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December 5, 2011
by Davey Wavey
46 Comments



Jonah’s Video: Something Everyone Must Watch.

I don’t think I’ve ever received so many emails to post a video as I have for Jonah’s. In fact, when I first watched the video on Saturday, it had just 3,000 views. Today, it has more than 2.2 million.

Jonah is an eight grader who expresses, using a series of cards, his fear and emotion. He’s afraid to go back to school and he’s tired of the name-calling – including homophobic slurs like “gay,” “fag,” and “homo.”

I can’t help but think that, if there were a required course in compassion, empathy and acceptance for all human beings, viewing this video would be part of the curriculum. In a world so desperately in need of love, all of us have the opportunity to do what we can with what we’ve got. We must all take responsibility for what we do, say and type – and how it affects others.

On the last few cards, Jonah writes, “I’m not going anywhere. Because I’m stronger than that… and I have a million reasons to be here.” Actually, Jonah, 2.2 million reasons… and counting.

46 Comments

  1. The video is 4 months old, he posted a more recent video in which he is a cocky, confident, fabulous guy who claims that he is very popular and happy… so it did get better… he did get stronger ^^

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zt5gvl5s2q4

  2. For those curious about him, Jonah posted a follow up video too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zt5gvl5s2q4

  3. Davey, there are comment saying that the boy is trolling us, please have a look, i dont really sure whether or not it was true,, but if this boy lied and make fun of it, we just kills lot of people

    • It is true, apparently the entire school loves him. I don’t get why he did that amazing video if it was a lie… but anyways, even if it’s not true, there are plenty of cases which are true and they are not fake. Hope that video helps them…
      http://youtu.be/zt5gvl5s2q4

    • This boy is thirteen-years-old. At that age, emotional maturity is very lacking, as is perspective. The first video that he made was made in August before school started. There is no way one can watch that first video and believe that it was insincere. Whether or not what he was saying at the time was completely accurate or not, it is clearly evident that it was true to him at the time. That does not mean he was lying. It means that his perception and his reality were not meshing. It is common at that age.

      Part of the reason that kids this age kill themselves is because they do not have the emotional maturity and perspective to see their immediate situation for what it truly is. They go from these highs to lows mercurially.

      Jonah may be a bit of a DQ, who knows, and who cares? I have watched this thing three times, and I come to a certain conclusion it was very sincere if not very accurate. I am glad he is feeling better. I am glad that he perceives his situation to be better. I seriously doubt that everyone at his school loves him. I believe that sentiment to be just as misconceived as his original thought that he was completely alone. No one at school at that age is loved by everybody.

      There were many other people who saw what he did and how he did it, and they were sincerely and profoundly moved. Many made their own vlogs; telling their own stories. They cannot all be lying. One of the responses that I viewed particularly troubles me. It is from a young man named Karl-Oskar. He is in real trouble, and I hope that someone sees his video and helps him.

      If what Jonah did lead Karl-Oskar to make his vlog and someone sees it and helps him before it is too late, then Jonah has truly saved a life, a life in our community, and for that, he can be proud. For that, we can all support him as he grows to maturity, and stop this pointless exercise in determining whether or not an emotional thirteen-year-old lied to us.

    • @ Clarke – So loving your genius mind right now. My sentiments exactly. Jonah is copping it from all sides, must we too add to the criticism (and other ghastliness).

    • @Clarke, exactly.

      Moreover, not only does Jonah have mercurial emotions, his entire peer group does, too. It is entirely possible for a kid to be going into the 8th grade as an unpopular, bullied kid and to suddenly be accepted (because of this video, some change in appearance, etc) and become popular over the course or a week or a month or a semester. And if acceptance was what he wanted (and it’s what many of us want), then of course he’s going to be happier in his next video. That doesn’t invalidate this one.

      Also, popular does not always equal happy & unbullied. A kid hears the few critical voices much more clearly than all the loving & friendly ones. So do most adults.

  4. As I posted on the youtube comments, even if the video is not his real situation, it’s the message what matters. What he expressed is the daily reality of many kids, and I think he did an amazing video. It’s a great way to make people aware about bulling and the consequences that brings to these kids.

  5. Jonah

    It’s hard to recongnize this at your age but YOU ARE ENOUGH within yourself to matter…. to survive and to thrive in a seemingly sometimes cruel space. I am more convinced over time that we as people in general don’t hate so much as we fear…we fear things that are different….things that we don’t understand and that fear leads us unnecessarily to do irrational things like bullying.
    Things do get better……. I am glad to hear they already seem to have!!

  6. Its everyone’s responsibility to make sure kids like johana don’t get bullied. But it’s sad in our society, people use their power to bully others and get rewarded. U have been in the same situation at work. Please be strong, and I know helps are on the way. Things will get better. Johanna please believe me. You will find the strength to make it through because you are an amazing human being. You are so right , there are million reasons for you to be here.

  7. this vid just made me crie…..i had to experience the same , and still do today…..
    Im 36 , live in a medium dutch town and being gay is still weird to some people.
    Even here in the Netherlands…..

  8. I just can’t sit here any longer and keep silent. I’m sure this kid is sweet and maybe I don’t have a heart. But I’m really getting worn down by all the people like Josh that wants to play on people’s emotions just to get numbers on you tube. It honestly was hard you take this young man searous because of all the other vids he has on you tube. It would have maybe been better if it was a it’ll get better Vido. I didn’t seen any real scars from cutting. If josh is cutting himself then we need to contact his family and get him to a counselor. Cutting is a searous matter and usually once started it is hard to stop due to the depressive state the person is in. I do Beleive that bulling is a horrible issue that 99 % of all people go through. We need to teach how to be strong and to stand up for the basic right of humanity. To stop it is not realistic in our world. People have been bullied since the beg ending of time. And with tv and the internet it show people how to be even more creative even more. Yes it starts in grade school and continues until the day we take our last breath. Again the lesson to help teach and for all to learn is how to handle it. No matter what the reason is you feel you are bullied Take it, use it, and find away to make it better for you. Killing yourself makes the bully the winner, surving, learning, and making something out of yourself, hurts the bully that my be the same person your sleeping with 20 years latter.

    With that all said I’m not putting Josh or any one else down, just expressing my openion. So it’s cool to send the heat my way, I’m strong, I have made it for 48 years and I learnt to deal with all the heater around me, so bring it on heaters leave the others alone and give it to me I welcome it.

  9. Puts our daily problems into perspective. doesn’t it? This child is suffering because he’s different. Kids are cruel. Where does the cruelty come from? Educate parents so they can educate their kids. Bullying, hatred must stop. Innocent kids’ lives and hearts are damaged forever. For what? Most parents don’t know that their child is suffering because their image and self-esteem are too fragile and torn, making them feel unworthy of the help, love and support that they so desperately need.

  10. P.S. I just watched the video that people think proves that his first video was a fake. Say what? He’s a kid and he’s trying to put his best face forward. He thanks everyone for supporting him and makes a sarcastic remark at the end to those who call him gay — he thanks them for stating the obvious. Why again does dilute the power and effect of his first video? He’s a strong kid who has been bullied. He’s also a bright kid who is successfully trying to rise above the scourge of the lowest common denominator. Kids are often resilient and I think that this is what we’re seeing here.

  11. I am wondering what meaning people are trying to get from a video he made several months after the original video. So he is happier now, that is great, it does not imply the first video was a lie. Would people be happier if he was even worse off now or that he did kill himself?

    • I’m with you, Blake!

      He showed us his scars, what more do people want? Let’s reserve a negative judgement, since we don’t in fact know the whole story, okay?

      The kid gets bullied into a depression because he’s different, and now that he’s feeling better, he gets attacked for that also! What the hell??

  12. It isn`t possible to see the video in germany. Some music-rights are on it.
    Please try to get rid of that music, so we can see it too!

    • took me some time, use an UK proxy via FoxyProxy (if you’re on Firefox) for example – did the trick for me

  13. If your heart is not torn into pieces when you watch this, regardless of your sexual orientation, your religions inclination, your age, your race, your political affiliation and so on, then I question your humanity. I may not have a right to do so, but I do and I will until hopefully you can watch this video with disgust for those that bully and with sadness for this kid and for you to lift a prayer that this precious soul and others like it WILL NOT GO AWAY, that they will also find a million reasons to ‘stay’. This continued hatred, bigotry, ignorance, intolerance, and fear, breaks my heart. I now pledge to seek out a way to reach out to people like Jonah and let them know that I can share several reasons for them to choose life – to add to the million reasons they have reason to be here. Let’s work together to create a new mindset – not just that it gets better, but positive and long term reason for change from despair to hope.

  14. This video is blocked in Germany, because there’s apparently music in it!? f**k GEMA!!

  15. @Davey Wavey:,@Everyone:
    Thanks, Davey, for posting this__I to discovered this, by accident, on Saturday.Thought at first it was one of your Out stories.I can’t believe,certainly dis-like the opinions of some commenters here who say the kid was doing this only to get attention! Even a great actor can’t fake the kind of emotion Jonah shows.
    As several people have noted,13 is a tough age:early adolescent kids generally have a wild mix of aggression,fear,rowdiness,a hunger to belong_to be accepted and to reject,as they leave childhood and fumble towards socialization.Their hormones are already raging,and to make things more difficult, for them & for everyone around them,they reach puberty much earlier now:ages between 10 & 12 [ages when current adults didn't know what sex was]. It must be tough to be thirteen and know you’re gay!!__Hence the Patricks and Voldemorts who post here.

  16. I just watched Jonah’s follow up video.My comment:SO WHAT ????!!!! The guy’s a little obnoxious,but aside from not denying the truth of the video posted here,isn’t everyone a little cocky & obnoxious at his age? To paraphrase Jonah:You don’t have to be Einstein to know that.

  17. it is not possible to watch that video in Germany, because of some music rights violations…is it possible to watch it elsewhere?

  18. Bravo Richard Thomas!
    You in the nail right on the head, and
    hopefully . . .this will get better!

  19. Yes, it is a powerful and very moving video and I too hope that it will help a lot of other kids that are in very difficult circumstances. But do not dismiss the fact that it was a lie, if lie it was. There shouldn’t be any excuse to lie. I do hope that things changed for him or something but still, a lie here would be to much like Munchausen!

    • How anyone can possibly think this is a lie is beyond me. Yes, I saw his subsequent video. This kid is trying to move forward, to be positive, to NOT be a victim. Would it be better for him to have not moved on, to wallow in his fear and sadness? His second video is even braver than the first — he put himself out there for yet further criticism while trying to put on a brave face. Do you remember being 13 (or whatever age he is)? Moods and perceptions change on a minute-by-minute basis. That kid’s pain was palpable in his first video. Maybe that pain was cathartic. Maybe that pain forced him to take action to better his own world.

      Shame on anyone who minimizes the raw pain and resolve that he exhibited in his first video because he was in a better place in his second video. Shame.

  20. This kid, like so many need help and reassurance that life is Awesome! and not to listen to those idiots!

  21. First I was really sad for him, then I saw the link to his next vid about school and things got much better for him. So, big YAY!!! for Jonah.

  22. I’ve seen both videos; the first tore me up inside while watching. The second [video], I just dismissed as his response (with the help of a friend) to those who were still attacking him via digital media.

    Just because we see or hear conflicting messages from somebody who is young, that doesn’t mean that one or both messages aren’t true. Adults do this; and for the adults reading here, if you will recall from your own childhoods, most of us would do or say just about anything to deflect unwanted attention when we were only just trying to “get through our childhood.” ABCnews did an article on this kid and while I’m certainly not saying that every news organization is beyond reproach and not to be questioned (we’ve seen plenty among the news media who have done anything for a story), they’re saying that his story is true and that he’s undergoing counseling.

    Regardless (and just as Antonio posted earlier), even if the video had not been Jonah’s “real situation” (which I’m inclined to think it was because of the emotion [crying] )… Anyway, even if it hadn’t been … it IS the situation for many young LGBTQ youth growing up today. It’s not only the person (in this case, Jonah) that matters, but the message as well. I’ve been suicidal myself at different times in my life and each time I somehow managed to pull myself through it. The point is none of us “really knows” what is going through the mind of another who is that depressed. Some will put on a strong front, their friends and family completely oblivious to the pain he or she is feeling inside. Others will allow some of the pain to show but later laugh it off so as to avoid the pressing questions and comments that (to that person) sometimes come across as more “judging” than helpful.

    Life is fleeting and it is worth the living but not everybody recognizes that “during every moment of the time he or she is walking upon this earth.” For that reason, I have always chosen to err on the side of caution in matters such as these. If someone says he (or she) is experiencing thoughts of suicide or even the level of depression that could lead to such, I treat it as “real.” I’d rather waste some time trying to give a little hope to somebody who is playing me, rather than make the mistake of dismissing a “real” cry for help only to subsequently read about that individual having taken his or her life.

    For those in countries where the [original] video cannot be accessed due to copyright violations, I’ve copied and recreated it without the audio and uploaded it to my own channel (http://youtu.be/yE2mr7GHOQA). One thing that I cannot promise is whether or not YouTube will allow it to remain online since it is not my own work so if the link does not work for you, it’s likely because YouTube has disabled it. As of the time I posted this comment, it was working.

    Namaste,
    Michael

  23. He is a very brave young man.

  24. I definitely understand that this happens to a LOT. Of people in the world but… His scars are too small to be knife cuts…

  25. Awwwwwwww am I the only one feeling the need to hug him. :D I’d so date him he’s so cute and lonely. I could bring some light into his life.

  26. i feel for Jonah-i want to be his friend.nobody should go thru what he is going thru.nobody.hopefully over 2 million views will help.i trust they will-or have.please Lord-give Jonah the strength.he will come thru.it does-it will get better.

  27. I was upset my many of the comments of You tube about Jonah being dead. One went as far as to say he died from AIDS after being involved in a gang bang with some “black guys” a few days earlier. This highlighted two things to me, one the person who made that comment knows little about AIDS and two, has an obvious racial prejudice. That’s just the surface.

    I’ve yet to view the second video, but I imagine that people he knew him saw it and perhaps saw the error of their ways, hence his change in fortune. To say his original video was fake…. somebody just give him an Academy award because that would have been some performance.

    At a young age we can blow things out of proportion and make out they are better (or worse) than they really are.

    Whatever the case maybe, I felt it was important enough to share with Davey and obviously others did too. Can we end the ongoing hate campaign please!

  28. From the description.
    UPDATE, PLEASE READ
    To all my friends and supporters,
    I made this video 4 months ago just before school was about to start. I was 13. It was a very emotionally dark time in my life. I made the video at 4:00am in the morning; I hadn’t been sleeping at night for a long time, too many things going on in my head. I was dreading going back to school and I had not come out to my family yet. Only my closest friends knew. I didn’t know how to say what I needed to say. All I could think about were all the bad things that had been happening at school last year, every year for that matter. I just couldn’t bare to go through that anymore. I was done being fake happy, pretending hateful words didn’t hurt, done hiding it from my family.
    So this video was made for my friends that had moved on to High School who were worried for me, to say to them that I was going to take a stand, and to the haters at my middle school that I’m not going anywhere. I am who I am. I posted the video here and told people were to find it. That was it.
    My friends were moved by the video and thought I did something important. I was encouraged to upload it to my Facebook page so more people could see it. Maybe it could help someone else going through the same thing. So I linked it Dec. 1st. My Parents saw it for the first time Dec, 2nd.
    Then….. all this happened.
    I never expected in a million years that it would have such a wonderful impact on so many people. I am truly humbled and truly thankful for all the love, encouragement and support from people all over the world. It’s been incredibly overwhelming. I don’t know what to say. Thank you so, so much!
    Lastly, yes you have seen me happy in a couple short videos replies I posted; I would think that would be a good thing , and yes I do have friends, my High School friends, and I have made friends because when I came out they realized that they had hurt me and that they fealt sorry. The video is real, and true.
    In the last few months everything eventually came out in the open, I felt a huge weight off my shoulders; I’m happy, I’m excepted for who I am, I’m more confident and feel stronger every day.
    Thank you all, Love and peace to all who are hurting.
    Jonah Mowry

    I hope this is a Beacon of hope for LGBT youth.

  29. I went to the youtube page to view this and learn more about the video in the description. Then looked at the replies….and noticed that is said “21 other replies since you’ve been viewing”. Holy SHIT that means that like 20 people finished watching and replied in a roughly a minute.

  30. The support for jonah has been amazing. proud to be gay

  31. I’m so glad he’s doing better. I saw this video a while ago on my iPhone and felt so bad for him. People in his situation can often deteriorate and stay at home all day and watch porn and what not… So glad he’s doing well…

  32. It’s very brave of Jonah to make that first video, to share his pain and sadness with the rest of the world. He reached out instead of choosing to hurt himself more, that is not an easy thing to do.

  33. I too was moved by this video. Then I heard the criticism about it afterward. But I agree with so many here, he wasn’t acting.

    I just read the transcript that someone posted. The video helped him in so many ways. And I hope it helps others as well.

    I am a dad and I can tell you that kids go from depressed to happy within minutes at times. I find myself going through waves of emotion even still. It’s not unusual. And It’s not a lie.

    I wish people would stop casting judgement. We get enough of it cast upon us from outside the gay community, we don’t need to do it within.

    • I reposted his video (without the audio/music) so that those who were having problems accessing it in Germany could view. I’m shocked by some of the nasty comments I’ve seen made on that video alone (and being the opinionated old fart that I am, trust me, I’ve no problem with giving it right back to the lil’ b*tt-wipes who are casting judgment over there).

      I’m not a dad but I agree with your observation about how quickly kids can go from being depressed to being happy sometimes. There’s no way that I could not be moved by the first video he (Jonah) posted; the emotion was dead-on serious and I’m sorry, but if he was acting then the kid deserves a freaking Grammy award.

      Also, I’m in agreement with you about casting judgment from within the gay community. I’ve observed it time and again over the subject of “butch/straight-acting vs. nelly” and it becomes annoying as hell. You would think we, of all people, would be able to understand and appreciate the need to be more accepting of another’s unique qualities/differences

    • To Michael M – Better to be an “Ol’ Fart” than a “Young Dickhead”!

    • @ Jason (+J.) LOL!! Well, yes… now that you put it that way, I’m proud of my current status (as an old fart). (But I’ve probably qualified as the other in my much younger years, as well. *sigh* haha)

  34. To all the haters out there, within and outside the gay community, I want to share a YouTube video (by a straight guy who has been bullied) that sort of sums it all up.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnzM2dUca6M&feature=colike

    It’s worth the watch and, in my opinion, worth sharing with the world.

  35. http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/the-most-powerful-photos-of-2011

    The most impactful images of 2011, please take a look. The inspiration brought a few tears, to the gay and straight alike.

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