wrong... we... and I mean ME as well... must quit watching and commenting so much... and start actually DOING.

Thanks for the link to Ellen's message.  I watched it... three times.  It was so moving.  She is just such a special person.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 8 years ago

Elizabeth:  Someone's child, someone's life, someone's baby.  When a child is born, we have such hopes for them.  Why does it change ?  And what can we do, to keep hope alive ?

I remember... a personal story here... that I used to come home from elementary school... and tell my Mom that the other kids called me "weird."  Honestly and truly, my Mom said... "That's ok, honey.  Weird is just another word for "special."  Ahhh... the wisdom of Motherhood.

There was another suicide that I read about today... that was perhaps the thing that pushed me to finally write this.  There was a girl... who actually lived in the town of Mentor, Ohio... whose only "crime" was that she was from Croatia... in eastern Europe.  She spoke with an accent, and her parents, at least her dad, spoke very little English. 

The bullies... both boys and girls... teased this girl so much... she hanged herself... using her favorite pink scarf... from the canopy bed in her bedroom.  The story said that... during the "viewing" at the funeral home... some of her classmates who were the bullies... actually came up to her casket, looked inside, and laughed at her.

It is so easy to grouse and wonder... "where do they GET this stuff ?"  The energy involved would be much better spent to ask ourselves... "what can I do about it ?"

And... you are very welcome.  As I said... I could not NOT write this.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 8 years ago

Juli:  Stupid is a great word.  Inhuman is another.  But, then again, it is a bunch of so-called "humans" who are doing the bullying and the harassing.  And it SO needs to stop.

Kids learn by example.  And these kids HAD to see this kind of behaviour somewhere.  It somehow feeds itself... and somehow we need to stop it.

You know, Juli... what you said about perhaps reaching just one more person who will think twice... that is all we really need.  If millions of us... each of us... can do something... anything... to change just ONE person... what a change that would be.

And... you are most welcome.  I just could not go to sleep tonight... without doing something.  I do believe that if I... am not part of the solution... then I am also part of the problem.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 8 years ago

Karen Anne - Thank you for this.  I've been *out* for 30+ years and still find myself hesitant to talk openly about it in certain places.  I posted a link to Dan Savage's "It Gets Better" video in my blog a few nights ago and I just can't tell you how long I had it sitting in draft mode.  Do I.  Don't I.  What are they going to say.  Am I willing to take the chance.  I was shocked at myself for even hesitating.  I'm the out, loud, proud, in your face, rainbow flag waving liberal and I was worried I might offend the realtors?  What the hell has happened to me?!

I finally realized that this wasn't about posting a video to AR it was about posting a message to people who may not ever see it if they don't run across it here.  I can post anything I want to Facebook and other forums I hang out in because it's safe and I know that most everyone seeing it will agree with me.  But, that doesn't get the message out to the people who need to see it the most.

This isn't something strange thing anomaly that happened to four or five kids right in a row.  The truth is that this type of bullying and harrassment happens every day, every where to all kinds of children.  If you're reading this post and you know a child under the age of 18, the odds are very good that they are either being bullied in school or they are bullying someone in school.

It needs to stop now.  Please keep talking about it!

ETA - Here's a link to the "It Gets Better" videoon YouTube.

 

Posted by Gayla Worrell, Real Estate Webworks (Windermere Real Estate/Everett, Inc.) almost 8 years ago

Well said, Karen Anne, and thanks to those who posted the other links. I am at a loss for words, really, but these messages are so important.

Posted by Kristen Correa, Broker, I love coffee & real estate. I am out of coffee! (Kristen Correa Real Estate & Reedy Creek Realty Services) almost 8 years ago

Yesterday I was in the store with my youngest daughter and her son. There was a headline article about this, my daughter turned to me and said that if she ever found out her son was bullying someone she would have his hide. That brought back memories from when my girls were young and I used to tell them the same thing.

We do teach them it is ok, we are a very un-tolerant society, hypocritical, on and on. I applaud you for this post, I am sorry that there is a need to write them in the first place.

I can't imagine what the family of this young man is going through.

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) almost 8 years ago

I'm afraid a big part of this is religious leaders of large congregations teaching that being gay is evil and should not be tolerated. The politicians simply follow the votes. If more people come around on the issue of homosexuality, our laws and rhetoric might change.

Posted by Dan Falco, Assist 2 Sell Full Service Discount Broker (Assist-2-Sell Buyers and Sellers Advantage) almost 8 years ago

Karen Anne. Let me just say this. Most of us are Christians IN NAME AT LEAST as opposed to Hindu or Muslim...I think the church should rid itself of gays, RIGHT AFTER IT RIDS ITSELF OF LIARS, CHEATERS, BACK BITERS AND GOSSIPS! But not until.

Posted by Charles Edwards Bentonville, AR REALTOR, Bentonville Real Estate Agent and Broker (Coldwell Banker Harris McHaney & Faucette 479-253-3796 ) almost 8 years ago

Ms Karen- your post was thoughtful and thought provoking.  We, society, are all responsible for the bullying and intolerance either by perpetuating it or by standing by and doing or saying nothing.  If an acquaintance makes a comment or joke about gays, do we chuckle and say nothing or do we speak up? We have to ask ourselves if we have the courage to speak up for what is wrong, because if we don't the bullying (and everything else wrong in the world) will continue.  

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) almost 8 years ago

Good morning Kareen Anne,

Thank you for taking the time to write this post. Your compassion shines through and my heart goes out to this family with the loss of their son.

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799) almost 8 years ago

Karen Anne, my heart breaks for Tyler Clementi's family, and for Tyler himself for the anguish, the loneliness, the disillusionment, and the powerlessness he must have felt before he took his life.  As the mother of two boys, I know my job is continual and all-encompassing, but I am determined to raise two tolerant, kind, understanding, compassionate and strong men.  And by the looks of things, so far it's working :)

Thank you, Karen Anne, for showing us your heart and your compassion once again, and for bringing us a message that needs to be shared.  Suggested...

Posted by Tanya Nouwens, Montreal Real Estate Broker & Stager (RE/MAX ROYAL (JORDAN) INC. / Tanya Nouwens Inc. www.readysetsold.ca) almost 8 years ago

This was vile and tragic. Bullying is rampant across the country not just with gays and lesbians. It is WRONG for any human being.

Most parents don't know this is occuring as kids don't want to tell their parents, as they are afraid the parents will go to the School Administrators.

My husband teaches high school, he had an Teacher Assistant in his class up until yesterday, she was right out of college and took a job there. One student in his class sexually harassed her, he reported the student. Nothing happened... back in  school.

Yesterday "someone" painted her car.

She quit.

I don't blame her.

Until kids are willing to talk, administrators willing to punish, and parents are willing to educate their kids with morals, human behavior...this horrible trend will continue. Regardless if you are straight or gay.

IT IS WRONG!!!

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) almost 8 years ago

This was nicely said Karen Anne.  This boy haunts me.  I sent Ellen's message to both my boys.  They have always had my full support to clobber anyone who is harrassing them and as long as they don't start a fight, I will stand next to them in the principal's office.  They also know just how disappointed I would be in them if they ever bullied another child. 

Our school district is really clamping down on bullying however, the child being bullied often doesn't say anything for fear of bringing more attention to him/herself.  

Posted by Susan Mangigian, Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches (RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A) almost 8 years ago

It is so sad what happened here. It is just as sad what goes on every day in public schools from bullies to anyone that is different. 

Posted by Trey Thurmond, College Station , Texas Homes (BCR Realtors) almost 8 years ago

Hi Karen-Great post and although it was written earlier, I have suggested it.  This post needs to be featured so that everyone has a chance to comment.  I think that there are those Christians who are afraid to say that they don't really believe that God is against Gay and Lesbian people and some listen as preachers and pastors preach about the abomination of being homosexual. 

Basically, your post brings about the truth which says that silence is agreement.  If you keep silent on something that you believe is wrong, you in short, agree with them.  I don't know how long it's going to take to change our society.  Keep in  mind, for some people, that belief will never change.  This is why we still have prejudice against different races, religions, genders, nationalities, and of course sexual orientation.  We as a County have come a long way; however, we still have a very long way to go.

I try my best not to judge others and I do believe very wholeheartedly that my God loves everyone and is sadened by the violence and intolerance of others. 

Thank you for writing this and sharing your thoughts with everyone here.  God Bless you.

Posted by Brenda Mullen, Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!! (RE/MAX Access) almost 8 years ago

This is just heartbreaking, Karen Anne.  I can't imagine doing something as cruel as posting that video.  I am just so sad that this poor boy didn't reach out to his family or friends to get through this.  I hate that this is still happening, it makes me so angry.  I tell my daughter all the time that life gets better, school is NOT like real life, and I tell her that nothing she tells me is too much for me to handle.  I want to help her through anything that happens.  I really hope she listens.  I know she is not a bully, and I know she is tender hearted.  Someone asked me the other day, "Isn't 7th grade too early to know about people being gay or transgendered?".  The answer is NO.  Junior high is hell for many (if not most kids) and even harder for gay children.  It's never too soon to learn to be tolerant and interested in people's differences. It is crucial that we do not pass irrational fears onto our children.

 

Chris

Posted by Chris Fisher (Your Virtual Assistant) almost 8 years ago

Chris:  It just blows my mind that anyone could ask if it was too early for a seventh grader in junior high to "know" about people being gay or transgendered ?  The average 12 or 13 year old (typical seventh grader) already knows many gay or lesbian kids, and probably knows someone who is transgendered.  The fact of even ASKING a question like that makes one wonder what planet the person asking the question lives on.

Gay and lesbian kids are NOT as few as this person probably thinks... although the asking of that question makes it appear that the person asking it is oblivious to their presence.

How many gay or lesbian kids does your daughter know ?  How many transgendered kids ?  And transgendered from the broadest definition of the term... to the most narrow.

You and I both know that in the American Indian culture, and in MANY cultures... the transgendered were thought to be "gifted."  They were thought to have an awareness that others did not have.

Why oh why are so many people so afraid of lesbians, gays and the transgendered ?  They are more often than not very, very special people.

But also... they are often more "tenderhearted" that the typical child... and as such, more vulnerable.  Not saying that many children are not "tenderhearted" themselves.  Of course they are.  It is just that ANY child who is subject to being teased or bullied... is vulnerable... just because they are different.  You just must know how angry this makes me... especially in view of my own twin'spirited'ness.

Do I feel I have some sort of a special connection to seventh-graders ?  Yes ma'am.  As you may know, I spent nine years teaching seventh-graders earlier in my life.  It was obviously easier then in many ways.  And... my being the one that the kids came to school early to talk to, and stayed late to talk to... made it so very difficult for me to leave teaching.  I STILL feel guilty about leaving.

It is also so unfortunate that if I were teaching today... I would NOT be allowed to have the same interaction with the kids that I had back then.  Things will just never... be the same.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 8 years ago

Gayla:  You are very welcome.  I think I remember when I first commented on one of your posts... or read your blog, I followed a link somewhere, and I remember I saw the names Leslie Feinberg and Minnie Bruce Pratt... both names I recognize.  And, of course, many others along with them.  I read Leslie Feinberg years ago.  Buffalo was very much like Cleveland.

It is so difficult to live two lives.  Or three.  Or more.  I think for the most part that Active Rain is a fairly welcoming place.  And, as far as my continuing to talk about what I wish... nothing I know is going to stop me.  Folks who read my blog posts know that... kinda/sorta... <silly grin>

This bullying is something that happens every day in our schools.  Many who disapprove of bullying say it is wrong to label the bullying of gays, lesbians and the transgendered as something NOT to be singled out.  They say that all bullying is wrong.  Of course it is.  But nowhere in society do we see so many of the religious and political permissions given that broadcast to all... that trampling on the rights of lesbians, gays and the transgendered is not only alright... but that it is to be expected and accepted.

That's where the difference lies.  By the way... the YouTube video It Gets Better really needs to be seen by the kids being bullied in school... lesbian, gay, or "otherwise-different."  It does get better.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 8 years ago

Kristen:  The folks who have commented here... are always so constructive in what they bring to one of my posts.  This really IS a two-way street.  Conversations abound.  That is why it's so important to read the comments, rather than just going straight from reading the post... and then making a comment.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 8 years ago

Andrea:  I think you must have miss-typed.  That would make you a grandmother.  Nah...

It sounds like you have brought up your daughter right... with her response like that.  Whenever any of us... stand by and just watch when things like this happen... well... our kids are watching, and we need to remember... they're taking notes.

Why tolerance is such a tough thing to make a part of our being... well... we can probably get a good hint about the answer for that by turning on the television set.  Intolerance in the news... abounds.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 8 years ago

Dan:  How so many of the religious and political leaders of today can even DREAM of calling themselves "leaders" is beyond me.  Being gay is NOT evil... no more than being left-handed is evil.  It is simply different.  We were born that way.

Yes, the politicians do follow the votes... which, of course, makes them susceptible to the whims of their "folks back home."

Just like in California... with so many conservative groups pouring money into the state to fight recognizing equal rights that should be part of everyone's freedoms.

It does not matter what the majority of those who vote... want.  If they are voting to deny someone's rights... well, it should not even have been something that was ON the ballot.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 8 years ago

Hi Karen Anne... what a wonderfully written post on subject that reflects so poorly on us as a society because we allow this to happen.  We are complicit in the deaths of these children because as a society we do little to put an end to bullying, regardless of who and why.  I have flagged this for a feature... getting the word out is the least we can do.

Posted by Steve Shatsky almost 8 years ago

Karen Anne, I thought it was an odd question as well, since Junior High is when kids usually start thinking about dating.  I'm not sure if anyone in her grade is openly gay, however I haven't asked her.  She does have one friend who believes she should have been born a boy. 

It makes me physically sick that these things are still happening. I wonder how the parents of these bullies are handling this.

Chris

Posted by Chris Fisher (Your Virtual Assistant) almost 8 years ago

It is very sad when these types of things happen AGAINST anyone, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation and/or social status. Unfortunately parents are even ashamed of their own children's choices so how much more an immature teenager. If children were taught at home everyone is equal then various lifestyles would be more acceptable. I AM A CHRISTIAN - my church DOES not encourage this behavior and we believe that ALL PEOPLE are equal under the Lord. I could NOT serve a GOD that was about HATE. The one I serve is about LOVE, GRACE & MERCY. My heart not only goes out to this young man's family BUT to the families that instilled that behavior into their children's hearts to do such a hurtful thing.

Posted by Sherilyn M. Whistler, Need a Referral, Call Me ! (ERA Herman Group Real Estate-NoCo) almost 8 years ago

I'm afraid Tyler Clementi killed Tyler Clementi.  He was placed in a position not even some adults can handled.  I'm sorry that someone so young would take their life over such a controversial subject.  It was only recently that this life style came out of the closet, and some adults are still afraid to do so.

Posted by Dee Mayers, San Gabriel Valley, CA almost 8 years ago

Karen, I had heard about the bullying of Tyler but did not know the whole story.  How awful.  It feels as if society is going backwards.  Isn't this supposed to be the age of enlightenment.  How sad this is.

Posted by Kate Bourland, Onlilne Marketing Mobile Marketing (Marketing with Kate) almost 8 years ago

Karen Anne- what a thoughtful and thought-provoking post.  I heard very recently that there is a large percentage of teenage suicide attempts that are caused by this very circumstance.  They get to the point where they are so confused and hurt by their conflicting emotions that they truly believe there is no other option.

I dear friend's son came out about a year ago.  When he finally told his parents, he was terrified at how they would react, although they had never felt that there was anything "wrong" with being gay.  In the long and tearful and joyous conversation that followed, he admitted to his mom that he has very seriously contemplated suicide.

This brilliant young man is out and proud and taking on the world now.  He also came up with a very interesting theory.  He said that there is a spectrum.  On one end Men AND Women like Women.  On the other end, Men and Women like Men.  Most people, whether they call themselves gay, straight or bi, fall somewhere on that spectrum, and almost no one falls on one or the other END.

I love what your mom said about being called "weird".  Whenever I was called weird at school, I would say "thanks!"  and carry on.  Whenever my daughter tells me someone said she is strange or "crazy", I tell her to just say thanks.  Some days, I have to hold her while she cries.

When she was in kindergarten, there was a little girl who was a horrific bully.  When my daughter was in the bath, I saw a HUGE hematoma (sp?) on her leg and had to nearly force her to tell me how it happened.  You bet your ass i was in school the next day taking care of business- report to the school that did exactly what it needed to do.  She was stopped and actually ended up being a very sweet child after that year was over. 

It needs to be stopped early like that, because that is when it starts.  

Posted by Jennifer Prestwich, Your Castle RE Colorado (Henderson, Thornton, Broomfield and Westminster) almost 8 years ago

It is the tragedy of all tragedies when parents lose their child. In this case, it must be even more agonizing for them due to the circumstances and the humiliation caused by those bullies by posting their sons "conduct" for the whole world to see.

I can only hope that these bullies feel immense remorse....but as ignorant as they obviously already are, I am not holding my breath....

 

I can tell you are very taken by this story, Karen Anne, and I applaud you for posting this.

Posted by Gina Nugent, Real Estate Agent - Palm Beach, FL (Donohue RE) almost 8 years ago

We've all seen it.  There have been instances of bigotry and bullying on this site too, from people who are supposed to know better and who seem to have forgotten their license law and the Code of Ethics.

Posted by Eric Kodner, Wayzata Lakes Realty: Twin Cities, Madeline Island (Wayzata Lakes Realty: Eric Kodner Sells Twin Cities Homes) almost 8 years ago

Karen,

I just suggested this for a feature - it really should be!  There is too much hatred in the world.  If we truly want to change the world, we need to start with ourselves: love, acceptance, tolerance, honesty and undertanding are the only ways to live our life!

Posted by Marzena Melby, Realtor, Twin Cities Minnesota Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Burnet Realty) almost 8 years ago

Karen

Just a sad and tragic thing to happen. Bullying is to be focused on and addressed more in schools. I hear this alot of students and some kids are just plain mean in their attitude.

Posted by Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459, Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD! (Coldwell Banker) almost 8 years ago

Karen Anne - Everyone must see the video at this website. Anyone watches it to the end will be in tears, and understand.

Posted by Judy Chapman (Referral Network of Illinois LLC) almost 8 years ago

Thanks for posting this story.  The story is a sad one and I think it is time for everyone to notice and pay attention to what is really going on.

Posted by Debbie Atwood, Real Estate Broker (Century 21 Real Estate Center Everett, WA) almost 8 years ago

It's certainly not okay to bully anyone, for any reason. This story is much too tragic and thank you for sharing the tory.  My heart goes out to his family and friends.

Posted by Gail C. Harris, Reach the BEACH with Gail C. Harris (cell: 703.868 (Resource Network, LLC SFR, AHWD, ACRE, SMAR Board Director) almost 8 years ago

Karen ~ Bullying is one subject that infuriates me. It's just so cruel and unnecessary. The adults that turn a blind eye and say it's not happening need a wake-up call. Children should not have to die to be heard regardless of the attack issue. Thank you for your post.

Posted by Diane M. Phillips Realtor 443-286-4365, Specializing in Carroll Co., MD (Frankly Real Estate Inc.) almost 8 years ago

That was such a senseless act Karen Anne. Why people can be so cruel to others is a mystery to me...

Posted by Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®,CRS,, Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority! (RE/MAX Professionals.) almost 8 years ago

Karen Anne ~ your post highlights the fact that it's up to each and every one of us to stop allowing hateful bigotry to run rampant.  Every day, by our words and by our actions, we can make a difference.  It's so sad that a tragedy of this magnitude has to be the catalyst for realizing where we've gone wrong -- and what we need to do to stop it.  Thanks for a very well-written post.

Posted by Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging, "Staging that Sells Portland Homes" (Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR) almost 8 years ago

Karen, it always burns me up when I saw this kinds of news about bullying in school to the level which is out of control.  Why can't somebody do anything about it?  I think these kids who bully others at school should be prosecuted just like any other crime.  They don't have rights to invade anybody privacy, something, some law, have to put a stop to this kind of un-human behavior. 

Posted by Rita Fong, Realtor - Marion Arkansas Homes for Sale (RE/MAX REAL ESTATE TODAY, Executive Broker 901-488-9590 ) almost 8 years ago

Karen, You can certainly write and you can certainly make a point. Tyler's death was a tragedy beyond words. Our grandson goes to Rutgers. Thank you for taking time to post such an important message.

Tyler was a talented young man, full of life, full of music...such a terrible waste.

Margaret

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) almost 8 years ago

It starts very early - in many forms. What about the little fat kid, or the one who stutters, the one who smells.... At what age does the torment begin? And when does it end? Teasing is not fun and should not be tolerated. This is a tragedy, sincere sympathy to the family.....

Posted by Marilyn Harrell, Wixom Lake - Beaverton MI (ReMax Riverhaven) almost 8 years ago

Internet bullying and Hate on Gays is some of the bottom most awful human actions I can think of. These suicides are very tragic.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) almost 8 years ago

Hello Karen and VB is sorry I Haven't been around commenting to your posts. I did do a quick run threw many to find your comments are in the high numbers, (BONUS)! I will get around to them soon my friend and I did want to comment to this post for now because it is very sad to read about these types of stories. My opinion is that people that go around picking on others with different or unusual sexual preferences have hang ups themselves, and see parts of their lives being lived by others. Or certain people hate these types of people because they are jealous and don't have the balls, etc. to express themselves because people will make fun of them.

Your post has been featured at one of my favorite groups ...

EXPRESS WITH WORDS AT ACTIVERAIN

VB ;~)

Posted by Robert Vegas Bob Swetz, Las Vegas Henderson Homes for Sale (Realty ONE Group) almost 8 years ago

Hello again Karen and this post is so much older than the ones I have featured at the EXPRESS group your post is not showing up. I am so sorry for coming around so late to feature and VB will make it up to you friend and still a very sad story ...

Bob

 

Posted by Robert Vegas Bob Swetz, Las Vegas Henderson Homes for Sale (Realty ONE Group) almost 8 years ago

Excellent post, Karen. I can't imagine anyone reading this and not pausing to give some thought to this issue. Tragic, tragic story.

Posted by Peggy Wester, Real Estate Agent Ozaukee & Washington County (Realty Executives Integrity) over 7 years ago

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