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October 18, 2011
by Davey Wavey

Gay Suicide Isn’t One-Size-Fits-All.

It has happened again.

Jamie Hubley, a gay 15-year-old, took his own life last Friday. This latest suicide, of course, comes on the heels of Jamey Rodemeyer’s recent suicide in Buffalo, New York. Both boys were gay – and both were bullied.

From the outside looking in, it’s easy and tempting to connect the dots. Yes, another bullied gay child has taken his life. But it’s important to remember that each situation is different – and that suicide is very complex and influenced by many factors.

Last Wednesday, I spoke at Johnson & Wales University and played my “250 Balloons” video as part of their National Coming Out Day gathering. One person commemorated in the video is Raymond Chase, an openly gay Johnson & Wales student that killed himself in a dorm last year. Talking to the students, they were quick to point out that yes, Raymond was gay, but that there were a number of other challenges in his life. Raymond was an individual – and it doesn’t do his story justice to lump him into a one-size-fits-all national narrative.

Having said all that, the reality is that gay and lesbian youth are up to four times more likely to commit suicide than their straight counterparts. Life can be challenging for everyone – gay or straight – but suicide is an issue that impacts the LGBT community disproportionately.

In the coming days, we’ll probably hear more and learn more about Jamie Hubley. And while this latest suicide does raise even more concern about bullying (and perhaps provide fuel for much-needed legislation), it’s important to remember that each of these tragedies is complex, difficult and unique. My thoughts go out to the Hubley family.

Below, check out Jamie’s cover of Lady Gaga’s Born this Way.


  1. “Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.”

    ~Orison Swett Marden~

  2. thank you for posting this about Jamie I watched all his videos and his friend in memory of Jamie video and it was so beautiful. thank you and here the linke to it if you want to see it. I know the feeling I attempted Suicide when I was 18 and not out yet. and now happily married to a wonderful man of 9years. :) Marcel in NH.

  3. @Marcel

    I watched several of Jamie’s videos. He was such a beautiful kid and had so much joy to share with others. It’s incomprehensible to me that he would take his life. We need survivors,such as yourself, to tell us what would have made the difference when you were suicidal. If your school had a gay/straight alliance with friends to support you when the going got rough, would that have made a difference?

  4. I just wanted to share this from today’s newspaper. Warning: It’s sad and tragic…

    Headline: Student tried to stop Suicide

    Byline: Judge finds boy’s intervention took fatal turn

    Article : A 12 year old boy fatally stabbed by a 13 year old school mate had been trying to stop his older friend from taking his life in a Brisbane school’s toilet’s.

    The boy responsible for the stabbing, who is now 15, has been declared of unsound mind at the time of the incident in February of last year.

    Supreme Court Justice Ann Lyons, presiding in Brisbane’s Mental Health Court, last month ruled the teenager was of unsound mind and should be detained by an authorised mental health service.

    Under Queensland law, details of her ruling could not be published for another month.

    Neither victim nor his killer can be identified, but Judge Lyons yesterday gave the boy’s school an opportunity to discuss her findings with its students before her ruling was released publicly.

    In the 26 page judgment, Judge Lyons found the victim died as a result of stab wound inflicted with a kitchen knife during an incident in the school toilet block.

    She said the boy’s attacker was suffering from severe depression and suicidal “ideation” before her took the kitchen knife to school in February last year.

    “The student saw the applicant raise the knife to this throat and intervened, saying “Don’t do that, Judge Lyons said.

    There is no doubt, however, that (the attacker) cannot remember the precise circumstances of the actual stabbing other than the student reaching for the knife,” Judge Lyons said.

    The court heard the boys responsible was struggling at school and had previously been bullied.

    It was told be blamed himself and at times heard his own voice in his head saying “I must die” before he decided to take his life at school.

    The court heard the two boys watched a video in the toilets on the 13 year old’s phone.

    The 12 year old left but returned for his schoolbag wand then tried to stop the older boy from stabbing himself.

    Judge Lyons said the life of a talented young student had been lost because, motivated by concern for the applicant, he had selflessly intervened.

    The older boy was charged with murder and has been detained in the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre since his arrest, where he made another suicide attempt earlier this year.

    He will be transferred to an adolescent unit and his case reviewed in six months.

    End of Article.

    This kind of puts a whole new spin of the topic of youth suicide, which is why I thought I’d share it with you.

    “There are angels… here on earth… angels
    There are angels… here on earth…
    Angels… send from God
    Come away from the wall… stay with us
    Well you can, Jane”

    From “Jane” by “Stevie Nicks” from her 1994 album “Street Angel”.
    (written by: Stevie Nicks and Joel Derouin).

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