Clementi’s tragedy

His suicide reminds us of the fallout gay teens still suffer from coming out.

Daily Editorial Board

Last week, a nefarious college prank turned fatal when Tyler Clementi, a freshman at Rutgers University, killed himself after his roommate posted an online a video of Clementi making out with a man. Driven by shame, Clementi killed himself days later.
HeâÄôs one of at least four gay youth to commit suicide within the last few weeks. The suicides are part of a tragic trend, and both the GLBT community and society need to do more to help these young men and women struggling to be comfortable with who they are find happiness.
Studies show gay and lesbian teens are more than four times likelier to attempt suicide than heterosexuals. That number is too high. The social nature of college makes it easier for the GLBT community to grow together, so efforts to prevent tragedies like ClementiâÄôs need to start earlier. High schools, where many first discover their sexuality, should begin offering services to gay communities. Gay students are there and theyâÄôre subjects of the kind of bullying that pushed Clementi over the edge of the George Washington Bridge.
The same technology that shamed Clementi should be used to help gay youth. Sex columnist Dan Savage has launched a YouTube channel, âÄúIt Gets Better Project,âÄù where gay adults can speak directly to their younger counterparts to let them know gay people live normal and happy lives. This is the right place to start, but hopefully it is just that: a start.